Symphony concert at Lerner a family affair

A composition written in honor of Conductor Brian Groner will be performed as part of Elkhart County Symphony’s “Your Family, Our Family” concert Nov. 3 at Elkhart’s Lerner Theatre.

ELKHART — The Elkhart County Symphony is having a family get-together — with music. “Your Family, Our Family” is the theme of the next concert in the symphony’s performance season on Nov. 3.

“‘Your Family, Our Family’ celebrates all the common experiences that we share,” said John R. Hill, co-executive director of the Elkhart County Symphony. “Everyone who has been a musician in a band, orchestra or choir knows the bond that develops through rehearsing and performing together as a unit. Just as families bond together, musicians feel a close connection to those who make music with them. But, did you know the instruments in an orchestra make up a set of ‘families’ also?”

The afternoon “Your Family, Our Family” concert will begin with “Huapango” by José Pablo Moncayo. “Huapango” is the unofficial second national anthem of Mexico. It was written in 1941 by then 29-year-old Moncayo (1912-1958) and incorporates folk songs he heard as he traveled in Mexico.

Up next in the program will be Franz Schubert’s “Symphony No. 8.” It is commonly known as the “Unfinished Symphony.”

After intermission, the audience will hear a new composition commissioned by the Fox Valley Symphony and written for conductor Brian Groner as recognition for his 23 years with the symphony. Groner is also the Elkhart County Symphony’s conductor. “De Trois” is a three-sectioned, single-movement piece written in 2018 by Libby Larsen. 

The final piece will highlight the dramatic sounds of every “family” of instruments within the orchestra. Benjamin Britten’s “Young People’s Guide to the Orchestra” was written specially to introduce young people to the orchestra instruments. Dawn Ashton will be the narrator. The piece begins with the entire orchestra playing the theme, followed by various combinations of instruments playing variations of the theme.

The music won’t just be happening onstage during “Your Family, Our Family.” There will be an “instrument petting zoo” set up in the lobby before the concert for people of all ages to try out musical instruments.

The Elkhart County Symphony Association employs more than 100 professional musicians in the county. The organization promotes cultural experiences and instills civic pride in the community by encouraging artistic integrity, providing innovative opportunities, and presenting excellent musical programming through concerts, education, and special events.

The show starts at 4 p.m. Nov. 3 at The Lerner Theatre, 410 S. Main St., Elkhart.

Tickets range from $12 to $25 and are available through the symphony’s website at

The concert is sponsored by the Community Foundation of Elkhart County and WNIT.


WHAT: “Your Family, Our Family,” the latest performance offered by the Elkhart County Symphony

WHEN:  4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3

WHERE: The Lerner Theatre, 410 S. Main St., Elkhart

TICKETS: $12 to $25, available through the symphony’s website at

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