Letter from the LSO Board President

Welcome to the 120th season of the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra.  As I start my first year as President of the LSO, I cannot help but reflect on the progress we have made over the last decade.  Notable progress has been made in several regards.  These would include musically, artistically, financially and community integration.  In my opinion, one area that stands out the most is integrating the community into the LSO and reciprocally integrating the LSO into the community.  This is a two-way street.  Several programs reflect this movement toward collaboration.  A few that stand out are the Play it Forward initiative, the revised format of the Conductor Wannabee campaign and the Percussion Project.

The Play It Forward initiative involves individuals contributing unused instruments which are reconditioned and loaned to children at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse.  The LSO provides free lessons to those kids.  Collaboration…

Three years ago the format of the Conductor Wannabee campaign was changed.  Rather than just raising funds for the LSO, we asked each Wannabee to pick a nonprofit to receive half of the monies raised by that individual Wannabee conductor.  Collaboration…

This past June, we kicked off our Percussion Project.  For roughly the past 20 years, the LSO has borrowed its percussion instruments from Onalaska High School.  Over time these instruments, through regular use by the LSO, Onalaska High School and La Crosse Area Youth Symphony, needed to be replaced.  These three organizations formed a committee to assess their collective needs and embarked on a $60,000 campaign to replace and add additional percussion instruments.  About three months later, we had obtained our goal and beyond.  Collaboration…

Collaboration… it’s not just a buzz word at the LSO.  Collaboration fosters community, synergies and efficiency.  Plus, it just feels good.  Do you have ideas on further collaboration?  I would love to hear from you.

Now sit back, relax and enjoy the passion.

Jay Jaehnke

LSO Board President