2018 MSOL Parties of Note

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2021 MSOL Parties of Note

This year’s Parties of Note include several parties postponed from 2020 as well as some new parties. New registrations for parties carried over from 2020 may be limited since those who previously registered and deferred attendance or donated their places will be given first refusal of rescheduled parties. A waitlist will be available for those interested in registering for parties that have reached capacity. All registration will be online and registration will open closer to the party dates to allow for any changes or cancellations. Please see our FAQ below for more information.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the schedule for 2021 may change depending on the County and State safety measures recommended at the time of each party. Parties will follow all County and State COVID safety measures in place, or recommended, at the time of each party, such as wearing a face mask and social distancing.

The Madison Symphony Orchestra League and the Madison Symphony Orchestra are most grateful to our Party Hosts and Sponsors for their generous support and participation in this project. All proceeds benefit the MSO’s Education and Community Engagement Programs.

November Parties of Note

Registration opens Wednesday, October 6 at 10:00 a.m.

An Enchanted Evening with Harp – NEW
Monday, November 1, 2021
7:00–9:00 p.m.

Enjoy an evening of beautiful harp music by talented MSO harpist, Johanna Wienholts. She will perform a program of solo harp music inspired by Yo-Yo Ma’s “Songs of Comfort.” These include pieces that have provided tremendous personal comfort during turbulent times. The composers include Henriette Renie, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Franz Liszt and Marcel Tourmier. Note: Hosts require that all guests indicate they are fully vaccinated. The venue is not large enough for social distancing. Cost: $65 per person ($30 tax deductible)

“The Wrong Note” Murder Mystery Play and Dinner
Saturday, November 6, 2021
6:00–9:00 p.m.

MSO Past President Elaine Mischler has created a murder mystery dinner with Halloween overtones. Become a participant in the mystery play over cocktails and dinner. All are involved in the shadiness as they learn the consequences of playing “The Wrong Note”. By the end of the evening someone is MURDERED. One of the guests is the murderer. At the end of the evening the group figures out “Who Done It”. All receive a personal character sketch to guide their part. Note: Hosts require that all guests indicate they are fully vaccinated. The venue is not large enough for social distancing and masks will not be worn as guests will need facial expression to portray characters in the murder mystery. Cost: $130 per person ($55 tax deductible)

Meet the Mighty Klais
Saturday, November 13, 2021
9:30–11:30 a.m.

The MSO’s Overture Concert Organ is a striking feature of Overture Hall. It is the largest movable object in any theater in the world, with over 4,000 pipes. Enjoy a backstage tour with the MSO’s Principal Organist and Curator, Greg Zelek, as he shows us the inner workings of the organ. The tour will include on-stage seating where guests will hear Greg show what this magnificent instrument can do. Refreshments will be served in the Audubon Room prior to the tour and performance. Cost: $80 per person ($40 tax deductible)

May Parties of Note

Registration opens Monday, April 5 at 10:00 a.m.
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Historic Homes of Maple Bluff


Wednesday May 19, 2021
5:30–8:00 p.m.

Enjoy a guided walking tour of historic homes in Maple Bluff with refreshments and socializing afterwards in Burrows Park. Madison Trust for Historic Preservation docent Teri Venker will lead the 75-minute exterior tour, focusing on Cambridge Road’s rich variety of architectural styles, prominent Madison architects, and the people who made these outstanding homes possible. (Rain date: Thursday, May 20) Cost: $65 per person ($35 tax deductible)

First Nation Peoples in Madison’s History: Earthen Mounds

Saturday, May 29, 2021
3:00–5:30 p.m.

More than 2000 years ago, First Nation peoples built earthen mounds on the landscape of what is now Dane County. Built in a variety of shapes and sizes, they tell stories about the first inhabitants of the Four Lakes region. Join George W. Christiansen III, President of the Wisconsin Archeological Society, for a guided tour of the mounds at the Mendota Mental Health Institute. Bring your umbrella and sturdy walking shoes. Reception at the historic Herfurth Cottage overlooking Lake Mendota. Cost: $65 per person ($35 tax deductible)

June Parties of Note

Registration opens Monday, May 3 at 10:00 a.m.
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Music in the Governor’s Mansion Inn

Tuesday, June 15, 2021
5:00–7:00 p.m.

