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LCSO Children’s Education Concert marks 30 years

October 4, 2018

La PORTE — On Wednesday, students from La Porte and surrounding county’s school systems will visit the La Porte Civic Auditorium for the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra’s beloved Children’s Education Concert.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the event which has been critically acclaimed as one of the most successful education concerts in the nation by the American String Teacher’s Association and the National School Orchestra Association.

“This is my 30th year organizing this amazing concert and this year is just as exciting as it was the first time we did it,” said LCSO Board President Michael Drayton.

For 30 years, Drayton, with the help from the administrative staff of Drayton, Biege, Sirugo, & Elliott LLP., has coordinated all aspects of the concert including, reservations, bus parking and seating arrangements, saving the symphony office hundreds of hours of work each October.

LCSO also collaborates with the La Porte Service League and Kesling Middle School’s Student Council to produce three concerts which are presented in one day at the La Porte Civic Auditorium.

LSCO Executive Director Nanda Danitschek said she believes it is the power of collaboration and passion for education that allows a concert of this level to sustain.

“It truly is an honor to see the ways so many people come together to make this concert possible for not only the students, but also the community,” said Danitschek. “We really are so grateful for the support of Mr. Drayton and all the folks who continue to volunteer each year to make this event a success!”

Hollywood Film and TV Music Composer, and Southwest Michigan native, Rick DeJonge, will return to La Porte to Guest Conduct his original education concert program, “Magical World of Music” with the assistance of Interim Music Director Charles Steck.

DeJonge made a splash and garnered a well-deserved standing ovation with his “Tribute to Silent Film” multimedia presentation and original composition premier at the symphony’s season finale this past May.

“I was actually at the LCSO Children’s Concert in 1990 when I was teaching Elementary Music at Lincoln Elementary School and loved every minute of it,” said DeJonge. “Being able to come back to La Porte and guest conduct this orchestra nearly 30 years later is such a thrill! I would love to come back as much as they will put up with me!”

“Magical World of Music” is a program that incorporates theater, dance, movie scoring, and video gaming styles of classical music into an interactive and multimedia lesson on the power of music to impact us emotionally, and physically, including a special tap dance number performed by professional dancer Jennifer Carlson.

The idea is for students to become aware of the many ways that they have likely enjoyed classical music in their lives, perhaps without ever realizing.

“It is my hope that students will have a better understanding that music is more than just a song on the radio and that it is used to make the listener feel different emotions for specific reasons,” said DeJonge. “They will have seen this through examples of movies, dancing, songs, and video games by the end of the concert.”

The Children’s Education Concert is open to the public and community members of all ages are encouraged to attend.

Tickets are only $1, as they have been for 30 year and can be purchased online at www.lcso.net/childrens-educational-concert or patrons can simply give their dollars to any usher at the event.

The concert takes place on Wednesday with three performance times to choose from: 9:30 a.m., 11:10 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. at the La Porte Civic Auditorium, 1001 Ridge St., La Porte.

LCSO’s Children’s Concert has been made possible by generous support from the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte, Unity Foundation’s Power of Good Grant, General Insurance Services, Dennis & Leslie Lantz, Dr. Linda Sirugo & Attorney David Sirugo and La Porte Councilman Timothy Stabosz.

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