The Lakeshore 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 LWE performed its first concert in March of 1984. Since that time, the wind ensemble has grown to a current membership of over 90 musicians and encompasses a wide age span from students to retired persons, in a blend of youthful exuberance and musical maturity. Community members from all walks of life form the basis of the organization, since there is a continual change in the student membership at the two-year UW campus. Several of these community members have played with the wind ensemble since its inception, and numerous 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 LWE first rehearsed in a basement room at University of Wisconsin Center – Manitowoc County West Hall. Acoustically and physically it left much to be desired. The ceiling was so low that Professor Arendt’s baton would occasionally pierce the ceiling panel above the podium during rehearsal. Hillside Hall, formerly West Hall, was constructed on the UWC-MC campus in 1987. A music wing, including a large rehearsal room, piano lab, and practice and storage rooms, became the home of the wind ensemble.
NAME CHANGES OVER THE YEARS
During the fall of 1997, UW-Centers consisting of all 13 freshman/sophomore campuses in the UW System were renamed “UW Colleges.” The campus name changed to the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc. The band became the UW-Manitowoc Lakeshore Wind Ensemble. In 2018, UW-Manitowoc became part of the University of Wisconsin Green Bay campus and is now named UW Green Bay – Manitowoc Campus Lakeshore Wind Ensemble.
Concerts presented by the Lakeshore Wind Ensemble in the first years were presented in the UWC-MC Fine Arts Room, but other sites had to be found due to the growth of both the ensemble and its audiences. Concerts were presented at Washington High School, Two Rivers, and at Wilson Junior High in Manitowoc in 1986. Two concerts were held at the Capitol Civic Centre prior to its renovation. While the Capitol was undergoing its renovation, the LWE presented concerts in the multi-purpose room - also fondly referred to as the “performing arts gym.”
In January of 1990, the Lakeshore Wind Ensemble was invited to perform at the convention of the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Band Association. The band was honored by being chosen by the NBA Selection Committee to be the featured band to perform at the convention's closing concert. Since the 1990-91 season, however, the Lakeshore Wind Ensemble has presented its annual subscription series at the Capitol Civic Centre.
The wind ensemble has presented several concerts at the Manitowoc Historical Society’s Pinecrest Village and is also an annual participant in the Two Rivers Parks and Recreation Department free “concert in the park” series in downtown Two Rivers, WI.
Along with entertaining audiences close to home, the LWE has traveled abroad numerous times. The group has undertaken four concert trips to Continental Europe, one to England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, one to Scandinavia and Russia, and two to Manitowoc’s sister city, Kamogawa, Japan. The Lakeshore Wind Ensemble now presents five concerts annually at the Capitol Civic Centre in historic downtown Manitowoc. The season begins with "Music of the Masters," which is presented in October. The Arendt Family/Lakeshore Wind Ensemble Association Talentships awarded to UW Green Bay – Manitowoc Campus students are announced at the October concert. “A Festival of Christmas” held the first Saturday in December is for many the start of the holiday season. This concert features TV Host Tom Zalaski as guest narrator, he is celebrating over 35 years with the LWE! “The Biggest of the Big Bands,” or pops concert, is held in mid-January when the wind ensemble joins the Lakeshore Big Band for an exciting evening of the sounds of the fabulous swing era. In March, the wind ensemble presents “The Winds of March.” At this concert, the winners of the Lakeshore Wind Association's Young Artist Competition (held biennially) are featured in solo performances with the ensemble. The final concert of the season in May varies in theme.
PAST CONDUCTORS AND STAFF
Michael J. Arendt served as the LWE/LBB conductor from 1983-2014, Dr. Daniel Ackley LWE/LBB conductor, 2014-2015; Dr. Marc Sackman LWE conductor and music director, 2016-2020. Two assistant conductors have served LWE, Brian Van Ells, 1987-1997; and David Bourgeois, 2011-2014. The group is also aided by an Administrative Assistant, Linda Drumm Luchsinger served 1985-2014; and Sandy Sickinger 2014 to 2023. Ruthann Ross is the current Administrative Assistant. Heidi Dalberg was hired as the Marketing Director in 2015 and is still serving in this capacity.
