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Welcome to the MSOL's 2018 Parties of Note, the twelfth in our series of themed parties to benefit the Madison Symphony Orchestra. Once again we have activities, menus and venues to appeal to a wide variety of interests and tastes. Due to last year’s demand we have increased the number of parties and have repeats of some of the most popular parties from previous years.
This year’s party lineup features well-known hosts, behind-the-scenes venues, outdoor adventures, musical entertainment, and more. And, of course, with all our parties you will enjoy fabulous food and the comradery of your fellow music enthusiasts.
The Madison Symphony Orchestra League and the Madison Symphony Orchestra are most grateful to our Party Hosts/Sponsors for their generous support and participation in this project. All proceeds will be used for the Education and Community Engagement activities of the Madison Symphony Orchestra.
Online registration opens Friday, January 19 at 10:00 a.m.!
2 Ways to Register:
  • Online
    Review the list of parties below, then register for each party you wish to attend by clicking on the party name or registration button and filling out the registration form on the page that follows.
  • Mail Your Reservation Form
    Reservation forms are found in the back of your Parties of Note Passport. Please include a check payable to MSOL and mail both items to: Jessica Yehle, 6710 Colony Drive, Madison, WI 53717-1125
You may make reservations for as many events as you wish. All parties are limited in the number of guests and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline for reservations is two weeks prior to the date of the event except where noted, but early reservations are highly recommended since all parties quickly sold out last year. Approximately two weeks before the party you will receive directions and parking information.
Please review the exciting parties below, plan your itinerary and make your reservations early, as space is limited!
2018 Parties
Behind the Scenes at NBC 15
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 | 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
615 Forward Drive, Madison
Sold out! Click here to join the wait list.
This is your chance to tour the new 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.
Hosts: Linda and Andy Abelman, NBC 15
Dress: Casual
$60 per person ($35 tax deductible). Limited to 22 guests.
Amazing Chord Murder Mystery Dinner
Saturday, March 24, 2018 | 6 - 9 p.m.
5090 Reynolds Avenue, Westport
Sold out! Click here to join the wait list.
MSO President Elaine Mischler has created a mystery for music lovers. Join the faculty of the “Academy of the Amazing Chord” for cocktails and dinner. All attendees are involved in shadiness as they vie to win the prize for the most Amazing Chord. By the end of the evening someone is MURDERED. All guests play a part and one of them is the murderer. All receive a personal character sketch to guide their part. At the end of the evening the group figures out “Who done it?”
Menu: C Major Salad, B Flat Beef, Pentatonic Dessert
Hosts: Elaine and Nick Mischler
Dress: According to Character
$125 per person ($60 tax deductible). Limited to 20 guests.
Wisconsin Institute for Discovery: Behind the Scenes
Monday, March 26, 2018 | 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
1300 University Avenue, Madison
Sold out! Click here to join the wait list.
WID Director Jo Handelsman will lead a tour including secure areas of the privately funded Morgridge Institute for Research and the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. Dr. Handelsman shares her knowledge and insights regarding how the Institutes contribute to the advancement of science and to our community. After the tour, we will gather at Steenbock’s on Orchard for conversation and refreshments.
Menu: Hors d’oeuvres, Cash bar
Hosts: Judy and Nick Topitzes, Jo Handelsman
Dress: Casual
$60 per person ($25 tax deductible). Limited to 20 guests.
Maple Bluff Historic Walking Tour
Saturday, April 14, 2018 | 1 - 3 p.m.
Governor’s Residence | 99 Cambridge Road, Maple Bluff
Sold out! Click here to join the wait list.
Enjoy a guided, historic walking tour in Maple Bluff with refreshments and socializing afterwards inside a 100-year-old, iconic historic home. The Madison Trust for Historic Preservation’s 75-minute exterior tour will focus on Cambridge Road’s rich variety of architectural styles, prominent Madison architects, and the people who created these outstanding homes. (Rain date: Sunday, April 15)
Menu: Light hors d’oeuvres, wine, soft drinks
Hosts: Teri Venker, Peggy Hedberg, David and Joy Rice, Darlene and Norm Olson
Dress: Casual
$60 per person ($25 tax deductible). Limited to 24 guests.
Meet the Mighty Klais
Friday, May 4, 2018 | 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Stage Door, Overture Hall | North Henry Street, Madison
Sold out! Click here to join the wait list.
The mighty Klais pipe 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 new 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 after Greg "pulls out all the stops!"
