Lee Bauman, current resident of Illinois although highly dedicated to La Porte County, has given her life to promoting many different forms of art. Bauman lived in La Porte 25 years prior to her move and has been employed by the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra administration for about nine years.
Music and art have always been the primary staples in her life, “Art has always been very important to me and I wanted it to ultimately be my career.”
In Bauman’s college years, she attended four different universities (Bethel University, Notre Dame, IUSB and Huntington University) to receive her fine arts major and business minor. While attending these academies, she frequented orchestras and bands provided within or around her school. Huntington University offered her a place in the wind ensemble while also presenting her with private lessons.
Not long after she acquired some experience, Bauman became involved in the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra as an instrumentalist. The oboe was her primary tool to use whenever she showcased her skills to the audience. Now with a background in visual art, marketing and business, she works on watercolor paintings, teaches art to children and is an administrator for La Porte County Symphony Orchestra.
“Music has such a big influence on peoples’ lives whether they stick with that as their main profession or a secondary thing. For me, I knew I was ultimately going to be a performance person for the rest of my life. I think I use my talents as an artist, marketing professional and administrator to assist others in the La Porte Symphony Orchestra and spread word of my business as well,” shared Bauman.
Being an overseer of the orchestra is not a small task. Before Bauman obtained the Executive Director position in 2008, she worked as an operations/personnel manager. As a personnel manager, it was her job to make sure the musicians and their venues were taken care of and in perfect order. Now, she advises the patrons who attend various symphony events. When asked how she felt when she received the job, Bauman answered, “I was grateful that the board chose me out of all those who applied. I did have a strong background in business management and the arts to help make their decision final. I, also, had a passion for the symphony because I was currently involved and cared about its success.”
The La Porte County Symphony Orchestra takes on many fundraiser events and benefit concerts for their community. It has a couple different ways to raise money, but the largest by far is their Hoosier Star contest.
“I like it because it utilizes the talents of our musicians and is a pretty exciting musical extravaganza that appeals to the general public,” informed Bauman.
The orchestra is also hired by the La Porte Hospital Foundation to raise money for their local hospital. Within a year, about 125 people are part of the symphony’s productions. Depending on the type of concert anywhere from 45 to 60 pieces are needed for small events while 70 pieces represent large, classical concerts.
“My favorite part is when the concert starts and they play the first note. I know everybody is where they belong; the audience is in their seats enjoying the orchestra’s presence and the musicians are ready to perform,” Bauman said.
Lee Bauman works her hardest to make sure everything is flawless for those coming to see the La Porte Symphony Orchestra and cares for the children in the community as well. Art has touched her life in a way that astounds any stranger she encounters. There is so much inside Bauman that expresses the highest care and compassion. It is hard to forget her remarkable accomplishments within the community and also within herself.