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Honoring Madge van Adelsberg

By Laura Foti Cohen and Anne Combs
Madge van Adelsberg has been a quiet light in our community ever since she moved here with her pediatrician husband, Stephan, in 1950. Their home became a welcoming focal point for meetings and parties for the many arts and charitable causes of which they were a part. The Ebell of Los Angeles is honoring Madge at “Ménage à Trois,” a concert given by the Ebell Chorale, the Hollywood Master Chorale and the Doctors Symphony Orchestra on Friday, May 13 at 8:00 p.m. in the Ebell’s historic clubhouse. Members of the community are invited to the concert and tribute to Madge.

When Stephan opened his own pediatric practice in 1952 Madge assisted in the office, but they made time for community endeavors as well. They were active in the Netherlands American Society, the Windsor Square-Hancock Park Historical Society, The Antiquarian Society and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. They hosted Christmas parties for the Netherlands American Society nearly 40 years, many others for Children’s Hospital staff and still more for the Master Chorale.

A lot of emphasis was on music; Madge particularly loves choral music. She was an early supporter of the L.A Master Chorale when it began 47 seasons ago, as a patron, subscriber and hostess of post-concert events. In addition to supporting music, she participates: once settled in Los Angeles, she became a longtime member of the Immanuel Presbyterian Church Choir.

Madge was happy to find an additional musical home in the ‘90s with the Ebell Chorale and enjoy its broad repertory of music stretching from the Renaissance to the present day. She sang with the Chorale through last spring. She has often been a generous (and anonymous) donor of music scores and for several seasons was the quiet patron who made summer study-and-singing terms possible. Though she claims that as a nonagenerian she doesn’t do much volunteering anymore, her participation as a much-loved Chorale member emerita continues at some of the lunches following rehearsals, with Madge even providing the food on occasion. Madge says of the group, “I hope I have been supportive,” lapsing into Latin to add, “Deo volente.”

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