Join The Guild

Membership Is Our Lifeblood

Join the Opera Guild of Dayton Today!

Your membership is very important to us

NOTE: Paypal is the processing tool that the Guild uses for handling money. However, you may join using your Paypal account OR your personal credit card.

Opera Guild of Dayton welcomes new members to join us for fun and meaningful service as we support Dayton Opera. Assistance is needed in many diverse areas that let you use your talents to keep the cultural scene strong in the Dayton area. You can take part in one of our many award-winning educational programs for school children or adults throughout the area. Many exciting fund and friend-raising events are scheduled throughout the year. Marketing and communications are critical areas for success in the Guild. Special skills such as graphic design, writing, ushering, hosting and more are always needed.
To join:
  • Contact Managing Vice President of Membership, Diane Johnson, 937/477-7866 or at
  • Or contact the Guild at 937/224-3521 ext. 1099.
  • Click here to print a copy of our Membership Application. Please mail the completed form to: Diane Buchanan Johnson, 1274 Timberwyck Court, Dayton, Ohio 45458.


The summary below is a general review of how the Opera Guild of Dayton membership fulfilled the Guild’s mission of encouraging and promoting opera in the Greater Dayton area and supported Dayton Opera through fundraising, marketing, and education activities in 2017-2018.

Financial contributions of $71,065 to Dayton Opera:

  • Series sponsorship of $30,000 for the production of The Barber of Seville
  • Annual operating support of $35,000
  • Artists-In-Residence support of $5,000
  • Mead Theatre for the Student Dress Rehearsal of $1,065

In-kind donations to Dayton Opera:

  • 329 nights of home hospitality valued at $66/night to cast members for a savings of $21,714
  • Volunteer ushers for two dress rehearsals and airport transportation for visiting artists
  • Volunteers prepared and served hearty snack food and beverages to cast members for the first “onstage” rehearsal for each production.
  • The value of this transportation, volunteer and prepared food hours – priceless!

Education Programs:

  • Students’ Night @ Dress Rehearsal: 351 students, junior high through college, were hosted by the Opera Guild for the dress rehearsal of Dayton Opera’s production of The Consul at the Schuster Center on October 18, 2017.
  • Children’s Traveling Opera (CTO): 27 programs of The Pirates of Penzance were presented to over 2,500 students in grades three through six at schools throughout the Miami Valley by this national award-winning program made up of 21 volunteers, three rotating soloists, and three accompanists.
  • Volunteers: Jane Reynolds, Cindy Hoffsis, Effie Sue Kemerley, Pat Ferguson, Mary& Wayne Mathieu, and Linda Rountree contributed 140+ hours to design and create costumes for the newest CTO production The Pirates of Penzance. For their hard work and dedication, Opera Volunteers International (OVI) awarded them its prestigious Partners in Excellence Award in February 2017.
  • Opera Marionettes: 1,400 students, preschool through second grade, experienced their first exposure to opera with an introduction to opera by this national award-winning program. The 28 programs were performed by a dedicated troupe of 15 volunteers.
  • High School Vocal Competition: Through underwriting from the Norma J. Ross Youth Foundation, the Guild awarded $1,350 in prize money to three finalists.  Judges were Minnita Daniel-Cox, Assistant Professor of Voice and Coordinator of Voice Studies at the University of Dayton; Dr. Andrea Chenoweth Wells, University of Dayton Voice Instructor; and Sarah Bucher, a private voice teacher.
  • Tri-State College Vocal Competition (TSCVC): The Guild awarded $5,000 to five finalists pared by preliminary judges from an initial 27 applicants from Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. This event is supported in part by the Guild’s Remembrance Fund.  Final judges were Tom Bankston, Artistic Director of Dayton Opera; Myra Merritt, international opera singer and voice instructor; and Dr. Denise Ritter-Bernardini, international opera singer and voice instructor.    

Fund Raising and Special Events:

