Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

August 23, 2013

Lake Area Community Band’s anniversary concert Saturday

SYRACUSE — When Martin Becker showed up to a Lake Area Community Band rehearsal one evening with trumpet in hand he was a bit startled at the response.

“No, no no! they said,” remembered Becker. “We don’t want you in the band, we want you to direct it!”

Eleven years later Becker is still up in front of the band, with baton in hand, getting ready to conduct the LACB 25th Anniversary Concert at 3 p.m. Saturday at Wawasee High School. The concert is free and open to the public.

“It’s a journey I’ve enjoyed every minute of,” Becker said.

Community bands, he said, have been in his blood a long time.

“I’ve played with quite a few community bands,” Becker said. “I played with the Central YMCA Youth Band in Cincinnati, Ohio, from sixth grade through my college years. I’ve had a lot of great mentors who’ve really inspired me.”

After receiving his bachelor in music education degree from Moorehead State and his master’s from Ball State University, Becker became director of bands first at Marion High School and then for 17 years at Warsaw Community Schools.

“Those were pretty time-consuming years and I didn’t have the time then for a community band,” Becker said.

When he retired in 2002, he began as director of the Grace College Wind Ensemble and the later of the Warsaw Optimist Singers. It was then that he felt the pull of joining a community band.

“There really aren’t that many outlets for musicians who have played in high school or college,” Becker said. “If you play sports, there are church leagues, games at local recreation centers and plenty of golf courses — but where do you go if you want to play your instrument with a group of people?”

Community bands are the answer if the community is lucky enough to have one.

Getting started

And while Becker was directing at Warsaw in December of 1988, the LACB was just starting to come together.

When the successful and well-established Elkhart Municipal Band lent a helping hand, 20 musicians showed up for the first rehearsal on May 22, 1989, at Syracuse Elementary School.

Less than a month later, the LACB held its first concert with the Elkhart Municipal Band. The group went on to perform its first solo concert in August and finished its first season with 13 concerts under their belts.

Since then they have performed hundreds of times, including each year at the Syracuse Fourth of July festivities, Warsaw First Fridays, Greencroft in Goshen, Dixie Park in North Webster, Grace Village at Winona Lake, the Auburn Band Festival and most recently at the Carmel Band Festival.

That most recent performance was one of LACB charter member Sue Taylor’s favorite events.

“All three of my boys went into sports, so I was thrilled went Trent Taylor, a great nephew on my husband’s side found an interest in band,” Taylor said. “He’s a real music lover — plays the trumpet.  

Trent even played several seasons the LABC.

“He now lives in Indianapolis and joined a community band there,” Taylor said. “And we saw each other at the Carmel Band Festival. I had a great time and just felt honored to be invited.”

Although there are some retired band directors and professionals playing in the band, Taylor is representative of most band members. She learned an instrument in school, loved playing, but with a busy schedule and raising a family, music had to take a back seat.

But the opportunity to play again in a community band found many former musicians dusting off their instruments, or in Taylor’s case buying a new one, and heading off to rehearsal.

“I wanted to play in college, but unless you were a music major, it was hard to do that,” Taylor remembered of her experience at Indiana University. “I even ended up selling my clarinet.”

She spent the next 33 years as a teacher at Chandler Elementary in Goshen.

Taylor was pretty excited when she heard about the LACB. She headed to a rehearsal with a fellow clarinet player from high school, and without an instrument.

“After some playing, my friend said her lips hurt pretty badly and she handed me the instrument and asked if I would mind playing it instead of her,” Taylor said.

Taylor didn’t mind at all.

“It felt like I had never left off playing it,” Taylor said. “It all came back so quickly.”

By the next day, six days before the next rehearsal, Taylor had bought herself a new clarinet.

And she’s been performing since.

“I’ve really enjoyed the friendships I’ve made here,” Taylor said

She said she’s learned so much from each director of the LACB.

