Letter from the LSO Board President

Welcome to the LSO’s 2016–2017 season! What we have in store for you over the coming months is unprecedented—in tradition, innovation and star power. Our 119th Season is indeed a time for celebration, of what the LSO has achieved since its humble beginnings in 1898, and of what is in store for the future. Over the past 10 years, we have created an endowment, increased the skill level, expertise and difficulty of our repertoire and our orchestra, engaged in more community outreach than ever before, and most importantly, we have polished our crown jewel of education and shared it with children and adults all over the La Crosse area. This year, along with continued work in all of our other ventures, it is our goal to launch our Planned Giving – Legacy campaign and meet with the same expectations that our board and community have come to expect.

Planned Giving – Legacy Development offers a wide variety of giving vehicles that will allow our audience members, patrons and donors to give to the LSO during their lifetime and/or after their deaths; it involves contributing one’s assets through wills and estate plans. A planned gift is a gift to the LSO that will enhance our mission and work; it is a lot like planting a tree today so someone can enjoy its shade tomorrow.

Why is that so important, you may ask? I feel the answer goes all the way back to the Greeks:

The first people to understand how music really works were the ancient Greeks; the Greeks said that music and astronomy were two sides of the same coin. Astronomy was seen as the study of relationships between observable, permanent, external objects, and music was seen as the study of relationships between invisible, internal, hidden objects. Music has a way of finding the big, invisible moving pieces inside our hearts and souls and helping us figure out the position of things inside us.

I have come to understand that music is not just part of “arts and entertainment” as some would have us believe. It’s not a luxury, a lavish thing that we fund from leftovers of our budgets, not a plaything or an amusement or a pass time. Music is a basic need of human survival. Music is one of the ways we make sense of our lives, one of the ways in which we express feelings when we have no words, a way for us to understand things with our hearts when we cannot with our minds. Music is an opportunity to see if we can come into harmony with ourselves and be healthy and happy and well.

As you embark upon and enjoy our 119th season of a Symphonic Journey, from New York, to London and Paris, please consider the power and potential of your Planned Giving and the long lasting impact that your Legacy will provide to the work of this incredible organization.

Please … enjoy the concert!


Ken Riley, LSO Board President