Former Guild president honored with Fishburn Award

The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival recently honored a local resident for outstanding service and dedication to the festival. William Ballance of Woodstock received the Fishburn Award on Sept. 21 during an SVMF Guild luncheon at Cave Ridge Vineyard. Ballance is a former president and longtime member of the SVMF Guild, a fundraising arm of SVMF.

Ever since the Fishburn Award was established in 1987, SVMF has named a recipient at the close of each concert season, which runs from mid-July to Labor Day Weekend. The award was named after John Fishburn, who served as SVMF’s resident manager/executive director from 1973 to 1977 and SVMF’s president from 1978-1980.

“Bill’s association with the Festival is long-standing, primarily through the SVMF Guild,” said SVMF Board Chairwoman Leigh Devier, just before presenting Ballance with the award. “In its history, the Guild has raised more than $210,000 for the festival. In Bill’s three terms as Guild president, he holds the distinction of raising more funds than any other Guild president.”

In addition to Ballance’s service to the festival, he is also known for his work as a pastor at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Mount Jackson and St. James Lutheran Church at Hudson Cross Roads in the 1970s and 1980s. In his retirement, he was involved with a tent-making ministry and served at various Lutheran churches in Shenandoah County. He also worked part time as a highly regarded waiter for several well-known area restaurants, including the Hamilton in Woodstock, the Edinburg Mill Restaurant, Lucio’s Restaurante Italiano at Bryce Resort and the River’d Inn in Toms Brook, and as a night auditor at the former Ramada Inn of Woodstock.


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