The University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc Lakeshore Big Band was founded by Michael J. Arendt in 1990. The band was an outgrowth of the UW-Manitowoc Lakeshore Wind Ensemble in response to the immense popularity of the “big band” music that the wind ensemble performed at its concerts. Both musical organizations include UW-Manitowoc students as well as community members who bring a wide range of musical experiences to the organization.
The Lakeshore Big Band performs instrumental hits of the big band era as well as contemporary tunes written in the “big band” style. Several vocal soloists are featured with the big band. Kim Hofmann and David Bourgeous have sung with the LBB and with the Lakeshore Wind Ensemble for many years, and bring a special excitement to the concerts with their renditions.
The Lakeshore Big Band presents two concerts each season, bringing back the wonderful big band sounds of Glenn Miller, the Dorseys, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and also performs timeless classics written by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and other American musical legends. The Lakeshore Big Band also joins the Lakeshore Wind Ensemble for “The Biggest of the Big Bands” concert. Instrumental and vocal arrangements of big band hits are featured.
Paul Sucherman is the Lakeshore Big Band conductor. He has served as an Associate Lecturer of Music at UW-Sheboygan for five years. He is the eldest son of two prominent Chicago performers and has two younger brothers who are both professional musicians (one as the drummer with acclaimed rock band STYX). After attending Northwestern University Prep School and DePaul University, he moved to Wisconsin to pursue theatrical directing, composing and arranging. Sucherman has worked on cruise ships and Mississippi Paddleboats, the main stage of the Sahara in Las Vegas, in Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean, as well as all over the U.S. He has worked with or shared stages with Maynard Ferguson, Count Basie, Reba McIntyre, Tim Allen, Pete Barbutti, Glenn Ash, Peewee Kershaw, and more. He routinely performs with Tony-nominated singer/actor Gregg Edelman and Sandy Hackett's Rat Pack Show. Sucherman has arranged strings for two Grammy award winning albums, and has arranged music for countless acts on cruise ships and nightclubs. He has been active in regional musical theatre directing countless shows and performs around the Midwest approximately 120-150 days a year.