In 1952, the Lancaster Opera Workshop was formed for the cultural benefit of the community of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This was to be achieved through the study, production, and presentation of operatic programs. Encouragement of and development of appreciation for opera on the part of young people was a high priority. These productions provided opportunity for vocal students and accomplished vocalists alike, and became a training ground for all those concerned with the production of opera in all its phases.
In 1958, the Lancaster Opera Workshop Auxiliary, our predecessor, was formed to explore ways in which they could provide the financial and moral support needed to allow the members of the Workshop the freedom to focus on their endeavors. In 1969, the first Youth Competition was held for piano and voice. In 1984, the competition became for voice students only and with a few exceptions has been held yearly since. In 1971, The first Lemonade Concert was held. Later, Lancaster Opera Workshop changed it’s name to OperaLancaster and the auxiliary became known as OperaLancaster Associates. (Source: Grand Opera In Grand Style, Copyright 2001 by Kim Y. Wittel)
SO YOU SEE, WE HAVE A LONG HISTORY OF SUPPORTING MUSICIANS IN THE LANCASTER COMMUNITY!
So what’s happening now?
In 2020, we rebranded and expanded our reach. Although we had a name change, we will always support OperaLancaster and vocal music as our first love. Why, it’s practically in our DNA! In recent years, we have planned our concerts with something for everybody in mind and our audiences have come back again and again.
In 2019, we had ten concerts in our summer line-up which showcased 105 musicians. Attendance was the highest ever! Unfortunately, in 2020 and 2021, the pandemic stifled our Summer Concert Series and Our Vocal Competition for high school and college students. Next Summer the music and the lemonade will flow again!
Our concerts are always pay-what-you-will donation. And…we do serve lemonade! So now you know why “When life gives you lemons, we’ve got you covered!”
We plan to come back really big in 2022!
- President – Kay Kneisley
- Treasurer – Cynthia Krom
- Secretary – Sharon Neal
- Corresponding Secretary – Michelle Klink
- Member at Large – Mary Ellen Bachman
- Member at Large – Coralie Crafton
- Member at Large – Elizabeth Trostle
- Member at Large – Charmane Weaver