La PORTE – The La Porte County Symphony Orchestra (LCSO) Board of Directors recently announced the election of its 2019-2020 Board officers.

Leigh Morris, former La Porte Mayor and CEO of La Porte Hospital, will serve as the Symphony’s Chairman of the Board. Jamie Oss, partner of the law firm of 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 of 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. They are: Kathryn Bernel, publisher of What’s New La Porte; Joan Davis, Roxy Music; Nolah Gertner, New Buffalo civic leader; Rachel Keesbury, Porter Physician Services; Dale Knause, Owner, Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Service; Kim Ramsey, software and training consultant with General Insurance Services; and The Rev. Tina Redden, pastor and performing artist.

Two new regional leaders were also elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra (LCSO) Board of Directors. Susan Aaron, chairman of Vision Financial Services, and Dr. Thomas Keon, chancellor of Purdue University Northwest, will join the board at its Sept. 9 meeting.

Long active in civic affairs, Aaron received her BS and MBA Degrees in Finance and Accounting from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, Bloomington. She began her career with American Hospital Supply Corporation in Evanston, Illinois, and went on to develop companies that became Vision Financial Services, serving healthcare providers in a broad geographic area. During her time in the healthcare field, Aaron served as a state president of AAHAM, in several offices in HFMA, and as the chair of the American Collectors Association’s Healthcare Services Program. Locally, she has served on the Boards of Directors of the Unity Foundation and the La Porte County Family YMCA.

Keon was named Chancellor of Purdue University Calumet in 2011 and became Chancellor of Purdue University Northwest in 2016 when that campus was unified with Purdue University North Central. His extensive educational background culminated in earning his Ph.D. from the Michigan State University College of Business Administration. He is currently serving as a director of several regional organizations, including the Alliance for Regional Development One Region, the Northwest Indiana Forum and the Legacy Foundation. He served for five years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra when he was dean of the College of Business at the University of Central Florida.

Aaron and Keon will both serve on the LCSO's Engagement Committee.

Other LCSO at large Board members include: 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! Veteran’s Tribute,” will be at the La Porte Civic Auditorium on Saturday, November 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 Song Book” will be at the La Porte 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. Members of the La Porte 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 Oct. 9, thousands of elementary students from area school systems will be transported to the La Porte 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 called one of the most successful education concerts in the nation by the American String Teacher’s 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 that will be chosen in May 2020.

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