Warren Civic Music Association – Making Music for 74 Years

Warren Civic Music Association, located in Warren, Ohio, was founded in 1940, and is the oldest community arts organization in Trumbull County.

This non-profit, all volunteer organization is located in Northeastern Ohio, midway between Cleveland, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in an area rich in history, the arts, sports, and ethnic and cultural activities.

The goal of Warren Civic Music is to provide excellence in entertainment, at affordable ticket prices, to residents of the community and surrounding areas and the opportunity to enrich their lives by enjoying a variety of musical genres.

In the early years, the concerts were held in the Konold Auditorium of Warren G. Harding High School.  In 1955, the shows moved to the new Packard Music Hall, situated on 42 acres of Packard Park, and has called the music hall “home” ever since.  

For two decades (1958-78) the Packard Music Hall was also the home of the famous Kenley Players – ”America’s Most Exciting Summer Theatre” –  and gained national recognition with some of the most popular stars of that era performing on the PMH stage.

Ezio Pinza, Metropolitan Opera Company baritone, performed the first year for Warren Civic Music. In 1949, he became the star of Broadway’s Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific.”

Isaac Stern, violinist, played the first half of his 1949 concert without an accompanist.   The accompanist refused to fly with Mr. Stern and drove to Warren instead.  He did not arrive until intermission.

Receptions after the concerts in the early days of WCM were held in private homes to honor the performers, where tuxedos and formal dress were the norm.  After the concerts were moved to the Packard Music Hall, receptions were held in the hospitality rooms of the venue.  Receptions no longer take place, but performers often greet guests and sign autographs after the performances.

Many musical greats of the world have appeared on the stage in a variety of programs. Early performers included:  Jerome Hines, Roberta Peters, Roger Williams, Peter Nero, Guy Lombardo, Woody Herman, Ferrante & Teicher, New Christy Minstrels, The Ohio State University Band, Vienna Boys Choir, Fred Waring, Warren’s own Irene Oliver, Gene Krupa Orchestra, Broadway plays, as well as ballets performed by various companies from the United States and other countries.  More recently performers have included “America’s Got Talent” finalists The Texas Tenors, Debby Boone, The Diamonds,  Oak Ridge Boys, Linda Eder, The Lettermen,  and numerous other talented artists.

The successful continuation of Warren Civic Music for 74 years is a collective effort, thanks to the dedication of many volunteers, interest of subscribers, and the generous support of benefactors and patrons in the community.

 

WCMA Officers Board Members
President Jeffrey E. Dreves Kathleen Bowen Eric P. Martin
Vice President William H. Dennis William H. Dennis Teresa M. Massucci
Secretary Roz Jackson Kathleen K. Dew K. Robert Matheny
Treasurer William J. Long Jefferey E. Dreves Ellie C. Monchak
Assistant Treasurer Richard A. Polko James E. Herriman Richard A. Polko
Artist Selection Chairperson Ellie C. Monchak Roz Jackson Jean A. Potashnik
Assistant Artist Chairperson Jean A. Potashnik Benton Lambert Mary Ellen Vencel
Kathy Lepro Brian D. Verch
William Litman Janet H. Vogt
William J. Long Kevin P. Wyndham
Past Presidents Dick Lytle Anne R. Yashnik
Donald J. Senne
Robert W. Balson
K. Robert Metheny
Robert I. Lowry †
Donald L. Guarnieri †
Otto A. Lovett †
Rev. M. C. Johns †
Dr. Paul C. Gauchat †
Lewis L. Guarnieri †
Rev. Robert W. Fay †
Judge Dewey B. McVicker †
 † Deceased

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