This beautiful historic Italianate home was built in 1854 on the shores of Lake Mendota. In 1883 it became the governor’s residence until 1950, housing 18 Wisconsin governors. The mansion was recently refurbished and opened as an inn. In the 1870s the home housed a violinist of international repute. The musical tradition continues with a performance by MSO violinists Tim Kamps and Laura Mericle. Cost: $100 person ($50 tax deductible)

In Harmony with Nature: Ice Age Trail Prairie Walk (SOLD OUT)
Saturday, June 26, 2021
3:00–7:00 p.m.

Harmonize with creation while hiking along a section of the Great Wisconsin Glacier footprint. A nature-lovers delight, these groomed trails offer access to both native Wisconsin prairie and Oak Savannah. Led by Beth Rahko, you’ll travel through a gently rolling landscape on the lookout for early wildflowers, birds and other wildlife. Then, relax and enjoy refreshments with your fellow hikers at a home along the Ice Age Trail. (Rain date, Sunday, June 27) Cost: $65 per person ($40 tax deductible)

Summer Eve Tour of Lake Mendota

Tuesday, June 29, 2021
5:15–7:30 p.m.

Join Don Sanford, author of On Fourth Lake: A Social History of Lake Mendota, on a two-hour tour of Lake Mendota on the Betty Lou. You will see Madison from a new perspective and learn about some of the fascinating people and events that shaped the history of Madison’s largest lake while enjoying fine appetizers and watching the sunset. Cost: $100 per person ($40 tax deductible)

July Parties of Note

Registration opens Tuesday, June 1 at 10:00 a.m.
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Paintings and Perennials

Tuesday, July 6, 2021
5:30–7:30 p.m.

Enjoy the smiles of a summer night among extensive and varied gardens while enjoying heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks. If flowers and the summer night don’t touch your soul then enjoy the hundreds of artworks from the past three centuries that are owned and displayed by Janus Galleries. This will be a delightful summer evening. Cost: $75 per person ($40 tax deductible)

Stroll Through Gardens Past and Present (SOLD OUT)
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
5:00–7:00 p.m.

Gardens are “the slowest of the performing arts”. From its origins as a humble farm house in the Highlands to a family home with a glorious garden full of colors, textures and creative ideas, this house and garden are wonders to behold. Stroll with the two Nancys through the history of the Highlands, the house and the evolution of the garden, from grandmother’s flowers to the latest plant varieties. Cost: $60 per person ($30 tax deductible)

Music and More in Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Airplane House”

Sunday, July 25, 2021
1:30—3:30 p.m.

Built in 1908, this outstanding Madison landmark is rarely open to the public. You will have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful interior architecture and furnishings as your host, Dr. Nan Beyer-Mears, regales you with stories and history of four generations in her family home. A performance by Grace Kim, cellist and winner of The Final Forte 2019, accompanied by her mother, Anna Myeong, will complete this delightful Sunday afternoon experience. Cost: $135 per person ($85 tax deductible)

August Parties of Note

Registration opens Monday, June 28 at 10:00 a.m.
To join Party waitlist(s), please email partiesofnotemso@gmail.com
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An Adventure with Fused Glass I & II (SOLD OUT)
Saturday, August 21, 2021 – I (SOLD OUT)
Sunday, August 22, 2021 – II (SOLD OUT)
4:30–6:30 p.m.

Enjoy refreshments and a fascinating fused glass presentation by fused glass artist, Denis Carey. Learn about the intricate process involved in the making of each piece, and view examples of the breadth of Denis’ work. Then enter his studio where you will create your own fused glass votive which is yours to keep and proudly display in your own home. Hosts require that all guests be fully vaccinated. Cost: $75 per person ($40 tax deductible)

Chamber Music Meets the Beatles!
Sunday, August 29, 2021
3:00–5:00 p.m.

The Lucia String Quartet, an ensemble of musicians from the Madison Symphony Orchestra, has drawn inspiration from Beatles’ songs to create a unique chamber music experience. From “Eleanor Rigby” to “Let it Be” to “Yesterday” enjoy the quartet’s musical performance as well as the view of Madison from the beautiful rooftop Sky Club at Ovation 309. Cost: $90 per person ($45 tax deductible)

Magnificent Monarchs
Monday, August 30, 2021
10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

Internationally-renowned monarch butterfly expert Dr. Karen Oberhauser, Director of the University of Wisconsin Arboretum, will give a talk on the monarch butterfly, its lifecycle, and migration to and from Mexico and then lead a short walk into the Arboretum to see them. Following the hike, head to the nearby home of Emy Andrew to socialize and enjoy a light lunch while classical music inspired by butterflies plays in the background. (Rain date Tuesday, August 31) Cost: $75 per person ($30 tax deductible)

September Party of Note

Registration opens Monday, August 2 at 10:00 a.m.
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Veterans Museum and Music
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
5:00–7:30 p.m.