Menu: Light hors d’oeuvres, coffee, soft drinks
Hosts: Janet and Scott Cabot, Jessica and Jim Yehle
Dress: Casual
$70 per person ($35 tax deductible). Limited to 20 guests.
Pheasant Branch Conservancy
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 | 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
6767 Frank Lloyd Wright Avenue, Madison
Sold out! Click here to join the wait list.
Enjoy a walk through a beautiful nature preserve in Middleton with expert guides who will identify and explain the varied flora and fauna thriving in this protected area. You will also learn about prairie restoration techniques and the ongoing maintenance of the conservancy. Following your walk, you are invited to enjoy lunch on the terrace of Gardd Parc in Middleton Hills. (Rain date: Tuesday, May 22)
Menu: Cruditiés and cheeses, poached salmon, ham and asparagus quiche, salad greens, wine and iced tea
Host: Janine Edwards
Dress: Casual
$65 per person ($35 tax deductible). Limited to 24 guests.
Full Moon Over Monona
Tuesday, June 26, 2018 | 5:30 - 9:30 p.m.
5005 Tonyawatha Trail, Monona
Almost full!
Celebrate the full moon on the waters of Lake Monona. Two deck-boats will be waiting to take you for a late afternoon cruise on the lake, followed by a gourmet dinner at the summer house and then an evening cruise to watch the full moon rise over Monona. (Rain date: dinner will be held as scheduled on June 26; boat ride delayed to Friday, June 29)
Menu: Drinks, hors d’oeuvres on the cruise; gourmet picnic dinner in the summer house; chocolates and liqueurs by moonlight
Hosts: Nancy and Ed Young, Michael and Linda Lovejoy, Patty and Dan Schultz, Dan Poirier and Kari Schlimgen
Dress: Casual
$125 per person ($40 tax deductible). Limited to 14 guests.
The Secret Garden
Wednesday, June 27, 2018 | 2 - 4:30 p.m.
Garden: 308 North Blair Street, Madison
Home: 100 Wisconsin Avenue, Madison
Sold out! Click here to join the wait list.
If you are a gardener or just love gardens, you won’t want to miss seeing Fred and Nancy Risser’s hidden urban oasis and learn about what has been planted there from Steve Lesch of Landscape Designs, Inc, who worked with the Rissers to create the garden in what was a vacant lot; his knowledge of plants is second to none! Afterwards we’ll head to the Rissers’ beautiful condo overlooking the Capitol for light refreshments (Rain date: June 28, 2018)
Menu: Fruits, cheese and crackers, desserts, sparkling water, lemonade, wine, bottled water at the garden
Hosts: Nancy and Fred Risser, Janet and Scott Cabot
Dress: Casual
$55 per person ($35 tax deductible). Limited to 18 guests.
Historic Tour of Lake Monona
Tuesday, August 7, 2018 | 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Law Park Ramp (just west of Monona Terrace), Madison
Sold out! Click here to join the wait list.
Back by popular demand! Join David Mollenhoff, noted Madison historian and author, for a memorable adventure aboard the Pontoon Porch. As we travel along the shoreline of Lake Monona, David will point out places of interest and regale us with tales from Madison’s past. Refreshments will be served on board. (Rain date: Tuesday, August 28)
Menu: Bountiful buffet of hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer, bottled water and soft drinks
Hosts: Marilyn and Jim Ebben, Cathy Buege, Carolyn White
Dress: Casual
$80 per person ($40 tax deductible). Limited to 30 guests.
Backstage at American Players Theatre
Sunday, August 12, 2018 | 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
APT, Golf Course Road, Spring Green
Sold out! Click here to join the wait list.
Curious about what happens behind the scenes at APT? Here is your chance to find out how things work at “America’s finest classical theater.” You’ll tour the newly renovated Up the Hill stage and see firsthand where actors prepare, how sets are stored between performances and have a chance to declaim your own soliloquy from the stage, followed by a picnic supper at one of APT’s shelters. Guests have the option of buying their own tickets to the evening performances.
Menu: Summer picnic supper, wine, other beverages
Hosts: American Players Theatre, Terry Haller
Dress: Casual
$70 per person ($30 tax deductible). Limited to 30 guests.
It’s Magic!
Tuesday, August 21, 2018 | 7 - 9 p.m.
7697 Moraine Ridge Rd, Middleton
Enjoy an entertaining evening of amazing magic with a professional magician at his Wright-inspired craftsman home overlooking a lush Ice Age Trail landscape. With welcome drink in hand, mingle with other guests as he first performs close-up sleight-of-hand, followed by more marvelous magic in the game room downstairs.
