In December 1988, the idea for a community band in Kosciusko County was born. The first rehearsal of the Lake Area Symphonic Band was held at Wawasee High School on 22 May 1989. There were 20 interested musicians present. On June 5th, just two weeks later, an inaugural concert was performed with the Elkhart Municipal Band. The first solo concert played by the newly formed band was in August; from that starting point, the band had 12 appearances that year. Rehearsals moved from the Wawasee High School to the Syracuse Elementary school.
The band was organized as a not-for-profit corporation. Allan Metzler was our first director. Dale Mock, one of our first board officers, wrote and arranged the Lake Area Community Band’s theme song, which continues to be performed at the beginning of most concerts. Soon, the band had grown to some 45 members. Fund raising activities were held to help pay for blue uniforms, several needed instruments and music.
In those early days, the band came back together in December for a Christmas concert. The Christmas concert was ultimately dropped due to members traveling south for the winter. The current format of rehearsals beginning in March, with concerts being played from April to September, was begun.
Since 2002, Marty Becker has directed the band. Currently, rehearsals are held at Wawasee Middle School on Monday nights, 7 to 9 pm. The band continues its summer concerts around the area which have included: Lakeside Park in Syracuse, Greencroft Goshen Community Center; Grace Village Retirement Community in Winona Lake; Dixie Park in North Webster; Warsaw First Friday and Goshen First Friday. The band has also been in concert at the Auburn Band Extravaganza, the Carmel Band Festival of 2015 and the Bicentennial Concert of 2016.
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