Our city of Elkhart was known as the band capital of the world for a reason: Many fine instruments were — and still are — made here. The talented artists these instruments provide were, and are, phenomenal! Music is the universal language and the foundation of our city. The talent in the bands, orchestras and choral groups is outstanding!
With the fast-approaching Elkhart Jazz Festival, I felt this is a good time to write this. I was asked by an Elkhart resident, “With all of this music industry, history and workmanship in this town, why isn’t there a music museum? Also, with all of the vacant buildings, why couldn’t one of those buildings be used as a museum?” I thought about this. I said to one of the city council members that a great location would be on Jackson Street where C.G. Conn’s sign is. I realize there are many other buildings that might work. I have no idea the condition of that building or any others.
I could assure you that the instrument companies past and present, school music programs and local choral groups would have no problem displaying items from their history in a beautiful music museum.
The music museum would be one more landmark for jazz festival attendants, tourists and local music lovers to visit along with our other venues.
These ideas are food for thought. I’m sure others have been interested over the years. I feel it’s a good time. Last year’s jazz festival was one of the biggest in the past 10 years. It can only get better!
Becky Wagner Schooley