A FOND DU LAC TRADITION FOR THE PAST 90 YEARS.

Our performing arts series began at a time when television was non-existent and professional performing artists were a rarity in small towns. The Fond du Lac Concert Association traces its history back to the year 1927, when a Fond du Lac Commonwealth Reporter article stated that "The organization of a Fond du Lac Civic Music Association was undertaken recently by Mrs. A. D. Sutherland, chairperson of the music department of the Woman’s Club." The association plan which had already been adopted successfully in more than 100 cities, eliminated the financial uncertainty of bringing talented artists to perform in Fond du Lac. Season tickets were priced at Adults $5 - Students $3.50. Concert presentations under the auspices of the Fond du Lac Civic Music association were only available through a subscription membership plan.

Newspaper articles that appeared in the Fond du Lac Commonwealth Reporter between February 16, 1927 and March 1, 1927, provide a detailed chronicle of the Fond du Lac Civic Music Association and its membership drive. During this amazing 15 day period the following events occurred: the association was formed and organized, officers were elected, board members selected, a membership drive was completed with a total exceeding over 700 season ticket holders, and the program artists were chosen by officials. Artists selected for the first concert series included Chicago Opera soprano Edith Mason, tenor Don Jose Mojica and violinist Herbert Kirschner, duo harpsichordists Manuel and Williamsen.

Membership increased through the next 25 years to 1,273 memberships in 1951-1952. Many world famous artists came to Fond du Lac including violinist Artur Rubenstein, Metropolitan Opera Company singers Ezio Pinza, Jan Peerce and Salvatore Baccaloni, the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra just to name a few. Concerts were hosted in the Roosevelt Auditorium, and later in the old Fond du Lac Theatre.

The Civic Music Association thrived for many years, before changing its name in 1958 to the "Community Concert Association." During the 1966-67 season, the name was changed to the "Town & Gown Association" reflecting the highest level of artistry, talent, and showmanship in the annual series.

Concerts moved to the Goodrich Little Theatre during the sixties and seventies, and the association attracted many riveting performances from the likes of Paris Chamber Orchestra, Mantovani & His Orchestra, (for a crowd of 2,200 in the Goodrich Gymnasium), the Milwaukee Symphony, Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians, Vienna Boys Choir, The American Ballet, William Warfield, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Robert De Cormier Folk Singers, The Don Shirley Trio, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and Arthur Fiedler and the National Symphony Orchestra.

Many prominent civic leaders often worked on the Association Board through the years. Officers have included city councilmen, doctors, lawyers, newspaper editors, school teachers and administrators, musicians, artists, and just about every occupation conceivable. The members elected to the Board determine the artistic programs each year, and manage the finances. The association became incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1970.

In 1995, the name was changed to "Fond du Lac Concert Association." However, the perpetual goal of this organization has always been the same...to provide the finest nationally renowned musical programs to Fond du Lac audiences at a reasonable cost through a subscription series. A subscription series means simply that each patron or member buys a season ticket which is good for all the concerts for that year.

In recent years patrons have seen dynamic performances by the Glenn Miller Band, Si Zentner and His Orchestra, Mac Frampton Trio, Michael Johnson, George Shearing, The von Trapp Children, Doc Severinsen's Big Band and many shows including "Pump Boys and Dinettes, Ain’t Misbehavin,’ The Church Basement Ladies."

The Fond du Lac Concert Association proudly ushered in its "75th Anniversary" during the 2001-2002 concert season. The gala opening of this special benchmark year occurred simultaneously with the debut performance by the Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats in the new Performing Arts Center. Today, the Fond du Lac Concert Association hosts one of the longest-running performing arts series in the state of Wisconsin; and continues its efforts to build and strengthen the cultural legacy that began over 90 years ago.

 

Artists we have presented in past years...
How many of these shows do you remember?

2016 - 2017

The Redhead Express, Tribute to the King with Travis LeDoyt, Silver Bells & Diamonds, Shades of Buble', The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, and Dallas Brass

2015 - 2016

Inspirational Broadway – Ernie Hasse & Signature Sound, The 5 Browns, California Dreamin,' Denny Diamond & the Jewels, The Jive Aces.  

2014 - 2015

Close to You: The Music of the Carpenters, My Generation with the Tony DeSare Trio, Two on Tap: Happy Holidays, Jaimee Paul, The Cornet Chop Suey Jazz Band, and An Evening with Maureen McGovern

2013 - 2014

Doc Severinsen’s Big Band, The Allan Harris Band, Michael Kaeshammer, California Guitar Trio and Montreal Guitar Trio, Rodney Mack Philadelphia Big Brass

2012 - 2013

New Odyssey, The London Quartet, A George Dyer Christmas, A Second Helping: The Church Basement Ladies Sequel, Intersection, Take Me Home: The Music of John Denver

2011 - 2012

Heartland Singers,  Metales M5,  The Redhead Express,  Voces 8,  Riders in the Sky,  Red Star, Red Army Chorus & Dance Ensemble

2010 - 2011

Jeri Sager, Leon Williams Noel, The Brett Family Singers, Cirque Voila, Abbey Road Band, Romanza's Tenorissimo

2009 - 2010

Stringfever, Christmas with Boni Pueri Czech Boys Choir, New Shanghai Circus, Girl Singers of the Hit Parade, The Harry James Orchestra