  • BRAVO! 2017: This classic Champagne Brunch and Fashion Show were chaired by Barbara Stewart Bostick. Guests were entertained at Sinclair’s Ponitz Center. The fashions were provided by GET DRESSED of Oakwood. Community Models competed for the title of “BRAVO! Model of the Year.”  Proceeds exceeded $23,130.
  • “Singin’ in the Rain: Opera Ball 2018 orchestrated by this year’s chair Kathy Thornburg, was an exciting evening held at the new Dayton Main Metro Library.  It was a glittering evening replete with laughter and liveliness, including silent and live auctions and dancing to the big band sound of the Bob Gray orchestra.  Of special note were the dance segments orchestrated by Barbara Haller, Arthur Murray Dance Center (AMDC). Another key highlight of the evening was a romantically sung performance by Artist-in-Residence Michael Anderson. Net proceeds of $50,110 were realized.
  • Boutique: Chair Nancy Farkas was supported by a dedicated sales staff of Guild members that included Rosalie Jennings and Dana Kane. The Boutique sold a wide variety of “must have items” in the lobby of the Schuster Center before and during intermission of every opera performance.  Items were also available to purchase at our Annual Membership Luncheon and BRAVO! Fashion Show.  Boutique netted $1,856.
  • Membership Luncheon: Our 55th annual Membership Luncheon, chaired by Margarete Jennings, was held at Moraine Country Club. The luncheon was a harbinger of spring and created an atmosphere of lighthearted fun and shared a common interest in operatic music.  The food was delicious and lovely prizes were awarded.  The Dayton Opera’s Artists-In-Residence performed beautifully.
  • Stars of Tomorrow Luncheon: This annual luncheon preceded the Tri-State College Vocal Competition and was held at Moraine Country Club with Helen Miller as chair.  Following the luncheon, the Competition was held at the Kettering Seventh Day Adventist Church.  A reception followed the Competition where refreshments were provided by Susan Herman and her daughter.
  • Garden Party 2018: Barbara and Tim Haller hosted the Guild’s 26th annual Garden Party at their home on Sunday,  June 26. The weather could not have been more perfect–sunny skies and comfortable temperatures. Everyone gathered around the azure pool to mix and mingle. Many wandered the extensive gardens filled with colorful blossoms and shady trees. It was a relaxed and beautiful setting for a light dinner buffet followed by a sweets extravaganza.
  • Annual Meeting: An elegant brunch was served at Dayton Country Club on June 13 preceding the 54th Annual Meeting. The Friend of the Year Award was presented to Jenell Ross who has continued to support the Guild generously in the tradition of her mother, Norma J. Ross.  The BRAVO! Award was presented to Pam Eyink for her many years of dedicated service to Dayton Opera. Dolores Anderson and Nancy Farkas presented a PowerPoint program showing highlights of the many Guild events and accomplishments throughout the year. The Guild surpassed the $2.1 million mark in contributions to Dayton Opera since the year 2000–a monumental feat! The members present adopted the 2018-2019 budget and voted for three new board members.
  • Party With A Purpose: Party With A Purpose Dayton, a non-profit organization was originally created under the Rotary International Organization. Now it is an independent organization whose goal is to bring younger, as well as more experienced, professionals together to socialize, network and provide mentorship opportunities while raising funds for a good cause. They hosted the Opera Guild at Cocos on June 27. Penny Wolff showcased the Guild’s many programs and made new friends for Opera. The proceeds of $282 for the evening have been designated for the TSCVC.

Marketing and Communications:

  • Opera Notes: This past year the Guild published fewer full-color issues of its newsletter which is distributed to Guild members, Dayton Opera Season subscribers, schools and libraries. However, Opera Notes had a new editor, Heather Martin, and a new look starting with the Spring 2017 edition. We are back to four issues per year.
  • The Guild’s web page features information about who we are, our events, educational programs, vocal competitions and more. The site averages 1,000+ views per month. Access to our Membership Application, event reservations, general donations or the Remembrance Fund gifts can be made at the site. OVI awarded a $1,500 matching technical grant to be used for the Guild’s website and social media enhancement.
  • e-NotesUsing MailChimp to blast news to Guild members has kept them informed on up-to-the-minute advisories or events.
  • Promotional Events: A marketing table was set up next to the Guild’s Boutique at each Dayton Opera performance, at BRAVO! and at the Membership Luncheon to focus on upcoming Guild events and to provide information about membership.

Stay in touch with the Guild

Guild members with e-mail receive e-Notes, our electronic newsletter with current information and updates. If you are not receiving it, please contact Suzanne Crippen at 937/885-6204. In addition, Guild members receive an award-winning quarterly newsletter, Opera Notes.

Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are currently needed to assist in making sandwiches and cookies for the cast and crew on the Monday prior to opening night of an opera. This is a very long rehearsal day for everyone and the refreshments are sincerely appreciated. If you can help, please e-mail Betty Holton, managing vice president of special events/hospitality, at or call 937/885-4357.

The Guild has a robust schedule for our educational programs and is looking for new volunteers to assist. Contact Nora Stang at 937/832-3713 or for Opera Marionettes or Linda Rountree at 937/429-1503 or for Children’s Traveling Opera.

Ushers are needed for dress rehearsals on the Wednesday prior to opening night of an opera. Contact Betty Holton at 937/885-4357 or

Volunteers can assist Dr. David Sievers at the High School Vocal Competition scheduled for March 23, 2019. Duties include the reception desk, escorting students to rehearsal areas, feeding the judges and volunteers and more. Contact Dr. Sievers at 937/542-9460 or

The Marketing Team is looking for writers and a content coordinator for Opera Notes, assistance with social media and the website, oversight at the Marketing Table at Dayton Opera performances and public speakers.