Opera Volunteers International has announced that Marion Pickering Couch, a Nashville Opera Guild member, will receive the prestigious Partners in Excellence Award for her lifetime of work on behalf of Nashville Opera.
“Nashville Opera is thrilled that Opera Volunteers International chose such a worthy volunteer from the Nashville Opera Guild to receive their organization’s highest award,” says General and Artistic Director John Hoomes. “Marion Couch has worked tirelessly to ensure that art and music are such an integral part of our community. We all owe her a debt of gratitude.”
Opera Volunteers International is a non-profit service organization dedicated to stimulating interest, growth, and support of expanding opera in communities worldwide. Since 1994-95, Opera Volunteers International has honored over 80 individuals and groups who have made outstanding contributions to their opera companies and communities. The 2013 recipients of the Partners in Excellence Award will be recognized for their achievements on May 8, 2013 in Vancouver, BC, during the annual OVI Conference.
Couch is a native of Iowa City, Iowa, where she earned her B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Iowa. Although majoring in Romance languages, she also played viola in the University’s symphony. She taught in the university’s Spanish Department, Harpeth Hall, and Watkins Institute. Couch’s language studies were continued in Spain, Mexico, and Venezuela.
She was president of the local American Heart Association and instrumental in originating the Heart Gala with Jane Sadler. She also served as president of Nashville Community Concerts for ten years, bringing operatic events to Nashville. Couch is a life member of the Board of Directors of the Nashville Humane Association, a 2007 Nashville Symphony Volunteer of the Year, and a lifetime board member of the Nashville Symphony League. She is also an honorary member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Educational Society International.
A member of the Nashville Opera Guild since its inception in 1987, Couch has held numerous positions on its board, including the presidency. She has served as secretary of the Nashville Opera Association Board and is currently on the Opera’s Advisory Board. Couch also initiated the Opera Study Club at the Centennial Club, where Hoomes gives informative talks before each opera of the season.
*Photo by Reed Hummell of Marion Couch receiving the Francis Robinson Award at La Bella Notte 2009 courtesy Nashville Opera.