Our first E-News of 2021 honors Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a story by John DeMain featuring eight Black and African-American composers. Another highlight is Madison Symphony Orchestra League’s next MSOL Connect event that takes place on January 28th. This free virtual presentation is a round table discussion about our our education programs with John DeMain, Kathryn Schwarzmann and Kyle Knox. Other topics this month include virtual performances and links to the Madison/Dane County MLK Day Observance (see upcoming events).

John DeMain Shares Selections from Black and African-American Composers

Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a spotlight on Black and African-American composers of classical music. Music Director John DeMain shares reflections and discoveries. The story opens with Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, who was a contemporary of Mozart, and continues with Florence Price, William Grant Still, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, George Walker, William Dawson, and Wynton Marsalis. 

Read more.

Register Now!
MSOL Connect: The Evolution of the MSO Education Program

Thursday, January 28 at 7:00 p.m.

MSOL Connect is a series of FREE one-hour online events originally created for MSOL members only — but this month, we’re opening the event up to the general public! Join us on January 28 as we into the past and future of the MSO’s nationally-recognized Education and Community Engagement Programs in a conversation with with Music Director John DeMain, Education Director Kathryn Schwarzmann, and Associate Conductor Kyle Knox. This is your opportunity to learn about developments and new initiatives planned for the Symphony’s existing programs, how diversity will play a bigger role in MSO education efforts, how the education programs are surviving and thriving during the pandemic, and more. Spots are limited!

Learn more and register by January 26!

Other Recent News & Stories

Watch Now: Greg Zelek’s 20/21 Organ Season Premiere
Back by popular demand — no registration required!

In October, we launched our virtual 20/21 Organ Season with a streamed performance featuring Greg Zelek, Principal Organist and Elaine and Nicholas Mischler Curator of the Overture Concert Organ. Due to popular demand, we’re extending access to stream this concert for FREE! Experience the performance for the first time, or relive the moments. The concert runs for just under one hour. No registration is necessary! Visit our website to watch the concert.


A Virtual Madison Symphony Christmas 2020

The free streamed concert in December 2020 featured vocalists Kyle Ketelsen and Emily Secor, The Madison Symphony Chorus, Madison Youth Choirs, and Mt. Zion Gospel Ensemble, with performances and accompaniment by John DeMain and Greg Zelek. We appreciate everyone who watched this virtual presentation and the many people who also donated! View photos.



Subscriber Options for Spring 2021 Tickets

All 2020-2021 Season Subscribers have been provided three options for handling their spring subscription payments: (1) receive a full refund of their payment, (2) receive a partial refund and donate the balance to the Musicians’ Relief Fund, or (3) donate their entire spring ticket payment to the Musicians’ Relief Fund. We would like to thank those who have opted to donate all or some of their ticket payment. Subscribers have until March 8, 2021 to inform us, via web form or phone, of their preferred option. After March 8, any non-refunded payments will be treated as donations to the Musicians’ Relief Fund. In addition to donated ticket payments, outright donation can still be made to the Musicians’ Relief Fund.



Save the Date: Concert on the Green
Monday, June 21, 2021

We are hoping for brighter days, both literally and figuratively, this summer! We especially hope that June 21, 2021 will be one of the brightest days of the summer! Join us that day to celebrate summer and support the Madison Symphony Orchestra at the 27th Annual Concert on the Green. Highlights include a daytime golf tournament featuring Honorary Golf Chair Mike Leckrone, plus a cocktail hour and a gourmet picnic dinner in a magical setting overlooking Lake Mendota. In the evening, enjoy a concert featuring members of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, a guest conductor appearance by Mike Leckrone, and a special performance by a finalist of The Final Forte 2021!

Individual reservations will open in the spring, but visit madisonsymphony.org/cog to learn more about the golf tournament, sponsorship opportunities, and more.


Upcoming Community Events and Virtual Resources


Read New ArtsScene Magazine

Check out the all new ArtsScene Magazine, by Footlights. Sponsored by UW Credit Union, this digital magazine features local and national arts editorial, visual and performing arts submissions, event listings, and so much more! Support the arts and read the first issue today! Read and subscribe here.



Official Madison/Dane County MLK Day Observance
TONIGHT — Monday, January 18

The 36th annual event will take place virtually on Monday, January 18, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. This annual observance includes presentation of the MLK Humanitarian Award, and MLK Community Choir led by Leotha Stanley. The event will be emceed by Angela Fitzgerald, who hosts Wisconsin Life on Wisconsin Public Television. Learn more and join in the celebration.

Just Bach
Wednesday, January 20

Just Bach is a monthly concert series featuring MSO Musicians that celebrates the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. This month’s free concert also stars guests Kangwon Kim on violin, Bruce Bengtson on organ, and Sarah Brailey on cello and as soprano. Learn more and watch the performance.


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