For over 100 years, the Wisconsin Veterans Museum has shared the stories of our state’s military veterans. Join Secretary of Veterans Affairs Mary Kolar and her husband Scott in a tour of this award-winning museum and research center that chronicles the history-shaping exploits of Wisconsin’s veterans from the Civil War to the present day. After the tour relax with refreshments at the Kolar’s nearby home. Cost: $75 per person ($45 tax deductible)

October Party of Note

Registration opens Friday, September 3 at 10:00 a.m.
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Behind the Scenes at NBC 15
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
5:30–7:30 p.m.

This is your chance to tour the NBC 15 studios — from green room to green screen. Ever wondered what goes into producing a TV newscast? Find out, as you go behind the scenes of a state-of-the-art broadcasting facility. Tour the studios, watch a live broadcast, and meet the news anchors and staff who make the station tick. NBC 15 is a long-time media partner of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and is pleased to support Parties of Note. (Alternate date, October 13.) Cost: $65 per person ($40 tax deductible)

Parties of Note 2021 FAQ

Please read below for answers to common questions you may have about this year’s registration process. If you have further questions, please email partiesofnotemso@gmail.com.

If I was registered for a 2020 Party that was canceled and opted to remain on the guest list, do I have to re-register?

You will need to re-confirm, but not re-register. The liaison for your party will be contacting you to ask whether or not you can attend on the new date before registration opens to the general public and will need your confirmation that you plan to attend. If you can attend, you will be automatically placed on the guest list. If you can’t attend, you will have the option to donate your reservation from 2020 or receive a refund. We have tentative 2021 dates for parties that were canceled in 2020; these dates will be announced approximately 6 weeks in advance of each party to allow flexibility around the pandemic while reducing the need for further rescheduling. 

If I donated my 2020 party registration, am I considered a guest on the rescheduled party?

Party guests who generously donated their registration will be contacted in advance of general registration and offered the opportunity to sign up for the event they donated to that has now been rescheduled. Payment for the actual cost of the party will be due if you choose to attend. The party liaison will let you know the amount. It will be only the actual cost (which is not tax deductible) because you have already donated your original registration. 

I was on the waitlist for a party in 2020, am I still on the waitlist for the rescheduled party?

No. When the 2020 parties were canceled, the waitlists were cleared. If a 2021 party you would like to attend fills before you sign up, you will be able to add yourself to a new waitlist.

When will registration open for the 2021 Parties?

Registration will be opening at the start of each month for all parties in the following month. For example, parties planned for May will open for registration in early April. Watch the MSO website and MSO e-News.

Can I register for all parties I wish to attend at one time?

No. Because registration for each party will be done on a rolling basis to allow for potential schedule changes due to the pandemic, registration for multiple parties at one time may not be possible. Registration will be opened at the start of each month for all parties in the following month.

Will MSOL members have the opportunity to sign up for parties in advance?

No. Because of how we are implementing Parties of Note in 2021, we will not have any advance sign ups. We will bring back this member benefit in 2022 when we hope we can return to our regular roll-out of Parties of Note.

Will face masks be required and social distancing observed at parties?

We will follow County and State COVID safety measures in place, or recommended, at the time of each party.

If Passports won’t be mailed this year how will I sign up for parties?

All registrations will be done online on the Madison Symphony website. Watch this page and the MSO and MSOL e-News for announcements.

Thank you to our 2021 Parties of Note Hosts/Sponsors!

Linda & Andy Abelman
Emy Andrew
Joel & Kathy Belaire
Barbara Berven
Dr. Nan Beyer-Mears
Catherine Buege
Janet & Scott Cabot
Denis Carey
Carey Fused Glass LLC
Lau & Bea Christensen
George Christiansen III
Linda & Bob Graebner
Howard Kidd & Margaret Murphy
Carol Koby
Mary & Scott Kolar
Beth Kubly
Ann Lindsey & Chuck Snowdon
Pete & Jill Lundberg
Madison Trust for Historic Preservation

Nancy & Howard Mead
Elaine & Nick Mischler
Fred & Mary Mohs
Nancy Mohs
NBC 15
Darlene Olson
Ovation 309/Hovde
Christine & John Ramkey
Beth & Peter Rahko
Don & Barb Sanford
Jurate Stewart
Judy Topitzes
Teri Venker
Katie & Ellis Waller
David Waugh & Bob Klebba
Carolyn White
Jessica & Jim Yehle
Greg Zelek