Volunteer Spotlight: Suanne Pauley

April is National Volunteer Month. To celebrate, we are turning the spotlight on one of our many wonderful and hardworking volunteers, Suanne Pauley. Suanne has been ushering with the San Diego Symphony since 2014 and finds fulfillment in donating her time to causes that connect her with the outdoors and with people. The San Diego Symphony thanks all of our volunteers who generously donate their time to help us make music possible. 

1. Hello Suanne! Tell us about how you became a volunteer with the San Diego Symphony.

When I retired from the workforce in 2014, I was looking for different activities to occupy my time. I remembered I had been to the San Diego Symphony Summer Pops concerts a few times and liked the venue and ambiance. So, I checked out the web page and signed up for an usher orientation and the rest is history. 

2. What do you love most about volunteering with the San Diego Symphony?  

It would be hard for me to choose a favorite experience ushering. Every event is so different: the patrons, weather, the headliner etc. Each experience has favorite and memorable moments. If pressed, chair numbering could be a definite contender. It may seem like an odd choice, but I get a warm and fuzzy feeling of accomplishment when all is in order and ready to go. You also get to work with a lot of great people and one of my favorite memories was being reunited with a former coworker of mine who was volunteering with the San Diego Symphony too. You never know whom you’re going to meet here!  

3. How do you like to spend your time when you are not volunteering?  Do you volunteer anywhere else?

Retirement does not always equate to inactivity. I have managed to fill my life with activities I truly enjoy. I lived the first part of my life in the Midwest and on the East Coast.made my way out to California during the summer of 1971, finally settling in San Diego in 1980. When I first arrived here, I was immediately taken by the ocean and started bodyboarding with a group of friends. This eventually turned into a bit of an obsession, and now I’m out in the ocean at least three days a week, 365 days a year - I absolutely love it! In terms of other volunteer opportunities, I usher at many other venues in San Diego, and I serve on the Board of Directors for the Asian Story Theatre where I am also technical director and stage manager for many of their productions. 

4. What would you say to someone who might be interested in volunteering with the San Diego Symphony?

I proudly wear my Rady Shell swag when out and about and I often get approached with comments and questions about the venue and ways to get involved. I give them a glowing review and send them to our website. As a volunteer usher at The Rady Shell, you get to see free shows, meet new people, and hang out by the bay - what’s not to like? Spoiler alert: volunteer days here are long but it’s worth it for me, and it might be worth it for you too!  

5. What is one interesting fact about yourself? 

I am also an avid camper. I have a cute little tear drop camper I take out on surfing safaris up and down the coast. My current favorite site is San Elijo. If you see me out there, say hi!  

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