La Porte, IN – The La Porte County Symphony Orchestra (LCSO) will perform in the sprawling meadows at Friendship Botanic Gardens (FBG) for an enchanting evening for families and adults on Sunday, August 23 from 6:30 PM – 7:45 PM.

The LSCO, now in its 48th season, is a pillar of the performing arts in the area serving audiences across seven counties. On Sunday, August 23, 38 members of the LCSO, along with Chuck Steck, Interim Music Director and Conductor, will join together and socially distance on the Celebration Pavilion at FBG to celebrate America. This is an LSCO A la Carte event and a joint fundraiser for FBG.

“The LCSO is very excited about this collaboration with Friendship Botanic Gardens,” said Tim King, LCSO executive director. “The recent restoration is nothing short of spectacular and the LCSO is very happy to be able to perform in such a beautiful place. We sincerely hope this is the beginning of a long and beautiful ‘friendship’ between our two organizations. In addition, our two 2019 Hoosier Star winners, Rebecca Lane and Joe Stewart, will perform their winning songs for our audience.”

La Porte, IN– The La Porte County Symphony Orchestra is excited to introduce the 2020 Hoosier Star judges.

Victoria Garrett

Victoria Garrett is currently the Artist-in-Residence and Associate Professor of Music at Bethel University in Mishawaka, IN, and has been a faculty member there for over 20 years. She made her New York solo debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall while a student in graduate school. She has appeared with the San Francisco Opera, the New York City Opera (beside Beverly Sills in many productions) and other companies around the United States. Many of Garrett’s students are currently appearing in opera houses and musical theatres across the United States and Europe.

Philip Potempa

Philip Potempa is the Marketing Director at Theatre at the Center and a number of his featured stories appear in The Post-Tribune and the Chicago Tribune’s newspaper chain as well as at www.chicagotribune.com. Audiences also know Philip from his From the Farm stage cooking shows and his NWI charity performance of A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters. He is author of four published books chronicling stories, interviews, recipes and memories from his personal and professional experiences. He is an adjunct instructor in communication at both Valparaiso University and Purdue University Northwest.

Pastor Dewitt Jackson

Superintendent Dewitt L. Jackson Sr. is the Pastor and Founder of the Revival Center Church of God in Christ, in Michigan City, Indiana. Pastordewittjac@yahoo.com

He is married to Sharon L. Blakely-Jackson, has three beautiful children. He attended Ball State University, in Muncie, Indiana, where he studied Business Management. For twenty years, Pastor Jackson served as a member of the Indiana Third Jurisdiction in various positions such as: Jurisdictional Missions President, District Superintendent, Chairman of the Soul Winner’s Conference and Administrative Assistant. He is currently serving under the leadership of Bishop B.A. Sanders, prelate of Indiana 2nd Jurisdiction, as an Administrative Assistant. He also serves as an Executive Board member of the International Men’s Department and an Executive member of the Council of Pastors and Elders of the Church of God in Christ. He served as the Vice President of the Michigan City Ministerial Alliance. In October 2004, Pastor Jackson organized a city wide, “March and Youth Rally,” against violence for the youth in the community. The rally was supported by nearly a 1000 people including Mrs. Jackie

Day (from D&J Promotions), Mrs. Christine Johnson (mother of former NBA Star Ervin Magic Johnson), the Mayor of Michigan City and other prominent City Officials. Pastor Jackson also feeds and provides clothing to the needy within the community. Also, he has been involved in a prison outreach ministry. He is the host of “The Revival Center Hour” broadcast on local radio station, WEFM 95.9FM and Facebook live, every Sunday morning from 8:00am-10:00am in Michigan City, Indiana. Supt. Jackson, is a member of the Midwest Music Conference Choir of the Church Of God In Christ which recently released their newest CD project titled “A Pentecost Experience,” which featured the song written by Supt. Jackson titled “Jesus Is Lord”. He is the founder of the Women of Purpose & Power Mass Choir, with the newly released album, featuring the titled song, “Help Me Lift Him Up,” which was written and produced by Pastor Jackson. He is also the founder of the Michigan City Mass Choir. In 2009, Pastor Jackson performed with the LaPorte Symphony Orchestra. He has been invited to the 2006, 2007, and 2010 Gospel Music Stellar Awards in Nashville, Tennessee. Pastor Jackson and wife were guest on “Praise the Lord” ministry of TBNTV35 in Ottawa, Illinois, a branch of the Trinity Broadcast Network and were guest on Lesea Broadcasting Network of South Bend, Indiana, where they shared their testimony and music ministry. In November 2010 Pastor Jackson was invited to speak for the 103rd Holy Convocation of the Church of God in Christ in St. Louis, MO and in May 2017 he was invited to speak for the National Men’s Conference of the Church of God in Christ in Philadelphia, PA. Pastor Jackson is a God-Gifted anointed preacher, singer, songwriter, musician, and gospel recording artist. His goals in life are to reach as many souls for Christ through the word of God


The 2020 Hoosier Star event will take place Saturday, September 12, 7:00 PM CDT. For the first time the event will be completely live-streamed and free to view on the following sites:

Hoosier Star will also be broadcasted via AM 142095.1 FM and 106.7 FM (simulcast).

Each finalist will sing a song of their choice with musicians from the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Alastair Willis. 1st place Adult and Youth Winners will receive a $1,000 prize. 2nd place Adult and Youth Winners will receive a $500 prize.

Voting will take place during the competition by going to www.lcso.net. $10 donation per vote.

The LCSO thanks V. Michael & Cherri DraytonDuneland MediaHorizon BankLa Porte Hospital, and NIPSCO for their generous sponsorship of this event.

More information about this event and other offerings by the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra can be found by going to www.hoosierstar.com or www.lcso.net.