With approximately 400 concerts and events each season, it’s no easy task to manage ticketing and customer service for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association’s 1,400 VIP Services eligible donors. But for VIP Services Manager Robert Coad, his job “is like helping family.”

How long have you been working at the CSOA?

I have been working here since October of 2005, so it will be 15 years this coming October.

What do you enjoy about working with CSOA donors and patrons?

I love working with our donors and patrons … it is like helping family. My supervisors give me the power to give the best possible service to our most valuable patrons.

Do you have a favorite concert from your time at the CSOA?

My favorite composer is Beethoven, so this is a great season. My favorite piece of all time is Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, so probably my favorite concert that I have attended since I started working here is a performance of Beethoven 6. To be honest, I sat in my seat in tears.

Which concerts are you most looking forward to in the 2020/21 season?

I am looking forward to the entire 2020/21 season. I have two concerts that I am particularly looking forward to: Muti conducting Beethoven’s Missa solemnis (Sept. 24-26) and, for something completely different, the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (April 6, 2021).

Do you have any tips for patrons as they choose their subscription series and/or single tickets?

I always advise people to get at least the number of tickets for the concerts that they think they will want to attend. Don’t worry so much about the dates — it is very easy to exchange tickets via VIP Services. Due to dynamic pricing, they will definitely get the most bang for their buck if they order early.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

In my spare time, believe it or not, I enjoy attending concerts — sometimes by myself, or with friends. I also like going out for dinner, walking around the South Loop and visiting family in Minnesota and California.

TOP: VIP Services Manager Robert Coad | ©Todd Rosenberg Photography