Symphony board officers, directors elected

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The LaPorte County Symphony Orchestra (LCSO) Board of Directors recently announced the election of its 2019-2020 board officers. Leigh Morris, former LaPorte mayor and former CEO of LaPorte Hospital, will serve as the symphony’s chairman of the board. Jamie Oss, partner of the law firm Huelat & Mack P.C., will serve as vice chairman. Cecelia Largura, environmental strategy manager at NiSource Inc., will serve as treasurer; Jill Klingbeil, trust office manager at Horizon Bank, will serve as secretary; and V. Michael Drayton, partner of the law firm Drayton, Beige, Sirugo & Elliott, LLP, will continue to serve the LCSO as past chairman and a member of the executive committee.

Seven new at-large directors were also elected: Kathryn Bernel, publisher of What’s New, LaPorte; Joan Davis, Roxy Music; Nolah Gertner, New Buffalo civic leader; Rachel Keesbury, Porter Physician Services; Dale Knouse, owner, Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center; Kim Ramsey, software and training consultant with General Insurance Services; and Rev. Tina Redden, pastor and performing artist.

Other LCSO at-large board members are Ela Bilderback, Lorri Feldt, Sally Fischer, Howard Jones, Alan Lang, Jane Langford, and Suzan Wade. Timothy King will continue as executive director.

The LCSO’s 47th season opener, “Dance! Veterans Tribute,” will be held at the LaPorte Civic Auditorium on Saturday, Nov. 9.  It will feature Dr. Carolyn Watson as the LCSO’s 4th music director candidate. The orchestra’s classic concert, “Celebrate Beethoven’s 250th Birthday,” will be held at the Holdcraft Performing Arts Center in Michigan City on Sunday, March 15, 2020. The pops concert, “The Great American Songbook,” will be held at the LaPorte Civic Auditorium on Saturday, April 25, 2020. 

Season ticket subscription forms are now available at or by calling at 219-362-9020.

In addition to the three-concert season, the orchestra is featured in two upcoming events. On Saturday, Sept. 7, the 14th Annual Hoosier STAR event will feature five contestants in both the youth and adult divisions. The LaPorte County Symphony Orchestra will accompany the selected finalists. Votes by the audience in attendance determine the winners. Cash awards of $1,000 for the adult winner and $500 for the youth winner will be provided.

On Wednesday, Oct. 9, thousands of elementary students from area school systems will be transported to the LaPorte Civic Auditorium for “Power and Emotion of Music,” the 31st annual LCSO children’s educational concert.  Originated by LCSO Past Chairman V. Michael Drayton, it has been acclaimed as one of the most successful education concerts in the nation by the American String Teachers Association and the National School Orchestra Association. Drayton and members of the administrative staff of his law firm, Drayton, Biege, Sirugo, & Elliott LLP, have coordinated all aspects of the concert including reservations, bus parking and seating arrangements, saving the LCSO hundreds of hours of work each October.

The orchestra has scheduled guest music director candidates to conduct each of the concerts in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, all of whom have asked to be considered for selection as the LCSO’s new maestro, who will be chosen in May 2020.

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