The Inhorns give generously because they love music and the community.
The inaugural DeMain Award for Outstanding Commitment to Music will be awarded to philanthropists Stan and Shirley Inhorn by the Madison Symphony Orchestra League at its fifth annual gala banquet at the Madison Concourse Hotel on Friday, Sept. 12. Named after music director John DeMain, the annual honor will go to an ardent supporter of the MSO and Madison-based music in general.
Janet Cabot, chair of this year's gala, says the League created the award to honor "longstanding and unwavering support of the League, the Madison Symphony Orchestra and music in the community."
The award is sponsored by CUNA Mutual Foundation, and all proceeds support the MSO's nationally recognized Education and Community Engagement program.
Cabot says the Inhorns are the perfect choice for the 2014 award.
"We could think of no two more worthy individuals to receive the first award," she says. "Music has been a central part of Stan and Shirley's lives, and the Madison area is richer for it thanks to their involvement. They have had a lifelong dedication to music and truly embody what the award stands for."
Stan began his long relationship with the MSO when he became a member of the second-violin section in 1964. He also joined the MSO Board of Directors in 1985. During that time, he was a professor of pathology and preventive medicine at the UW. In addition to being a tireless supporter of local music, he received the Gold Standard in Public Health Laboratory Excellence Award in 2009.
Shirley is trained as a pianist and a biochemist.
"She has been a member of the League for more than 40 years, and both Stan and Shirley have been involved in [its] fundraising events in many different capacities," Cabot says.
The Inhorns also have endowed the MSO's principal second-violin chair and pledged an estate gift to the orchestra's endowment that is designated for the Up Close & Musical education program.
The couple say they give generously because they love music and the community so deeply.
"Although we support numerous worthwhile projects, the satisfaction that we receive from our devotion to classical music is our belief that we are contributing to the quality of life in the greater Madison area. We believe that it is important to develop not only the performers, but also the audiences of the future," the couple stated in an email.
The Inhorns also want to ensure that future generations can enjoy classical music.
"We also wish to honor the rich legacy of music that we have enjoyed in Madison, and ultimately, to preserve the vibrancy of classical music in the face of competition from other art and entertainment forms," they added.