More than 700 individuals dedicate countless hours and endless energy to support the success of UMS. Between performance ushers, singers in the UMS Choral Union, student interns, and the people who help oversee and implement UMS programs, it’s estimated that volunteers donate over 45,000 hours a year in support of UMS. A diverse range of volunteer opportunities are available.

When deciding if and where to volunteer, consider activities that not only fulfill an organization’s needs, but are also meaningful to you. Do you have a skill or talent that you could lend as a volunteer? Or, do you want to try something new and different? Please see below for the array of UMS volunteer opportunities.

  • Advisory Committee
  • The purpose of the Advisory Committee is to advance the goals of UMS, champion UMS’s mission through community engagement, provide and secure financial support, and assist in countless other ways as UMS ambassadors.

    If you are passionate about arts advocacy and have a desire to connect with our organization on a deep level, the Advisory Committee may be a great match for you.  More than 70 Advisory Committee members work to increase awareness of and participation in UMS programs through ushering at UMS School Day performances, hosting the annual Ford Honors Gala, helping UMS staff with projects and events, and creating partnerships with various U-M and community groups.

    Members serve a three-year term, which may be extended for an additional three years by invitation of the Chair of the Advisory Committee. Membership recruitment begins in January, and new members join in June. To learn more, please contact Cindy Straub at 734/647-8009 or cstraub@umich.edu.

  • Publicity Operations/Signage Team (POST)
  • UMS’s newest community volunteer program is “Publicity Operations/Signage Team” or POST. If you love seeing live performing arts events and have a few extra hours to spare to help UMS post flyers in the downtown Ann Arbor area, this program is perfect for you!

    Here’s how it works:

    • Sign up for the e-mail list to receive information about upcoming POST events.
    • Volunteer to POST for an event and take posters to local businesses, filling out a checklist that will be provided.
    • Return your checklist to UMS by the designated date and receive two complimentary tickets.
    • Enjoy the performance!

    If you’d like to join the POST team and earn a pair of free tickets to select performances on the 2014-2015 season, please contact Truly Render at trender@umich.edu or 734-647-4020.

  • Student Committee
  • The UMS Student Committee is an official U-M student organization dedicated to keeping the campus community connected to the performing arts via UMS performances. This group is responsible for planning and executing Dig In With UMS, a package that includes a performance ticket, a pre-show dinner featuring food from the artist’s region of the world, and a fun activity. The group also works together to envision, create, and implement integrated marketing campaigns on campus to promote UMS. This is the perfect committee to join if you are a U-M student who is interested in gaining mentored resume-building experiences in marketing, public relations, event planning, programming, and special events. UMS Student Committee members have a deep love for the performing arts and many have found that the committee is a really satisfying, social way to stay connected to them throughout their college career—especially since they rack up volunteer “points” that can be redeemed for free tickets to select UMS performances.

    For more information on how to become involved, contact umsscboard@umich.edu.

  • Choral Union
  • Led by Grammy Award-winning conductor and music director Jerry Blackstone, the 175-voice UMS Choral Union Union is known for its definitive performances of large-scale works for chorus and orchestra. Formed by a group of local university and townspeople who gathered together for the study of Handel’s Messiah, the UMS Choral Union has performed with many of the world’s distinguished orchestras and conductors in its 135-year history.

    Participation in the UMS Choral Union remains open to all students and adults by audition. Auditions for the 2014-2015 season will be held Monday, August 25 and Monday, September 8. For more information explore UMS Choral Union opportunities online, call 734-763-8997, or send an e-mail to choralunion@umich.edu.

  • Ushering
  • UMS volunteer ushers play a vital role in the audience experience. Typical tasks include greeting patrons, distributing programs, tearing tickets, directing patrons to seats, addressing disturbances and distractions, and assisting patrons with special needs.


    New usher orientation sessions are held twice annually for new volunteer ushers, in September and January.

    All new volunteers interested in ushering for the 2014-2015 season (including those who have not ushered since May 2012) must attend one orientation session to be eligible. Registration is required. Details and sign up.

    Returning Ushers from the 2013-2014 season do not need to attend an in-person orientation session, although an online training presentation must be completed.

    Contact Front-of-House Assistant Ellen Miller at ellenrm@umich.edu with questions.

    For active ushers

    Access VSP

    Active ushers can submit suggestions via the UMS Usher Corps Suggestion Form.


  • Volunteer Form