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Hospital CEO, LP mayor face off in Magic Baton competition

April 18, 2019

La PORTE — It’s not really magic, and the baton is more symbolic than anything, but a longstanding tradition with the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra will continue with the annual Magic Baton competition next month.

“The Magic Baton tradition began in 1981 as a part of the 150th anniversary of the City of La Porte,” said Tim King, LCSO interim executive director.

“Mayor A. J. Rumely was the highest bidder at a live auction that was held during intermission of the Spring Pops Concert. Since then, there have been over 30 Magic Baton maestros. Which one of our nominees will become a part of this coveted tradition and instantly transform into a maestro? Only your votes will tell.”

The fundraising competition, to be conducted at the Spring Pops Concert – featuring the music of Rodgers & Hammerstein with music director candidate Alexander Platt – at 7:30 p.m. on May 4 at the La Porte Civic Auditorium, 1001 Ridge St., La Porte.

This year’s featured nominees are Ashley Dickinson and La Porte Mayor Mark Krentz.

“The Magic Baton nominee who raises the most contributions for the orchestra by the end of intermission at the May 4 concert will be deemed the winner,” King said. “He or she will then conduct the orchestra for one selection during the second half of the program.”

All contributions raised at the event will benefit the LCSO’s annual Children’s Concerts held in October.

“One dollar equals one vote, and contributions of all sizes are encouraged,” King said. “Vote for your favorite a hundred times if you so choose.”

Dickinson serves as CEO for both La Porte Hospital and Starke Hospital in Knox. She and her husband, Patrick, live in La Porte County.

Krentz and his wife, Laura, are champions of the arts and are actively involved in La Porte Little Theatre as well as serving as members of the Visual Arts Council of La Porte.

Votes for the nominees can be made now at lcso.net or by mailing a check to LCSO Magic Baton, P.O. Box 563, La Porte, IN 46352-0563.

Tickets to the May 4 concert can be purchased at lcso.net, or by calling the LCSO Box Office at 362-9020. Tickets can also be purchased at the La Porte Civic Auditorium and Roxy’s Music in La Porte; and the La Porte County Convention & Visitors Bureau in Michigan City. Students with a valid student ID are admitted for free.

– From staff reports