Menu: Assorted desserts, fruits and cheeses, sparkling and still wine, water, coffee and tea
Hosts: Bob and Gail Braier, Susan Lee and Peter Rodgers
Dress: Casual
$85 per person ($40 tax deductible). Limited to 24 guests.
Old Executive Residence and Ole Bull
Thursday, September 6, 2018 | 5 - 7 p.m.
130 East Gilman Street, Madison
Sold out! Click here to join the wait list.
From 1883-1950 this home served as the governor’s residence, housing 17 Wisconsin governors. Tour this beautiful 1854 Italianate home (now restored as the Governor’s Mansion Inn), while violinist Peter Sheppard Skaerved plays works of Ole Bull. Skaerved is an expert interpreter of Ole Bull. Bull, a world-renowned Norwegian virtuoso violinist and composer, married the daughter of the home owners, and they lived there 10 years. Mr. Skaerved will bring Ole Bull back to life with his captivating knowledge and musicianship.
Menu: Light hors d’oeuvres, wine, juice
Hosts: David Waugh and Bob Klebba, Rosemarie Blancke, Audrey Dybdahl, Ellen Dybdahl Smithback, Ledell Zellers and Simon Anderson
Dress: Dressy Casual
$100 per person ($50 tax deductible). Limited to 30 guests.
Saturday, October 13, 2018 | 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
1610 Hidden Hill Drive, Verona
Oktoberfest is as much a Wisconsin tradition as it is in Germany. And beer and brats are the quintessential Oktoberfest drinks and food. There are many wine and cheese tastings around town but how often have you been to a beer and brat tasting? Join Steve and Katie Reuhl who will offer a wide variety of beers and sausages for you to taste as we celebrate the harvest. Enjoy our local products while mingling with others. This is an away game day for Badger Football.
Menu: Assortment of bratwurst and beer
Hosts: Steve and Katie Reuhl
Dress: Casual
$50 per person ($30 tax deductible). Limited to 20 guests.
A Soirée of Song
Thursday, October 25, 2018 | 7 - 9 p.m.
431 Farwell Drive, Maple Bluff
Sold out! Click here to join the wait list.
Spend an intimate musical evening in the lovely Maple Bluff home of Katie and Doug Reuhl. Step back in time to an era where singers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, and Sarah Vaughn were household names. Vocalist Susan Lee will perform a selection of jazz and Broadway standards from the 1920's to today — Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael, Richard Rodgers, Steven Sondheim and more!
Menu: Hors d’oeuvres, desserts, beverages
Hosts: Katie and Doug Reuhl, Ann Lindsey and Chuck Snowdon
Dress: Dressy Casual
$80 per person ($35 tax deductible). Limited to 20 guests.
Date, time, and location of your choice
Don’t rent a tux! Don’t hire a babysitter!
Stay home, relax, and let your imagination take over.
Menu: Any or all of your favorite foods and beverage(s) of your choice
Host: Just you and yours
Dress: Casual (pajamas and slippers okay)
Tax-deductible contribution of your choice.
No guest limitations.
Click here to make a contribution.


Linda and Andy Abelman ♦ American Players Theatre ♦ Rosemarie Blancke ♦ Bob and Gail Braier ♦ Catherine Buege ♦ Janet and Scott Cabot ♦ Audrey Dybdahl ♦ Marilyn & Jim Ebben ♦ Janine Edwards ♦ Terry Haller ♦ Jo Handelsman ♦ Peggy Hedberg ♦ Susan Lee and Peter Rodgers ♦ Ann Lindsey and Chuck Snowdon ♦ Linda and Michael Lovejoy ♦ Madison Trust for Historic Preservation ♦ Elaine and Nick Mischler ♦ NBC 15 ♦ Darlene and Norman Olson ♦ Dan Poirier and Kari Schlimgen ♦ Pontoon Porch ♦ Katie and Doug Reuhl ♦ Katie and Steve Reuhl ♦ Joy and David Rice ♦ Nancy and Fred Risser ♦ Patti and Dan Schultz ♦ Ellen Dybdahl Smithback ♦ Judy and Nick Topitzes ♦ Teri Venker ♦ David Waugh and Bob Klebba ♦ Carolyn White ♦ Jessica and Jim Yehle ♦ Nancy and Ed Young ♦ Ledell Zellers and Simon Anderson