Don Parker has had an active life in both music and service. Don has been playing bass violin since he was thirteen, where he found his passion for the instrument in a broken bass in the back of a high school equipment store room. After college, Don went back and found the bass still there, so he had it rebuilt into the instrument he now plays every day.
When Don was young, he had the opportunity to play in his school music program during the day, where he became familiar with music such as classical, modern classical, concert band, and jazz music. Don does not shy away from playing any genre of music and enjoys playing them all.
In Don’s fifty years of playing, he has played roughly 200 concerts and 2000 musical theater performances, in 8 orchestras and around 15 community theater groups. Three of the highlights for him would be concerts in Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing with the South Shore Orchestra; playing the premier of a USO-themed big band dance show, the first since World War II, on a China tour; and a Confucius Institute-sponsored concert on the mainstage at Orchestra Hall in Chicago, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Apart from his musical career, Don currently serves as the Director of Wanatah/Cass Township Public Library and has made many contributions to it. He is also a part of several community service organizations and has many active roles with them. Don works with a Northwest Indiana recreational trails advocacy group, serves on his church’s board of trustees, serves on the Indiana Arts Council’s regional Arts Advisory Council, is an active Rotarian and Lion, and works with his community to improve coalitions in LaPorte County.
Don has been playing bass violin in the LCSO for twenty-five years and he says the best part about this organization is the great vision it has for itself; it is able to thrive so well as a community/regional orchestra even though it is always a challenge to properly resource these organizations.