Susie Lape has been a member of the CSO Overture Council (OC) since the 2012/13 season and currently serves on its Executive Committee as the Audience Outreach chair. She is executive director of The Lake Forest Symphony and was named Executive Director of the Year by the Illinois Council of Orchestras in 2014. Susie received a bachelor’s degree with distinction from Stanford University and a Master’s degree in musicology from the University of Oxford, where she was the 2011–12 Bowers-Stanford Scholar. She also sits on the board of directors of the Chicago Baroque Band and the Illinois Council of Orchestras.
What do you like about the Overture Council?
When I came back to Chicago after school, I was looking for a network of people who like music as much as I do. After spending a year as an OC member, I joined the Executive Committee. The membership of the OC is diverse, which means every OC event is an opportunity to meet people from a huge range of personal and professional backgrounds, which is very cool. The common thread is that we all love music and have a passion for the CSO.
Any OC events you’re looking forward to?
We are holding our second annual fundraiser in support of the Civic Orchestra at Lagunitas Brewery on April 13. Events like these give people who aren’t OC members or who may not go to concerts frequently an accessible entry point to learn more about the OC, the Civic Orchestra, and the CSO. And they’re a ton of fun. We hope to raise enough money to sponsor a Civic musician!
What was it like being a CSO intern?
I interned in the Artistic Department for a summer while I was in college. I worked on a Beyond the Score program and learned so much about the “behind the scenes” of orchestra operations. At the time, I thought I wanted to go to law school, but I loved how smart and passionate everyone at the CSO was, and that summer changed my mind completely. The staff gave me meaningful work as an intern and invested their time to teach me about many aspects of their work. It really guided my decision to work in orchestra management.
What inspires your love of music?
I love how music is the great leveler. Music allows people to relate to one another about universal things—basic human feelings and experiences. Everything in life is so fast-paced; to sit down, be quiet, listen, and feel something profound is really amazing. I don’t think there will ever be a true threat to live music. There’s no replicating the motion and excitement of a live performance—you miss all the sweat and effort and suspense! Something unexpected could happen at any moment. That’s simply irreplaceable.
Any advice for those looking to become more involved?
The OC is a great way for younger audience members and CSO fans to meet new people and learn about music in a new way. The Overture Council is made up of over a hundred Chicago-area young professionals ages twenty-five to forty-five who share a love of music and a mission to support the CSO. We offer a range of opportunities to meet new friends and become involved. It’s a nice group to connect with and network with—and we’re not intimidating! All are welcome!
To learn more about the Overture Council, please contact Jessica Erickson, senior donor engagement manager, at 312-294-3198.