Trustee of the Week – Genie Ware

Every Wednesday, we feature one Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra member to answer some fun questions about themselves. Pro Arte is a tight knit group where the musicians, board of trustees, and staff work together as a unit. Today, we will be featuring our “Trustee of the Week” instead of our usual “Musician of the Week.” Meet Genie Ware, our Board Chair.

Genie Ware speaking to the standing room only audience at our Concerto Competition concert - Photo by Toni Jackson

Genie Ware speaking to the standing room only audience at our Concerto Competition concert – Photo by Toni Jackson

How did you first get involved with Pro Arte?  How long have you been a trustee?

My husband and I had our first date at a Pro Arte concert in, gulp, 1985. We have been subscribers and volunteers since that time. In fact, we still sit next to the same couple. My particular role has evolved and I have served as Board Chair for the past few years. I am very proud to be associated with Pro Arte.

What attracts you to Pro Arte?

It is hard for me to answer this question. I attend the performances of most of the Boston-based musical groups. We are so fortunate to have the outstanding quality of music that we do here. But, somehow, as one of these premiere groups, Pro Arte has captured my heart. It has simply been a part of my life for almost 30 years. I am moved by its music and enjoy the sense of intimacy that comes from this smaller group of performers. As a volunteer and donor, I feel that I have a bigger impact than I would in a larger organization. And, the anti-establishment side of me is drawn to the fact that Pro Arte is a cooperative, in which its musician members are empowered to make choices not available to them in a traditional orchestra. They select conductors, repertoire, musical colleagues, and even their trustees. Pro Arte was founded as a musical oasis within the harsher world of professional music performance. It is pretty amazing that we are about to embark on our 36th season. So, I guess I could answer the question.

What is your occupation?

I have a doctorate in clinical psychology and have been in practice for close to 35 years. However, when my children were growing up, I was predominantly, and happily, a stay-at-home mom and maintained only  a very part-time clinical practice. Now with grown children, my clinical work has increased, but is still part-time. Interestingly, in the last year and a half, I have become very much  involved in the day-to-day operations of running Pro Arte. When we had a changeover of staff, as Board Chair I was the obvious person to step up. I am learning a whole new field–that of orchestra management/ non-profits–and doing things I never imagined I’d be doing at this time of my life. I never have a dull moment in any of my professions!

Which Pro Arte concert has been most memorable to you?

There have been so many outstanding performances over the years, I couldn’t possibly choose. I do have to say that last season’s Concerto Competition concert brought tears to my eyes to hear the remarkable young talents in the next generation of musicians and to see the standing room only audience, including young families with baby-carriages.

What activities do you enjoy in your free time?

I enjoy word games and puzzles, like Scrabble, Bananagrams, Words with Friends, and Sudoku. I’ve played sports my whole life and continue to play tennis weekly. I am the sports fan of my family, and support the Boston teams,  especially the Red Sox. I started playing the cello when I was 50 and take weekly lessons. (I am definitely not up to Pro Arte standards, but I love it.) My recent thrill has been the completion of a year and a half process of making my first stringed instrument, a viola.

Do you have questions for the Pro Arte members?  E-mail your questions to info@proarte.org.