Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) board member and former chair, Karen Schock is highlighted as a Women of Distinction winner in the July 2018 Kane County Magazine: Karen Schock feature July 2018 KCMag. Karen has worked tirelessly in education and music for decades, helping make her community a better place to live, work and visit.
Karen Schock is also the 2017 winner of the YWCA Elgin Volunteer & Community Service Award. In addition to being a 30-year subscriber to the ESO with her husband Ed, Karen has been an ESO Trustee since 2007, a member of the board since 2009 and was elected Board President 2013, a position she held until June 2017. Through the years, she has been involved with the Boys & Girls Club of Elgin, Gail Borden Library Foundation, Food for Greater Elgin, Elgin Heritage Foundation, and Gifford Park & East Side Neighborhood Associations.
Karen was the founding co-chair of the Gail Borden Library Foundation Annual Book Sale which offers books for sale through six different venues, raising funds which support special projects and exhibits at the library including the summer reading program, the Robot Zoo, Discover Space, and the upcoming Dinosaur exhibit. To date they have raised over $250,000 for library activities and projects with a product price-point of only $1 and $2. A longtime member of the Elgin Heritage Commission, Karen served as both the Chair and Vice Chair. During her Vice Chair term, the commission passed the Historic Preservation Ordinance. She also co-authored the book “Elgin’s Heritage: Architecture” which explores the historical and economic circumstances which gave rise to different architectural housing styles in Elgin since 1845.
Karen was honored by the Boys & Girls Club as their Volunteer of the Year for her work with at-risk youth. As the Chair and Founder of the Keeping the Promise Foundation, she helps students fulfill their dream of going to college. She was a founding member and the chair of the Elgin Charter School Initiative, where she recruited members to the Design Committee and oversaw the application process.
Karen volunteers at Food for Greater Elgin as a facilitator as they go through their strategic planning process. She has even found ways to support the community through acting, in both the Elgin Cemetery Walk and in the play Love, Loss and What I Wore, which raised over $5000 for the Community Crisis Center. She is a board member of East Side Neighbors, board member and president of the North East Neighborhood Association, board member and chair of the Elgin Heritage Commission and member of the Neighborhood Housing Authority Board of Directors.
Now in its 68th season, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) offers programming unmatched for an entertaining, informative and relaxing cultural experience. The ESO has won Illinois Professional Orchestra of the Year a record-setting four times – in 1988, 1999, 2005 and 2016. We at the ESO strive to create an enjoyable entertainment experience that goes beyond the magnificent music performed by some of the best musicians in the country. There is accessible, free parking around the Hemmens Cultural Center and valet service available. The festive concert event often features musicians performing in the lobby before concerts, and patrons can purchase unique, music-themed gifts at the Elgin Symphony League Boutique. Pre-concert chats are given by music director Andrew Grams, guest artists and others one hour before most performances. Saturday night patrons are invited after concerts to meet Andrew Grams, guest artists and ESO musicians at Mingle with the Musicians, held at area restaurants. Music historian Jim Kendros offers free Listeners Club discussions the Wednesday before ESO Classics Series concert weekends at Greenfields of Geneva and the Gail Borden Public Library. Flex passes are available for choosing concerts at a later date, and if a patron can’t make a concert, the ESO offers free exchanges to subscribers and to single ticket buyers for a small fee. The ESO is a world-class orchestra presenting quality musical explorations of some of the greatest music ever written, conveniently located close to home in the western suburbs. The ESO-Transforming the Symphony Experience. ElginSymphony.Org.