There is a simple Chinese proverb that asserts, “if you want happiness for a lifetime, help the next generation.” Carol and Charlie Hebel embody this principle, in part because as fifth generation Louisvillians, they are beneficiaries of their ancestors’ longstanding efforts to add to the City’s vitality and culture.
The couple sat with CEO Rob Birman in their Glenview area home to talk about their connection to the Orchestra and why it is important to them to include a provision in their estate plan to support the Orchestra beyond their lifetimes.
The Hebel family routes to Louisville are varied and vast, including paths from Alsace-Lorraine, Ireland, and France. Charlie’s ancestors immigrated at the time of the Austro-Prussian Wars (mid 19th C.), and their lineage exemplifies a long-standing resolve and commitment to the development of Louisville’s economy. From grocers to innkeepers to lockmasters on the Ohio River, those who came stayed, and their businesses have been at the core of daily life in Louisville for nearly 150 years. A great grandfather of Charlie’s was even a violinist in one of the earliest incarnations of the Louisville Orchestra.
As they celebrate 47 years of marriage this year, Carol and Charlie fondly recall their longstanding association with the Louisville Orchestra. “It all began with the MakingMUSIC concerts and Robert Whitney,” says Carol. “I was a student at Sacred Heart and Charlie was attending Male High School. Neither of us have a musical bone in our body, but we know gorgeous music when we hear it.” “Bob Whitney used to sit on the side of the stage and just talk to us,” remembers Charlie, “that was pretty special.”
Carol joined the women’s guild in the 1960s, and was at hand for Jorge Mester’s first season as Music Director in 1967. “At that time, there were six grand dames who would take care of all of the guest artists,” says Carol. “They would shuttle them to rehearsal, entertain them in their homes, provide meals, etc. This was standard protocol every month.” Charlie was recruited to the Orchestra’s board in the 1970s and Carol followed in the 1980s, where she remains a vital member to this day, and is a past-president of the Board. The couple has “seen it all” when it comes to the Orchestra’s past. They recall with special fondness meeting Aaron Copland in person when he visited Louisville, the Orchestra’s debut at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center and its first tour to Mexico.
“I sold Jorge his first house in Louisville in Cherokee Park,” remembers Carol. “Jorge is simply the best conductor the Orchestra has ever had,” the couple says. “As he conducts, it is as if the music just flows through him.” Together, they have traveled to hear Jorge’s concerts at the Aspen Music Festival on several occasions, and they have always made a point to include their children and grandchildren in the life of the Orchestra.
“Our children took instrumental lessons and have known Jorge since they were born,” says Carol. Beginning this season, Loren, their daughter, became a charter member of the Orchestra’s new Board of Overseers, and was elected its inaugural Chair in October. In this new role, she now too serves on the Board of Directors of the Orchestra, sustaining the family’s long tradition.
Given the family’s affection for the Orchestra, its musicians, and its essential role in the community, the Hebels have established a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) to guarantee sustaining support beyond their lifetimes and a legacy by which to be remembered. “No one asked us to do this,” says Charlie. “This community has been good to us and we knew that there were a number of ways for us to plan a lifetime gift that would not distract from our present lifestyle. A CRT is the ideal way to do it – it affords the ability to support the charities of our choice while maintaining an income stream for ourselves for life. Plus, there is a first year charitable deduction, so your tax benefits come up-front.”
Carol and Charlie Hebel are proud members of the Orchestra’s Laureate Society that recognizes those who have included the Louisville Orchestra in their estate plans. To learn more about how you can join the Laureate Society, please contact Ed Schadt at (502) 587-8681.
The Orchestra is grateful for the generous support of our caring and visionary donors. We are pleased to profile those who include the Orchestra in their estate plans. Additional features will be added in coming months.
A Charmed Life
Having lived 31 years immersed in the cultural and academic life of Los Angeles following their wedding in 1960, Margaret and Peter Tanguay didn’t have to think twice when Peter was offered an early retirement incentive from U.C.L.A. in the mid 1990s. “We’ve traveled the world,” said Mrs. Tanguay, “but Louisville is home.”
Dr. and Mrs. Tanguay were kind enough to sit down with Orchestra C.E.O. Robert Birman this summer to speak about their passion for symphonic music and the adventures that have defined their lives for that last 50 years. Over tea (served in Peter’s mother’s antique tea cup collection) and a sampling of Margaret’s pâté (her 2009 entry in the Kentucky State Fair), the couple recounted their affinity for the Louisville Orchestra and the fulfillment they receive knowing that they have provided for the Orchestra through a thoughtful and easy-to-declare estate gift.
