History and Formation

The Manchester Civic Band was organized in 1972 by Harold and Mary Lou Leckrone and their daughter Pat Egolf. Harold was formerly band director at Manchester Senior High School, and many of his past students were early members of the group (some remain today!). Anyone who has watched the 1986 movie Hoosiers will have heard Harold’s original composition The Manchester High School School Song, which was used as the Milan school song. Also, Harold and Louise’s son Michael is approaching forty years as Director of Bands at the University of Wisconsin. The early group performed at a variety of local events and began the tradition of performing at North Manchester’s two retirement homes, Peabody and Timbercrest, every June, September, and December.

The band continues on today with members ranging in age, experience, and musical education. Members work at colleges, factories, public schools, construction sites, asphalt plants, lumberyards, and many are enjoying their retirement years in the band. Assistant Professor of Music Dr. Robert Lynn of Huntington University plays regularly with the band and has appeared as soloist, while new members frequently join after years of having not played a musical instrument.

Beyond the six annual concerts at local retirement homes, the band performs an annual downtown concert at Silver Lake Days, plays up to the lighting of fireworks at Manchester College’s Fourth of July celebration, and entertains visitors to Doude’s Apple Orchard in October. The band performs a lot of classic band music not heard anywhere else, as well as newer arrangements. From John Philip Sousa to Duke Ellington, from R.B. Hall to Herb Alpert, from marches to swing, the band strives to entertain all.