When Stan Inhorn attended his first Cleveland Orchestra young people’s concert in the early 1930s, he had no idea what a tremendous influence that concert would have on his life. Looking back, Stan largely attributes his lifelong enjoyment of classical music – as a violinist and as a listener - to his early youth concert experiences.
While Stan was attending youth concerts in Cleveland, his future wife Shirley was taking piano lessons and teaching herself to play the marimba in her small Iowa hometown. Shirley’s parents were both musically inclined, and while there was no orchestra program at her school, she did play in band and continued her involvement in symphonic band as a student at the University of Iowa.
After meeting in Madison, Stan and Shirley enjoyed attending a series of concerts by the Pro Arte Quartet, and their mutual interest in music sparked a life-long love affair. They settled in Madison and became involved with many cultural organizations, not the least being the Madison Symphony Orchestra. Stan played in the MSO as a violinist for several years in the late '60s and early '70s and has served on the MSO Board since 1985. Shirley was active with the Women's Committee that preceded the Madison Symphony Orchestra League, and has been an active member of the MSOL Board and a volunteer docent as well.
The Inhorns endowed the MSO’s Principal Second Violin chair several years ago and they recently pledged an estate gift of $150,000 to the MSO’s endowment, designated in support of the Up Close & Musical® education program. UC&M, in which a string quartet visits a select group of local elementary schools several times throughout the school year to introduce K-3 students to various musical elements, is provided free-of-charge to participating schools and relies solely on contributed income to operate.
When asked why they have designated their estate gift to support Up Close & Musical®, Stan and Shirley agree that is it critical to expose young students to classical music in order to create future audiences. Especially with so many schools under financial stress and music programs being cut, programs like this may be some students’ only introduction to classical music. They hope their gift will help sustain UC&M so that the MSO can continue to provide this invaluable service to children in our community.
Many thanks, Stan and Shirley, for this tremendous gift!