New Generations

The La Porte County Symphony Orchestra is dedicated to building a future of great music for our region with special emphasis on youth engagement

The New Generations Initiative is being established to focus on that goal.
It has three major components:


  • The award-winning LCSO Children’s Educational Concerts will continue to provide area elementary and middle school students with exposure to great music and the many ways music enriches their lives, but we will be partnering with school systems and others to create new opportunities for young people to understand and enjoy great music.


  • We’ll be launching several new initiatives to provide opportunities for young people to participate in a broad variety of participation modalities—side-by-side performance opportunities with the LCSO, improved access to instruments, opportunities to compose musical selections, and more!


  • Our goal is to help young people from all ethnic, economic and cultural backgrounds gain an understanding of great music and an appreciation for how it can enrich their lives. We want them to know that great music comes in many forms and styles, and we hope to engage them in ways that will assure that the LCSO will serve generations to come in new and exciting ways.

Metrics for measuring the impact and success of this initiative will include attendance at sponsored events, enrollment in programs, scope of engagement of school systems and other partners, financial support generated and growth of participation by “under 40” La Porte County Symphony Orchestra season ticket holders and orchestra members.

2020-2021 LCSO Student Apprentices

Chris Price – Cello

Chris Price is currently a senior at La Porte High School.  He’s been playing the cello for 7 year and currently is a member of the LPHS Orchestra.  In addition to the cello, Chris has also written numerous compositions and plays the guitar and ukulele.  He was recently accepted into Purdue University West Lafayette for Computer Science and plans to continue in Purdue’s orchestra program

Elliott Yrastorza – Percussion

Elliot Yrastorza is a junior at La Porte High School.  He’s been playing percussion for six years and now performs with the LPHS Band.  He plans on attending music school after graduation, hopefully along the east coast.  Outside of music, he enjoys computers, theater, shoes, cats and cooking.

Theo Smith – Tuba

Theo Smith is a new student apprentice to the Laporte County Symphony Orchestra and has been playing the tuba for over six years.  Theo is a resident of Long Beach, Indiana and currently a junior at Lu Lumiere School in Laporte, Indiana.  He is a member of the La Lu Jazz band, led by Mr. Bryant Williams and studies under Richard Watson (Valparaiso University, LCSO Principal Tuba) and Scott Tegge (University of Illinois, CYSO).

Theo is a member of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO) and was selected as part of Indiana All State Honor Band.


Theo’s hobbies include soccer and instrument repair and resale.  He has two older brothers who both play Sousaphone as part of the Northwestern University Marching Band, and his parents are Maria and Andy Smith of Long Beach.  

Drew’s Gift of Music: Helping Our Young Musicians

The LCSO is committed to expanding music education opportunities for young people. One  exciting undertaking for the LCSO is its partnership with Drew’s Gift of Music.

Drew’s Gift of Music is a non-profit organization based in Plymouth, Ind. that puts no-longer-needed instruments into the hands of talented young musicians who don’t have the means to buy or rent their own pieces. Under the partnership, gently-used instruments are collected, restored, and then loaned to qualifying students. Roxy Music, 1012 Lincoln Way, La Porte serves as the drop-off site for the donated instruments.

The story behind the organization is inspirational. Drew Shearin was a talented musician who also composed music as a student in Knox, Ind. Drew tragically lost his life in 2011. In his honor, and to keep Drew’s love of music alive, his family started the Drew’s Gift of Music program. The organization has been providing instruments across several counties since 2013 and it is LCSO’s goal to broaden that scope.

Somewhere in an attic there might be a gently-worn flute from high school days. Or a violin tucked away in a closet, loved but no longer used. In the spirit of Drew Shearin and the program bearing his name, our community has the opportunity to give every deserving student a way to learn and grow musically. Please contact the LCSO at if you have an orchestra or band instrument you wish to donate (no guitars or pianos, please).

On behalf of the students who benefit from your generosity, we thank you.

“I have no words to express my gratitude of the relationship that we have with the Laporte County Symphony Orchestra. I am beyond thankful. God has blessed us with every step and has lead us in the direction he chooses. To all our LCSO family, the Drew’s Gift family thanks you. Your support in every way has encouraged us to reach out farther. All throughout one of the most challenging years. God bless you all” – Deb Johnson, Drew’s Gift of Music