Donate: Lakeland Civic Orchestra

Donate: Lakeland Civic Orchestra

Lakeland Civic Orchestra Fund

This 60-member symphony orchestra formed from Lakeland students and community members and containing both amateur and professional musicians, performs the finest in classical, contemporary, and pops orchestral music for the Lakeland Community. The Lakeland Civic Orchestra is led by Dr. Matthew Saunders and concertmaster Sarah Icardi.


The purpose of the fund is intended to be flexible, so that it can support a wide variety of opportunities the benefit the Lakeland Civic Orchestra and its reach to the community. Activities that may be supported include, but are not limited, to:

Operations: Operational support of the Lakeland Civic Orchestra.

Supplies and Equipment: Music related needs, such as performance and stage equipment, music library, etc.

Development: The commission of original works.

Performer Fees: Guest performer fees.

Travel: Travel for Lakeland Civic Orchestra performances.

Other Performances: Performances/programs at Lakeland for students and the community.

Equipment: Music related equipment.

Facility Improvements: Improvements to the Dr. William and Mrs. Evelyn Fletcher Memorial Music Room.

Join Us

Current Lakeland students and community members are encouraged to participate or be a part of the audience for the Lakeland Civic Orchestra:

Participate: Lakeland welcomes community members to audition for one of (or multiple) music ensembles. Visit Music Ensemble for more information on eligibility, requirements, days and times, etc.

Audience: Lakeland welcomes all individuals interested in listening to the Lakeland Jazz Impact, and please bring guests! Visit Arts at Lakeland for most up-to-date information on upcoming performance details.

Lakeland Civic Orchestra History

The Lakeland Civic Orchestra began in September 1937 as the Lake County Symphony Orchestra Association, founded by Mrs. Lorna Nighman, its first director, leading musicians from Lake and Geauga counties. By February 1938, the group had grown to 30 members, and in June 1938, presented its first concert at Painesville Baptist Church. In 1951, the orchestra reorganized and renamed itself the Lake County Symphony Orchestra. Around 1955, Charles Ruddick organized and began to lead the Willoughby Community Orchestra, a group providing concerts in the parks and other service functions. In 1970, the groups merged to become the Lakeland Civic Orchestra under the aegis of the recently-established Lakeland Community College.

Since then, the Lakeland Civic Orchestra has pursued the dual missions of providing Lake County residents with opportunities to play and hear orchestral music, while fulfilling the performing ensemble requirement for many Lakeland Community College music students. The annual Young Artists Concerto Competition has been an important step in the careers of budding young musicians, with the winners performing with the orchestra as soloists. Additionally, the orchestra has collaborated with choral ensembles, including the Lakeland Civic Chorus, and with the wide range of professional soloists and composers in Northeast Ohio.

For many years, the musicians of Lake, Cuyahoga, Geauga, and Ashtabula counties have come together to bring orchestral music to our community. They rehearse one weekday evening per week because of their passion for music and love for the act of music making. Join us for the next phase of our history!


Have questions? Contact The Lakeland Foundation with questions related to Giving. Contact the Arts and Sciences Division Office for questions related to Arts at Lakeland programming.

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