Warren Civic Music Association – Making Music for 75 Years

Warren Civic Music Association, 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 and Pittsburgh in an area rich in history, the arts, sports, and ethnic and cultural activities.

Warren Civic Music strives to enrich the lives of the members of our community by featuring a wide array of musical genres with the goal of excellent entertainment at affordable prices.

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 W.D. Packard Music Hall, situated on 42 acres of Packard Park, and has called the 2,200 seat 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 Packard 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.

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

WCMA has presented many famed artists of the world in a variety of programs. Early notables 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 productions, symphonies, operas, and ballets.  More recently performers have included “America’s Got Talent” finalists, The Texas Tenors; Debby Boone, The Diamonds,  Oak Ridge Boys, Linda Eder, The Lettermen,  Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr., and numerous other talented entertainers.

The successful continuation of Warren Civic Music for three-quarters of a century is a collective effort, thanks to the dedication of loyal season ticket subscribers, many volunteers, and the generous support of benefactors and patrons.

 

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

Click here to see Performance History

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