Michael J. Arendt, B.M., M.M., Founder and Conductor Emeritus of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus Lakeshore Wind Ensemble and Big Band, was also Professor Emeritus of Music, at UW-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus. From 1971 until his retirement from the UW-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus in spring of 2006, he taught Music Theory, Music History, Applied French Horn, and Conducting. Professor Arendt served as Conductor/Music Director of the LWE from its founding in 1983 until May 3, 2014.
Professor Arendt, former Assistant Conductor of the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, has also served as the Principal Horn with the Pamiro Opera Company Orchestra, the Sebastian Chamber Orchestra, and the St. Norbert College Community Band. In addition, he has performed with the Wichita Chamber, Orchestra, the Moravian Music Festival Orchestra, the UW-Milwaukee Fine Arts Woodwind Quintet, the Ice Capades and Holiday on Ice Show Orchestras and Manitowoc Symphony. He also served as Professor of French Horn at UW-Green Bay. In addition, he served as Conductor and Horn Specialist at the UW-Green Bay and St. Norbert Summer Music Camps. He also served as the Chair of the Department of Music of the University of Wisconsin Colleges and Associate Dean at UW-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus
Professor Arendt held a Bachelor of Music Degree from St. Norbert College, and a Master of Music Degree in conducting, performance, and music theory from Wichita Kansas State University. He was a frequent guest conductor/clinician, and music festival/contest adjudicator. In addition, Professor Arendt received a Citation of Excellence from the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Band Association and was also recognized by the Wisconsin Music Educators Association for his dedicated service to music education. He also participated in Conductors Symposia, sponsored by
International Music Festivals and Indiana University held in Oxtepec, Mexico and at the Interlochen Arts Academy, in Michigan.
During his collegiate and performance career, Professor Arendt won solo French horn/conducting scholarship competitions sponsored by the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, St. Norbert College, the Wisconsin Federation of Music Clubs, and Wichita Kansas State University. In addition, since the LWE was founded in 1983, Professor Arendt led seven tours abroad including concerts and tours of; Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Scandinavia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Japan, Switzerland, Ireland, and Great Britain. Professor Arendt was inducted into the international honorary fraternity of conductors Phi Beta Mu. In June of 2013, Professor Arendt led the LWE on its 2nd concert tour in Japan in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Manitowoc/Kamogawa Sister City celebration.
Prior to coming to UW-Green Bay, Manitowoc Campus, Professor Arendt held positions in the Hilbert, Wisconsin Public Schools, the Derby, Kansas Public Schools, the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, and the International Institute of Advanced Musical Studies in Cran/Montana, Switzerland. He held professional memberships in the National Band Association, the College Band Directors National Association, the Music Educators National Conference, the International Horn Society, the American Federation of Musicians, and the Wisconsin Music Educators Conference. Mr. Arendt also served as an adjudicator for the Wisconsin National Band Association and the Wisconsin School Music Association.
Upon his retirement in May of 2014, Professor Arendt received commendations from Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and Wisconsin US Senator Tammy Baldwin. Professor Arendt was presented a Wisconsin State Legislature Citation of Excellence by State Senator Joe Leibham (9th Senate District) and State Representative Paul Tittl (25th Assembly District). Additional commendations were given from Manitowoc County, the City of Manitowoc, the City of Kamogawa Japan, the City of Two Rivers, the Collegium of the University of Wisconsin Manitowoc, Dr. Charles Clark, Dean, and the Lakeshore Wind Ensemble Association. He was also presented with the Key to the City of Manitowoc by Mayor Justin Nickels. In addition, the Lakeshore Wind Ensemble Association, Michael Pappathopoulos, President, designated him with the honorary title of Conductor Emeritus of the Lakeshore Wind Ensemble and Lakeshore Big Band. He was also awarded the 2014 LWE Wes Teply Community Service Award in the Arts.
Michael Joseph Arendt, age 74, died unexpectedly at his home in Manitowoc on Tuesday, July 16, 2019. Family and friends celebrated his life at a memorial service at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manitowoc.