The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Community participation is vital to the arts. The Madison Symphony Orchestra elects new officers and directors. And it plans a special gala fundraising dinner for the public on Friday, Sept. 20, to mark the beginning of music director John DeMain’s 20th anniversary season with the MSO.

August 26, 2013
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By Jacob Stockinger

I have nothing really profound or subjective to share  today.

I just want to pass along to two pieces of news from the Madison Symphony Orchestra that I deem worthy of being covered.

The first is that the MSO has elected a new board of directors, including former UW-Chancellor, Provost and engineering professor John Wiley – an amateur pianist and avid classical music fan – as President of the MSO.

I share this press release in the belief that more members of the community need to know how such important cultural institutions depend on participation from the public it serves — from us. Indeed, many of the names, I suspect will be familiar to you from other contexts, whether commercial, educational, artistic, political, social or legal.

Here is the press release:


“The Madison Symphony Orchestra Board recently elected former University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor John Wiley as its Board president along with other officers and new directors to serve a three-year term. The Board consists of 39 elected directors plus several ex-officio directors, who also have voting privileges.

“The following are the newly-elected officers and directors for the 2013-2016 seasons:

President:  John Wiley (below), former chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

John Wiley

Vice President: Elliott Abramson, former law professor

Vice President: Mary Lang Sollinger (below), community leader, fundraiser and volunteer

mary lang sollinger

Vice President: Lynn Stathas, shareholder, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren

Secretary: Anders Yocom (below, in a photo by Jim Gill), music host, Wisconsin Public Radio

anders yocom studio  head shot cr Jim Gill

Treasurer: Jeffrey Ticknor, managing director, BMO Harris Bank

Directors, newly elected are:

Darrell Behnke, market leader, The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank

Rosemarie Blancke, vice president, Madison Symphony Orchestra League; life member, Max Kade Institute

Lorrie Keating-Heineman, director of development, University of Wisconsin Foundation; former secretary, Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions

Gary Mecklenburg, executive partner, Waud Capital Partners, L.L.C.

Fred Mohs (below), past president, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Inc.; partner, Mohs, MacDonald, Widder, Paradise and Van Note

Fred Mohs 2008

Beverly Simone (below), president emeritus, Madison Area Technical College

Beverly Simone

Mary Alice Wimmer, former professor of art, University of Wisconsin System; community volunteer

mary alice wimmer

For more information about the Madison Symphony Orchestra Board, its other directors and advisors, visit:

The MSO will mark its 88th concert season in 2013-2014 by celebrating the 20th anniversary of John DeMain as music director.

The Madison Symphony Orchestra (below in Overture Hall) engages audiences of all ages and backgrounds in live classical music through a full season of concerts with established and emerging soloists of international renown, an organ concert series, and diverse educational and community programs. Learn more at:

mso from above

Also important to announce is that a special gala fundraising dinner will be held a week before the opening concert of the season to mark music director and maestro John DeMain’s 20th season with the MSO. (DeMain, who trained at the Juilliard School, came to Madison from the Houston Grand Opera after the retirement of Roland Johnson, who died last year.)

Here is that announcement:


Madison Symphony Orchestra’s Gala on Friday, Sept. 20, at 6 p.m. at the Overture Center will honor its Music Director John DeMain (below, in a photo by Prasad) and his 20 years of musical contributions to the Madison arts scene.

John DeMain full face by Prasad

An elegant evening of gourmet food, music by world-renowned University of Wisconsin-Madison pianist Christopher Taylor (below) and members of the Symphony, and a video tribute will celebrate Grammy and Tony Award-winning maestro John DeMain.


The Madison Symphony Orchestra League and the Madison Symphony Orchestra Board are hosting the Gala, which is open to the public.

Limited seats are available and reservations are due Sept. 9. To learn more and to register, visit:


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