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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Manitowoc bands will no longer be affiliated with university

Critic At Large

Lakeshore Wind Ensemble and Lakeshore Big Band

Lakeshore Wind Ensemble on stage of Manitowoc’s Capitol Civic Centre.


The Lakeshore Wind Ensemble and Lakeshore Big Band will become fully private starting in June.

According to an announcement made Monday in a press release from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus, the Lakeshore Wind Ensemble Association (LWEA) will become the governing body of both bands.

According the press release: Since the ensembles will no longer be part of the campus, participation in the band will no longer be offered for credit to university students and the campus will no longer provide a music faculty member as the conductor/music director.

The Lakeshore Wind Ensemble is made up of talented musicians from across the lakeshore. Several of the community members have played with the wind ensemble since its inception 37 years ago. Numerous former students have “come home” to the wind ensemble after completing their degrees at a four-year university. “The common bonds of this diverse group are the love of good music and the joy of sharing that music with others,” the press release says.

The wind ensemble was founded in the fall of 1983 by Professor Michael J. Arendt as part of the University of Wisconsin Center-Manitowoc County Community Outreach Program. Beginning with a membership of 35 student and community members, the wind ensemble performed its first concert in March 1984. Since that time, the wind ensemble has grown to a current membership of more than 70 musicians and encompasses a wide age span from students to retired persons.

UWGB, Manitowoc Campus Professor Marc Sackman has served as the conductor and music director of the wind ensemble since January 2016. Full-time registered university students participating in the band for credit are also eligible for scholarships called “Talentships,” which are dispersed by the LWEA and the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc Foundation. Beginning with the 2020-2021wind ensemble season, full-time university students participating in wind ensemble will continue to be eligible for Talentships, despite the class not being offered for credit.

The Lakeshore Big Band was founded by Arendt in 1990. The band was an outgrowth of the University of Wisconsin Center-Manitowoc County Lakeshore Wind Ensemble in response to the popularity of the “big band” music that the wind ensemble performed at its concerts. The big band is conducted by Paul Sucherman, a UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus music professor and includes Manitowoc and Sheboygan campus university students and community members.

The ensemble will continue making music and continue to honor community members who substantially contribute to the arts with the Wes Teply Community Service Award in the Arts and also host the biennial LWEA Young Artist Competition that provides financial scholarships to college students and an opportunity to perform with the band at the March concert.

The LWEA is undergoing a conductor search for the 2020-2021 season, which begins in September 2020.

The wind ensemble performs five concerts a year – October, December, January, March and May – at Capitol Civic Centre in downtown Manitowoc.

Generally, there are six to eight rehearsals per concert, with the final two rehearsals held at Capitol Civic Centre. The rehearsals for the wind ensemble are Tuesdays from 6 to 8 p.m.

Paul Sucherman will continue to be the conductor of the Lakeshore Big Band, which presents two concerts – in November and April – also at Capitol Civic Centre.

Candidates may submit a letter of interest and a resume by May 1, 2020, to: Visit the “News” page on to view a full job description. For questions, contact David Scherer, LWEA board president, (920) 684-0870.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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