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Past Conductors

LWE FOUNDER Michael J. Arendt


Michael J. ArendtMichael J. Arendt, 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.