Knoxville Opera Guild Volunteers

The strength of Knoxville Opera springs from our multi-talented Guild Volunteers.  Please share your talents with us and volunteer for your favorite activity:

  • Hospitality
  • Rossini Festival International Street Fair
  • Social Event/Fundraiser Planning
  • Social Event Organization, Set up, Decorations, etc.
  • Office Assistance – Mailings
  • Telephoning
  • Computer Skills

If you would like to share your time and talents with us, you can contact us through the Knoxville Opera office at (865) 524-0795 x251. Thank you in advance for your time and efforts!

Happy Booker Volunteer Spirit Award

In 1998 Laura Bower proposed, and the board of directors of the East Tennessee Opera Guild approved, the establishment of the Happy Booker Volunteer Spirit Award to recognize outstanding work in support of Knoxville Opera. This award pays tribute to Happy Booker, a major force in the founding of Knoxville Opera who remained a vital and involved volunteer until her death in 2002. This award is presented each year at the annual business meeting to a member of the Guild who has exhibited extraordinary service in furtherance of the goals of the Guild. The recipients to date are:

  • Mark Hill – 1998
  • Jacqueline Ball – 1999
  • Joanne Mounger – 2000
  • Ann Exum – 2001
  • Theresa Stone – 2002
  • Frankie Hulett – 2003
  • Susana Esrequis – 2004
  • Audrey Duncan – 2005
  • Robert Gibson – 2006
  • Jim Stiegler – 2007
  • Margaret Bull – 2008
  • John Butler – 2009
  • Phyllis Driver – 2010
  • Kathy Krohmer – 2011
  • Audrey Duncan – 2012
  • Susana Esrequis – 2013
  • Kimberly Henry – 2014
  • L. Caesar Stair, III – 2015
  • G. Mark Cramolini – 2016
  • Evelyn Hopp – 2017

Opera Volunteers International:

Opera Volunteers International (OVI) is a not-for-profit association of over one hundred opera guilds and other opera volunteer organizations, as well as opera volunteer coordinators who work for opera companies, and hundreds of individual members. They come from throughout the United States and Canada, with a few members in Europe and Australia as well.

Partners in Excellence Awards

The Partners in Excellence Awards is a program from Opera Volunteers International (formerly Opera Guilds International) that was instituted in 1994 to recognize all of the individuals and organizations who have been enormous contributions to the successes of the opera companies in their communities.

Two members from the Knoxville Opera Guild have been recognized for their achievements by OVI. They are an inspiration to others who may be motivated by their example:

1999 – Happy Booker, nominated by the Knoxville Opera Guild, a founder of the Knoxville Opera, charter member of the guild, fundraiser extraordinaire, and a powerful advocate of the arts.
2002 – Carolyn Sergeant, nominated by the Knoxville Opera Guild, a founder of Knoxville Opera, charter member of the guild, chair of an annual ball, chair of the Victorian Teas, and a tireless proponent of opera in the community and a continuing worker in the organization since its inception.

For more information about Knoxville Opera Guild activities, please email