A Partnership Worth Noting

Holy Wisdom Monastery Support Leave a Comment

By Bob Dinndorf, Board of Directors

Parties of Note | Aug. 7, 2022 (see more photos below)

Organizations engage in partnerships to increase the likelihood of each achieving their mission and increasing their reach. The Madison Symphony Orchestra League* (MSOL) is a longtime fund- and friend raising partner of the Madison Symphony. Holy Wisdom Monastery is increasingly extending its hospitality by inviting community groups and individuals to enjoy use of its facilities and expertise.

Holy Wisdom and the MSOL collaborated on a party worth noting, August 7, 2022, when Prairie Vistas and Musical Visions, took place at the monastery. The event was among 15 Parties of Note benefitting the Madison Symphony Orchestra during 2022. This year’s Parties of Note lineup features well-known hosts, behind-the-scenes venues, outdoor adventures, musical entertainment and more. Parties of Note attendees always enjoy fabulous food and informative programs in the company of other music enthusiasts.

Rain restricted enjoyment of the prairie’s vistas. In lieu of the planned prairie walks, Greg Armstrong gave a well-received presentation tracing the Benedictines’ historic care for the earth from 5th century Nursia, Italy to present day Middleton, Wisconsin. Greg and Sylvia Marek then led the approximately 60 attendees on an abbreviated prairie tour. Sylvia also arranged a representative sample of prairie flowers in vases in the gathering space as an option for those wishing to remain indoors.

Following savories and desserts and lively conversation, the guests journeyed to the assembly room for a varied concert of music for organ and piano featuring Madison Symphony organist *Greg Zelek and Saint John’s University pianist and president emeritus, *Robert (Bob) Koopmann, OSB, a longtime favorite of Holy Wisdom audiences. The eclectic program opened with the heartwarming, passionate music of Brahms and concluded with the jazz of church musician Joe Utterback. Fr. Bob described the musical partnership saying “Greg Zelek is rewarding to perform with. He gets to the heart of the message of the music. He listens to his co-musicians. Everything is about bringing the music to life!”

The musical program included:

Johannes BrahmsCapriccio #3 Op. 116Robert Koopmann
Johann Sebastian BachFugue in g minor “The Little”Greg Zelek
Ludovico EinaudiNuvole Bianche (White Clouds)Robert Koopmann
Florence PriceSuite for Organ #1Greg Zelek
Joe UtterbackVisions, Duet for Piano and OrganRobert Koopmann and Greg Zelek

The collaborative musical event certainly paralleled the larger MSOL-HWM partnership effort.

Summarizing the event, Parties of Note program chair Linda Lovejoy, said “I’ve heard from several attendees who enjoyed the party very much and commented on the informative history of the monastery and the prairie. Your gracious hospitality of staff and the ‘outstanding concert’ were all in evidence. Working with you was a delight!”

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