A Rich History

In 1963, Sue Yager, an Albany resident and principal with the New York City Opera, formed an orchestra support group at the request of the Albany Symphony conductor, Edgar Curtis.

The group’s first project was to raise funds for an acoustical shell for the Symphony, to send the sound of the orchestra out to the audience rather than straight up from the stage to the flyspace above. Sue and her recruits organized three events that generated enough money to buy the shell within one year.

In the years since, Vanguard activities grew to include direct support of the orchestra, concerts, soloists, composers, and musicians, plus a wide array of fundraising events.

The best-known fundraiser is the Designer Showhouse, run annually for 37 years. Top interior and landscape designers, and months of tireless preparation by Vanguard at a magnificent historic or new house, draw paying visitors from many parts of the Capital Region and beyond during the Spring.

Now comes the golf fundraiser, appealing to a different part of the public and raising funds specifically for music education for children and families. The First Annual Golf Tournament in 2017 was a great success, and the Second Annual in 2018 built well on that success, raising more funds and attracting more golfers.

This year, 2019, we have suspended the golf tournament, making the decision to concentrate our efforts on Vanguard’s Showhouse, our 38th.  Visit pages on this website for lots of information about tours, history of the house, the café, Designer Days and more!

Our Leadership

Officers and Directors, 2021-2023

Judith Ciccio


Maureen Geis

Vice President

Marie D. Sturges

Recording Secretary

Reese Satin


Joy Emery

Corresponding Secretary


Marilyn D. Hunter


Diane Davison


Mary Kay Sawyer

Next Steps…

Vanguard is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation supported entirely by private funds