The Lancaster Opera Workshop was formed in 1952 to focus on the study, production, and presentation of operas or operatic programs by local singers for the cultural appreciation of the community of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Another priority was to encourage young people to appreciate and participate in opera. The productions provided opportunities for vocal students as well as accomplished singers and became a training ground for all who were interested in every phase: costumes, lighting, set building, publicity, and stage management.
Later in 1958, the Lancaster Opera Workshop Auxiliary formed to explore ways to provide financial and moral support in order to allow the members to focus on the productions themselves. This auxiliary became the predecessor for the Lemonade Concerts and subsequently the nonprofit organization that you know today. Their first Youth Competition took place in 1969 for vocalists and pianists. In 1984, the competition transitioned to one for vocal students only and was named the Dorothy Darr Robinson Vocal Competition. With a few exceptions, it was held yearly until 2019. The first Lemonade Concert happened in 1972 with the addition of refreshments following each concert. By this time, the workshop had expanded to become the Lancaster Opera Company and the auxiliary became known as Lancaster Opera Associates. Later, the opera company again changed its name, this time to OperaLancaster. The Lancaster Opera Associates continued to promote musicians and singers in every musical genre in their summer fund-raising concerts.
We have a long history of supporting musicians in the Lancaster community.
In 2020, this organization became a nonprofit organization so that our community will be able to enjoy all types of music on a pay-as-you-will basis. We were renamed Lancaster Lemonade Concert Series. Our sole focus is on promoting local musical talent, and there is a great variety to choose from when we select our summer concerts. 2022 would have been our 50th anniversary, but we decided to celebrate in 2023 since COVID caused us to cancel a season of concerts. We are so grateful to the audiences who look forward to our concerts, to the retirement communities that send buses, to those who bring children and grandchildren to our family-friendly concerts, and to all of you who faithfully donate to help us continue our amazing seasons. We could not provide this variety and excellence without you.
If you would like to support our cause with a check, please mail it to:
Lancaster Lemonade Concert Series, Box 444, Lititz, PA 17543
- 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 – Kathy Seaber