Margaret, whose father (Samuel Fife) was a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Louisville Speed School, grew up on Perennial Drive near Audubon Park, not far from the couple’s charming 1908 home that they have occupied since taking leave of L.A. As a child in Louisville, Margaret enjoyed the Orchestra. “My parents had season tickets,” she reflected.” I can still remember watching Grace Whitney (conductor Robert Whitney’s sister) sitting in the front of the cello section, and will never forget the impact of those youth concerts.”
Dr. and Mrs. Tanguay met in Canada in Quebec City (Peter’s home town) while Margaret was attending a French teacher’s course at Laval University. They married, and discovered a rich array of shared interests and mutual zest for learning and travel. Peter’s J2-Visa allowed the couple to relocate to California in order for him to pursue his residency in psychiatry at UCLA, but the terms of the visa required a two-year absence from the U.S. when he graduated. For $75, the couple was able to ship their Volkswagen camper bus to England, where Peter gained employ with the National Health Service in the city of Derby, in the Midlands.
Before returning to the Los Angeles region, the Tanguays took full advantage of their VW, touring and camping throughout Holland, Austria, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Scandinavia, Spain, Portugal, North Africa, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece and Italy. In fact, they became so adept at their pursuits that in 1970, they published “Camping in Europe,” a traveler’s guide to seeing the continent on $5 per day. “It was our Grand Tour,” said Margaret.
In L.A., Margaret found an outlet for her unquenchable interest in the arts and became an active member of the Westside Junior Committee ‘PARTNERS FOR’ supporting the Los Angeles Philharmonic and was a docent at the L.A. County Museum of Art for 20 years. She helped raise funds to support scholarships for music students and introduced Peter to his first live opera experience at the Ambassador Auditorium (La Boheme). The couple frequented the Hollywood Bowl and can recall an evening of concert opera in the 1960s with an obscure, up-and-coming tenor. Even from the cheap seats, Luciano Pavarotti was sensational.
Peter became a Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UCLA. His expertise in autism allowed him to develop and lead the NIMH-funded Child Psychiatry Clinical Research Center at UCLA. He was a consultant on the film, Rain Man, for which he received a screen credit. “If you wait until they are sweeping up the popcorn at the theatre,” said Peter, “you just might see my credit roll!”
The Louisville Orchestra is fortunate that, in 1994, the Tanguays returned to Audubon Park, since which time Margaret has been a vital member of the Association of the Louisville Orchestra as well as a docent at the Speed Museum, where she is a strong advocate for both organization’s youth education programs. Their two daughters (and now, their five grandchildren) share in attending concerts, plays and museums.
When asked about their experience with philanthropy, the Tanguays suggest that the scenario is quite simple. “There are no Medici’s around anymore,” said Margaret. “While today’s wealthy individuals are supporting worthy causes, there is not enough’ going to the arts.” For the past several years Peter has chaired a U.S. organization to raise funds for his alma mater, the University of Ottawa. He adds, “I think Bill Gates’ father said it best. If you’ve been a success and made money, don’t think that you should claim sole credit for your good fortune! Our system of laws, schools, the arts, the very social system around you… it’s all part of your success. You’ve got to give back to society.”
In addition to helping endow a professorship in Margaret’s father’s honor at the U of L, the Tanguays have named the Louisville Orchestra for a percentage share of their assets through their will. Peter recalls a meeting with orchestra musicians in 2006, when the LO’s future was challenged. “The concertmaster, Michael Davis, stood up and said very simply, I’ve taken a cut in salary – we’ve all taken cuts. Now we need your help.” To Peter, the lesson in this was simple “people give to people.”
“The truth is, if you don’t plan ahead to give to your favorite charity, the estate taxes are substantial, and even your heirs will be taxed on gifts they receive,” said Peter. “By designating a simple percentage in our will, we know that we will have the flexibility to deal with any unforeseen circumstances in the future, but still be able to leave a legacy to the Louisville Orchestra – something we both feel is essential to Louisville and future generations.”
In the words of Henry Miller, “one’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” The Tanguays are emblematic of those who appreciate the value that the Orchestra provides to thousands of music lovers year after year. In fact, the Orchestra can provide confidential estate planning expertise to those who wish to learn more about the many tax advantages and wide array of estate planning options available, regardless of one’s age. Some opportunities even provide lifetime income as well as a residual gift to benefit the Orchestra.
For further information, or to request a confidential consultation, please contact Ed Schadt, Director of Development, at (502) 585-9413.