History of SOLA

The Symphony Orchestra League of Alexandria (SOLA) was the brainchild of Helen Reid, former President of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees. Seeing the need for an organization devoted to fundraising, educational programs, and other support for the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra (ASO), Helen founded the Alexandria Symphony Guild in 1981.

The late Mary Graham Lasley, who worked with Helen and her committee to make the Guild a reality, hosted the first SOLA meeting at her home on March 19, 1981. The annual Scholarship Competition, one of the Guild’s first major projects, is named after Mary Graham Lasley. In 1992 under President Emma-Jo Staton, the Guild voted to change its name to the Symphony Orchestra League of Alexandria.

From the beginning, SOLA members have played a crucial role in the daily operations and community educational programs associated with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra. SOLA has assumed responsibility for many fundraising events to benefit the ASO and has been actively involved in ASO music education programs. The annual Symphony Ball and Auction is the major SOLA fundraising event each year. In addition, SOLA members provide invaluable assistance at ASO concerts and in the ASO business office.

High regard for the ASO in the community and the dedication and hard work of SOLA members have contributed to the organization’s rich heritage and provide a solid foundation for future growth and success.

Helen A. Reid