Glen Madeja and Janet Steidl

What inspires your love of music?

Glen: Heart and humanity. I grew up when AM radio was exploding with new and rapidly evolving music. I could experience new worlds just by hearing all these different songs. I still love hearing a piece of classical music that can take me somewhere. Janet: And I grew up listening to WFMT because of my parents’ love of music. I started playing the oboe at 7 and went on to earn my music degree from Northwestern University. After graduating, I realized being a professional musician was not within my grasp, but music remains my love.

What initially drew you to the CSO?

Janet: Being a young musician in Chicagoland, it was hard to avoid! Glen: I really wasn’t familiar with classical music until college. I went to a number of (free) concerts at school, but never thought of seeing a performance by the CSO — I figured that was “beyond” me. After I married my classically trained musician wife, she helped me understand that I actually did appreciate classical music as much as the next guy.

Why do you feel it’s important to support the CSOA as a member of the Theodore Thomas Society?

Janet: I resonate with the young musicians of the Civic Orchestra. I shared their dreams and their goals once upon a time, and I continue to share their love of music. I feel grateful to be in a position to help them along their way. Glen: I have always been an advocate of young people pursuing their passions and/or life goals. They are our future. Almost all of us were initially given an opportunity by an older person who believed in us, and the rest was up to you. It’s just continuing a time-immemorial cycle.

Theodore Thomas Society member
Explore more
Theodore Thomas Society members
Explore more
Theodore Thomas Society members
Explore more