Membership is open to all interested women and membership represents all of Northwest Indiana and beyond. The amount of dues paid shall be defined on the membership form. Membership dues for are $35 per person. Dues are payable each year on June 1 for inclusion in the following fiscal year's membership directory. All shall be encouraged to purchase Symphony season tickets. Each dues paying member shall have one vote at membership meetings. There is one general business meeting in June of each year to which the general membership is invited and encouraged to attend to know what is going on. An annual report of activities is given by the president and officers for the new year are presented and elected.


At present we have approximately 120 members.  Other than the one general membership meeting, all membership entails is being willing to volunteer. When becoming a member and filling out the membership form, there are suggestions a person may check to indicate where they would like to help. Some ways to help are with mailings for the various events,  helping with some events by being on committees- decorating, being a hostess, etc. Some members just attend concerts and spread the word about our great orchestra. We are happy for that too! We have one or two get-together parties a year. There is a annual holiday luncheon for the full membership.


To become a member:

     * call the symphony office at (219) 836-0525 x206


There is a Board of Directors governing the fund-raising events and the volunteer opportunities of WANISS. The board meets once a month from September to June and is subject to called meetings if necessary. There are, at present, two main events that are regularly scheduled: The Festival of Trees luncheon featuring designer-invited tree displays held at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts; a May Wine brunch, lately featuring a hat and handbag contests open to all attendees at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza. Other fund-raising events that could occur in the near future are receptions before or after concerts honoring guest performers, Antique Appraisal Fairs, and Salons highlighting different musical instruments.



Volunteers are ALWAYS needed throughout the year at the many Educational Events offered to the community. These events usually need ushers- you need only to give some of your time to help promote music to many of the school groups, and such programs as "Toot 'N Doodle" where school children come to the Center for Visual and Performing Arts and are introduced to the various instruments of the orchestra to encourage them to, perhaps, play one someday. These are very rewarding activities that only take a few hours to do and make one feel like they have contributed to a very worthy cause. The Edith Root Youth Scholarship is one of the special events of WANISS. Edith Root was instrumental in developing our Youth Orchestra and, in her honor and memory, this scholarship was developed through donations. Each spring, at the youth concert, several students are presented with a scholarship to go to a summer music camp of their choosing. All members of the orchestra are eligible to apply and a committee from WANISS makes a selection(s). The number of scholarships given varies from year-to-year depending on the amount of money currently in the fund. For information on WANISS events please contact the symphony office at (219) 836-0525.



Mission Statement
The Women's Association shall act as a subsidiary of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Society. It shall pledge annual financial support, and promote Symphony activities. It shall foster music appreciation and education. 


Organized in Gary in 1962, the Women's Association launched the organization with receptions after concerts, fashion shows and held meetings with musical programs. Activities to benefit the orchestra financially were developed and, in 1975, they became the Women's Association of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Society (WANISS). WANISS provides opportunities for members to organize major fundraising projects as well as assist in the area of music education.

A variety of events have evolved throughout the years to financially benefit the Northwest Indiana Symphony Society (NISS). To promote musical education, the Edith Root Youth Scholarship Fund was established to provide summer music camp experiences to Youth Orchestra members. This subsidiary of NISS is an affiliate of the Volunteer Council of the League of American Orchestras with an emphasis on strengthening and enriching the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra which performs seasonally at the Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville and at the Auditorium at Bethel Church in Crown Point. The Symphony is now in its 75th season and June 2016 marks the 54th anniversary of the Women's Association.


Long Range Planning
The WANISS long range strategy focuses on:

    * Media
    * Audience development
    * Long term financial perspective


WANISS Board of Directors


Marti Ross

Vice President Administration
Linda Bartochowski

Vice President Membership
Jeanette N. Giragos

Vice President Marketing
Mary K. Stark

Vice President Development
Belinda Potoma

Vice President Education
Anne-Marie Kuczora
Recording Secretary
Anna Rominger

Corresponding Secretary
Marie Russo

Joy Black

Linda Eisenhauer

Immediate Past President
Christine Small



Board of Directors

Susan Arnold
Cindy Ault
Karen Baumann
Sandy Becker
Joy Reed Black |
Leona Bonich
Kathy Fesenmyer
Chella Gambetta
Jill Hayhurst
Camille S. Mann
Lois K. Mitchell
Constance Neal
Tresa Radermacher
Mary Ellen Ryan
Charlene Tsoutsouris
Lisa Tyree
Babs Zandstra