2008 - 2009

Five by Design "Stay Tuned", Cherish The Ladies, Fascinating Gershwin, Opus 2, The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra

2007 - 2008

Hunt Family Fiddlers, Simply Sinatra (Steve Lippia), Michel Lauziere, Empire Brass, Barbary Coast Dixieland Band

2006 - 2007

Cadence, Woods Tea Company, New Century Dance Orchestra, The National Lutheran Choir, Church Basement Ladies, Eileen Lvers & Immigrant Soul

2005 - 2006

Piano 4, Mr. Jack Daniel’s Original Silver Cornet Band, Hot Jazz & Sweet Melodies, Zum, The von Trapp Children

2004 - 2005

Lezginka, Synergy Quintet Brass Ensemble, Marcoux Corner, The Black Mountain Welsh Male Chorus, The Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats

2003 - 2004

Alice in Wonderland Follies, Holidays with Hudson Shad, Boni Pueri, The Chicago Loop-Group, Side Street Strutters

2002 – 2003

Grand Derangement, Russian State Chorus, Holland Wind Players, Romance of the Flute & Harp, and Dukes of Dixieland

2001 – 2002

Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats, Hollywood Festival Orchestra & Singers, Fond du Lac Symphonic Band, Ronnie Kole Duo, and Foothills Brass

2000 – 2001

Common Ground, Prague Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, The Marlins, Paul Asaro Trio, and Lessack & O’Brien "Enchanted Evening"

1999 – 2000

Bending the Bows, Neal & Leandra "Happy Memories," Vancouver Wind Trio, and Glenn Miller Orchestra

1998 – 1999

Khenany, Michael Johnson, John Bayless, and Dixie Power Trio

1997 – 1998

Si Zentner Orchestra, Tony Sandler Christmas Show, Ahn Trio, and The Golden Strings

1996 – 1997

Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Quartetto Gelato, Valentina Lisitsa, Mac Frampton Trio, and Western Wind Vocal Ensemble

1995 – 1996

Brassissimo Vienna, Merry Wives of Windsor, Tonic Sol-fa, Helios, John Bayless, and Travelin’ Light

1994 – 1995

Steel Bandits, Ory Shihor, Warsaw Wind Quintet, Pump Boys & Dinettes, and Rhythm & Brass

1993 - 1994

Evening of Irish Music, St. Olaf Orchestra, Arista Trio, Evening on Broadway, and Tamburitzans

1992 – 1993

Ain’t Misbehavin’, Café Noir Gypsy & Jazz, Powell Flute Quartet, and The Golden Strings

1991 – 1992

Dutton Family, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Xiao-Dong Wang, San Francisco Sax Quartet, and Tony Caramia Ragtime Piano

1990 – 1991

Make Believe Brass Band, Milwaukee Symphony, Kohn & Company, and Cavani String Quartet

1989 – 1990

Massenkoff Russian Folk Festival, Dale Warland Singers, Wingra Woodwind Quintet, and The Golden Strings

1988 – 1989

Milwaukee Symphony, Malinova Sisters, Austin on Tap, and Crescent City Jazz Band

1987 – 1988

Milwaukee Symphony, National Ballet of West Java, Midwest Revues, Jeffrey Hollander Doing Gershwin, and Swinging Knights

1986 – 1987

Wisconsin Brass Quintet, Kevin Roth, Amherst Saw Quartet, American Boy Choir, and When Music Was Music

1985 – 1986

Russ Morgan Orchestra, Swinging Knights, Weekley & Arganbright Duo Pianos, and Harvey Griffith Trio

1984 – 1985

Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers, Diane Bish, Chicago Brass Quintet, and Dance Alive

1983 – 1984

The Marlow's, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Kathy Kienzie, and Phoenix Boys Choir

1982 – 1983

Naughty Marietta Opera, Odessa Balalaika, Chestnut Brass Company, Best of Broadway, and Singing Statesmen from UW—Eau Claire

1981 – 1982

Die Fledermaus Opera, Robert Guralnik, Riverboat Ragtime Revue, and N. Carolina Dance Theater

Congratulations!
If you remember all of these previous seasons, we thank you for your loyal patronage.

Fond du Lac Concert Association Past Presidents

2005-
Gary Smet

1975-1977

Willard Henken

2000-2005

Bruce Butler

1973-1975

Donald Cummins

1997-2000

Bob Shirek

1971-1973

Steven Stone

1996-1997

Jerry Sullivan

1969-1971

Paul Schultz

1995-1996

Marian Simons

1967-1969

Marian Simons

1993-1995

Jon Gilliland

1965-1967

James Nintzel

1991-1993

Brad Gottfried

1963-1965

Gerald Mielke

1990-1991

Marian Simons

1961-1963

Paul Lessor

1989-1990

Virginia Brooks

1960-1961

Dr. C. R. Peterson

1988-1989

Lyle Hansen

1958-1960

Richard Humleker

1986-1988

Don Behrens

1956-1957

Dr. Howard Mauthe

1985-1986

Bill Draves

1955-1956

Jake Hammes

1983-1985

Jane Shirek

1950-1954

Macklin DeNictolis

1981-1983

B. J. Holman

1949-1950

Leslie R. Maze

1979-1981

Kate Marrs

1948-1949

John C. Tonjes

1977-1979

Agnes Edwards