Thursday, November 04, 2004
Years of service crescendo to award
"I like all kinds of music," he said. His taste in music reflects his early home life where his parents, sister and brother enjoyed everything from current pops to symphonic music and opera. Logan is finishing his second term on the Opera Roanoke board, and second term as the board's president.
"When I was on the board before, fortunately I got term limits into the bylaws," he said with a laugh. He's ready to turn the job over. But to cap his many years of service, he has been honored with the Association of Fundraising Professionals' 2004 Giving Tree award. He will receive the award at a luncheon today at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center.
"Lots of other people deserve this more than I do," he said. The award commends his tireless service to Opera Roanoke, and his encouraging others to donate and serve as well.
Logan's wife Laura has served alongside him. She has entertained the entire board for dinner at their Daleville home and is helping out on Opera Roanoke's fund-raising Mardi Gras dinner dance, scheduled for Jan. 15.
Retired from the Roanoke law practice he had with T.L. Plunkett, Logan has worked on the boards of other nonprofits. With his opera interest, however, he carries on the Logan family arts tradition. His late mother, Frances McNulty Logan, was one of the volunteers who helped start the Roanoke Symphony.
How Logan came to the Opera Roanoke board was, like so many significant events, due to a chance for which he was ready.
"A group of us were working on an art museum benefit that started themed around the play, 'Phantom of the Opera.' Then we changed it to real opera, got Judith Clark to play piano for some singers and everyone had a ball. Afterwards, Col. Paul Frantz asked me to be on the board."
One thing the board did was change the name from Southwest Virginia Opera to Opera Roanoke, to give the organization focus, Logan said. "We wanted to make sure we didn't get confused with Virginia Opera, a Richmond group," he said.
"We are a regional company, with audiences who come from a wide radius, including many from Botetourt. In addition we do runouts, taking our productions all over the area, including Lexington, Lynchburg and, on a small scale, to Buchanan.
"A problem we face is that some people seem to have the conception that Opera Roanoke couldn't be good because it's not the Metropolitan Opera in New York. But I'd rather see opera in the Jefferson Center than the Met, because we have intimacy you just cannot get in a huge house."
One outstanding event of his tenure was re-establishing a friends of the opera group called Amici. "We got it up as a separate group, with its own officers and bylaws," Logan said. "It's really been a great help to the entire organization, and anybody with an interest in opera can join."
In addition to doing fund raising, Amici members provide snacks for the singers during opera productions and help with costumes.
Under his leadership the opera started a Web site (www.operaroanoke.org). It offers the story of the opera, opportunities to buy opera memorabilia, and, as of this fall, tickets.
Logan literally lives in his family's history. His ancestors are buried in the Fincastle Presbyterian Church yard. He and his wife, who have three grown children, moved from Springwood to Daleville, having purchased an aunt's home.
But the future is what grabs his interest and attention. Logan led the move to bring in Steven White, an internationally known conductor, as general and artistic director of Opera Roanoke.
Said Logan, "Steven's going to lead Opera Roanoke to great new heights."
Priscilla Richardson's column appears regularly in the Neighbors Botetourt edition.