Organization Mission and History:

Since 1974, the Illinois Council of Orchestras (ICO) has served as the statewide advocacy and service organization for the orchestral community in Illinois. The Illinois Council of Orchestras was founded with the following mission:

  • To advocate for and to promote the development and success of Illinois orchestras and to respond to their needs
  • To promote an exchange of ideas and resources among members
  • To provide a system of communication to meet mutual needs and concerns
  • To encourage financial support for orchestras from all possible sources
  • To sponsor educational conferences, workshops, and other activities for the betterment of member orchestras.

Membership is open to orchestras

Membership is open to orchestras of all sizes, symphony leagues and guilds, youth orchestras, festivals, and individuals.

ICO is governed by a 20-member Board of Directors who hail from arts organizations and businesses all over the state.

If you are interrested in serving on the ICO board, please contact us.

Susan Lape, President

Susan Lape

Susan Lape is Executive Director of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras.  She has built her career in arts management through positions with the Lake Forest Symphony, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Opera, and the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts.

In 2016-2017, Susan was one of nine participants in the League of American Orchestra's Emerging Leaders Program.  ELP Participants are selected from a competitive national pool and demonstrate the potential to make significant contributions to their orchestra and to the field as a whole.

Prior to her appointment at CYSO, Susan served as Executive Director of the Lake Forest Symphony in Lake Forest, IL. There she oversaw the organization’s masterworks, salon, family, and educational concerts and was responsible for all development, civic engagement, and educational outreach initiatives. In 2014, the Lake Forest Symphony and the WFMT Radio Network produced a radio documentary titled “The Search” which is currently available for national and international syndication. In 2014, she was named “Executive Director of the Year” by the Illinois Council of Orchestras.

Susan previously worked for the St. Edmund Hall and Jesus College development offices at the University of Oxford. She received her Master’s Degree in Musicology at the University of Oxford in 2011 where she was a 2011-2012 Bowers-Stanford Scholar and one of three English-Speaking Union Scholarship recipients granted by the San Francisco branch of the ESU. She received her Bachelor’s Degree with distinction from Stanford University, graduating with honors in Music and a minor in English Literature.

In addition to her work with the Illinois Council of Orchestras, she serves on the board of directors of the International Music Foundation and Beyond this Point Performing Arts Association. She has previously served on the Executive Committee for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Overture Council and on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Baroque Band.

Lauren Moldenhauer, Executive Director

Lauren Moldenhauer serves as the Executive Director of the Illinois Council of Orchestras. Ms. Moldenhauer holds a Bachelor of Music in Flute from Northwestern University, and a Master of Flute from Catholic University of America. Since returning to Chicago, she has been an active flute performer and educator serving as Principal Flute of the Lake County Symphony Orchestra, co-director of the Midwest Young Artists Conservatory Summer Flute Camp, and as Orchestra Director for Woodlands Academy in Lake Forest. Previously, Lauren worked in the office of the Lake Forest Symphony, as Publicity Chair on the board of the Chicago Flute Club, and as assistant to the curator of the Dayton C. Miller Flute Collection at the Library of Congress.