My name is Bob Steliga and I am the current Treasurer of the Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra. 12-4-2020
In the late 1990’s Ed Beale [most recent President of the Board and trombone in the Orchestra – recently deceased November, 2020] and I were talking at our favorite bar in West Allis. He told me he was a member of the Catholic Symphony Orchestra and that they were looking for a new home for the Symphony. I am a country western guy but do have an appreciation for Symphony music. I got Ed and his group to come out and try Menomonee Falls. The school district has a nice auditorium at the middle school and so that is where they began to play and practice.
In 1998 they officially changed their name to the Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra. After using the middle school for concerts and rehearsals for a few years, Dr. Kathy Cook, who was the superintendent of the Sussex Hamilton School District, invited the symphony to play at their new fine arts center. They did not know how to break the news to me that they were thinking of moving to the fine arts center. I told them it was not a problem as the southern part of Menomonee Falls is in the Sussex Hamilton School District. In fact, I have lived in the Hamilton School District for almost 60 years. My three sons attended school until 9th grade in the Hamilton District following which they went to Marquette University High School. My wife taught for 10 years at Templeton Middle School in Sussex. What is so nice about the move is that the Fine Arts Center is a great facility and we could still call the Symphony the Menomonee Falls Symphony Orchestra.
I have always tried to be active in Menomonee Falls. In fact, I was a member of the Village Board from 1972-1992. The last 14 years I was Village President. 1992 was the Village Centennial year so we had a 10-day celebration. Afterwards a group of us got together and said that it was so much fun that we should organize a 4-day event each year. My son Jeff and I formed Falls Fest and ran that for 26 years. We were able to do this for so long because we had a great group of people who served on the Falls Fest Committee.
I have always enjoyed music and in fact I played the clarinet in my high school band. After 10 years of teaching, my wife was looking for change so she opened her own Tour Company called Travel America. She ran a great business and at one time had 5 escorts working for her. She ran the business for 26 years before we closed it in December, 2010 because of her health. She was developing dementia and lasted until October, 2017 when the disease took her life. I have 6 grandchildren that I really love and enjoy.
I have really enjoyed being on the Symphony Board. The Board is made up of some great people who are so willing to devote time to the Symphony. Mike Kamenski is another great asset to the board and is a great conductor and symphony planner.