Maestro Willis returns to La Porte for annual Hoosier Star event



Maestro Alastair Willis

Alastair Willis, South Bend Symphony Orchestra music director, will be conducting from a podium in La Porte Saturday, Sept. 12, when he leads an ensemble of musicians from the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra at the 15th annual Hoosier Star.

For the first time the event will be live-streamed. It will begin at 7 p.m. and will be free to view on the following sites:

Hoosier Star Facebook
LCSO Facebook
LCSO Website
LCSO YouTube
WIMS 1420 Facebook

Hoosier Star will also be broadcasted via AM 1420, 95.1 FM and 106.7 FM (simulcast).

Voting will take place during the competition by going to $10 per vote.

Grammy-nominated Willis has recently signed a contract extension with the South Bend Symphony. He has held a number of conducting positions in the past, including with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra (music director), the Florida Orchestra (coffee concert conductor), the Seattle Symphony (assistant conductor) and the Cincinnati Symphony (assistant conductor).

He is on demand all over the world as a guest conductor, having appeared with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony, among others.

“I’m honored to be part of Hoosier Star again – and I’m in awe of the LCSO, how they’ve found a way to make it happen despite the difficult times we are in – a testament to the deep dedication, love and care of so many,” Willis said. “It’s been great connecting with the talented singers, and I can’t wait to play my part in keeping this unique tradition alive and thrilling. We may not be many in the band this year due to Covid, but we will be mighty!”

Ten finalists, five in the Youth Division (17 and younger) and five in the Adult Division (18 and older), will be competing for the title of “Hoosier Star.” Maestro Willis will be working with each singer to prepare for the evening; he will be leading the orchestra in music ranging from country to opera.

More information about the finalists can be found at Information about other offerings by the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra can be found at

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