“They have a way of pulling you together and ending up with a pleasing sound. They know how to pick out music that helps you to grow,” Taylor said. “We’ve become a lot better over the years with each director and guest conductor.”

What to expect

The LACB will perform several Sousa marches on Saturday, as well as two pieces, one composed and the other arranged by Les Taylor. One of those compositions, “Dedication” will be played in honor of long-time LACB member and assistant director Phil Eherenman.

Former LABCB Director Mike Clark, who passed away after an extended illness last year, will also be honored. Another former director, Mike Sanders will perform on the vibraphone or “vibes” in a tribute to vibraphonist and jazz great Lionel Hampton.

Director Becker will be featured on his trumpet in “Satchmo,” a tribute to Louis Armstrong.

Six charter band members, including Taylor, will be recognized and each band member, Becker said, will be awarded for their years of service in the LACB.

For more information on the LACB concert, concert schedule or for those interested in joining the band, visit www.lacband.com

Text Only
Local News
  • Hanna Zook A.jpg 9 vie for Distinguished Young Women title MIDDLEBURY — Nine contestants will be competing in Middlebury’s Distinguished Young Women program, formerly known as Middlebury’s Junior Miss program.The theme for this year is “Shine Your Way” and the program will be held at the Northridge High Scho

    July 31, 2014 9 Photos

  • GN140731 Old fashioned farming days 00070.jpg Shipshewana hosts “Old Fashion Farming Days” SHIPSHEWANA — What began 10 years ago as a small exhibition of six or seven farming items dating from the 1800s and 1900s has grown into a yearly festival celebrating the unique histories of more than 400 pieces of antique faming equipment.According

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • NWS GN0731 boys and girls club 01 Boys & Girls Club seeking $1.4M to expand GOSHEN — The Goshen Boys & Girls Club is a bustling place.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • BIZ GN0730 Growing kids daycare image New day care center will open in August GOSHEN — There’s a Main Street in downtown Goshen and now there’s another, shorter Main Street in Goshen. The new road is located inside the new Growing Kids Learning Center.The newly-built center is located at Elkhart Road and C.R. 17. The day care

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140730 Spore mug Child's death prompts carbon monoxide awareness SYRACUSE — In the wake of the carbon monoxide poisoning death of 12-year-old Skyler Spore, the Syracuse community is raising awareness about the dangers of the deadly gas.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS GN140730 stormwater board Orchard annexation gets $500,000 boost Stormwater board increases contribution toward $7.5 million project

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140730 city council summit 01 Street chief says more money needed to avoid cutting services GOSHEN — The last year has been a particularly rough one for the Goshen Street Department, and the budget for 2015 is likely going to reflect much of that pain in the form of a significant increase in funding requests.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Jace Michael Mast TOPEKA — Jace Michael Mast, infant son of Earl and Esther (Lambright) Mast of Topeka, was stillborn at 9:40 p.m. Monday at Dupont Hospital, Fort Wayne. In addition to his parents, he is survived by a brother, Evan Wade Mast, at home; grandparents, Ri

    July 29, 2014

  • nipsco property Construction to close N. Fifth St. for most of a year

    GOSHEN — Motorists who use North Fifth Street should plan to find a new route for the coming year. Monday the Goshen Board of Works and Safety members accepted bids for a North Fifth Street reconstruction project from Clinton Street to Crescent Stree

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • SLIDESHOW: Pets of the Week Cats and dogs looking for loving homes at the Humane Society of Elkhart County. These are the final days of the HSEC's July special: adopt in July and receive 25 percent off your adoption fee for dogs and cats under 5 years old or 50 percent off those 5-years-old or better.

    July 29, 2014 11 Photos


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

With military action and tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Palestine, are you worried that the U.S. and other nations may get drawn into these conflicts?

Yes, it is a great concern of mine
I’m a little worried, but not too much
No, I’m not worried at all
     View Results
AP Video
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii