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Q&A: Why We Support The Cleveland Orchestra

Dennis and Madeline Block

Dennis and Madeline Block

Dennis and Madeline Block have long enjoyed The Cleveland Orchestra with their family and have named the Orchestra as a beneficiary of their trust to preserve the Orchestra for other families to enjoy in the future. Their gift serves as an example for all who love the Orchestra and care about its long-term success.

Q: Why is The Cleveland Orchestra important to you? What do you think the Orchestra means to our community?
Being lifelong Cleveland residents, we appreciate and enjoy our local treasures and are proud that they are held in high regard nationally. The Orchestra's staying power and continued status as one of the world's finest orchestras is something Cleveland can be proud of forever!

Q: What inspired you to make your legacy gift, and how is it meaningful to you?
We want to let the Orchestra know that we appreciate them and want to help them retain their status in Cleveland and in the world with our financial support. We hope that our gift, when paired with many gifts from like-minded people, will help ensure that The Cleveland Orchestra is financially stable for many years to come and that it will continue to draw the best directors, the best musicians, and the best support staff in its worldwide competition for talent.

Q: What are your most memorable experiences at Severance Hall or Blossom?
Two special experiences come to mind: One was when our daughter Mandy made the Cleveland Orchestra Children's Chorus—attending her performances with the Orchestra was very special and we were able to share that experience with Madeline's family. The second was when we had the privilege of hearing what ended up being one of the final conducting performances of Sir Georg Solti.

We have also had a long tradition of taking each of our five grandchildren, starting at age 3, to the Saturday morning Musical Rainbow Concerts, and as they aged out of those, to the "big hall upstairs" for the Family Concerts. Madeline's personal favorites have been the Halloween Spooktaculars when the Orchestra members all gamely dress up in fabulous costumes—seeing the concertmaster as Bo-Peep and violin section as sheep was priceless!

Q: What insights or advice would you share with someone considering a planned gift to The Cleveland Orchestra?
We have always said that you "vote with your dollars." If you want something to prosper and grow, you need to spend your money with that organization. That is true at local restaurants versus chains, at local hardware stores versus huge box stores, and with entertainment choices. We chose The Cleveland Orchestra and hope our planned gift has the impact we are looking for.