Cole Porter’s Maxinkuckee roots to shine onstage at June 9 musical gala

Many are aware of the impact Lake Maxinkuckee had on the life and music of legendary musician and composer Cole Porter. That legacy will be showcased in gala fashion, live onstage and in a dynamic, musical manner when the Cole Porter Radio Hour headlines what promises to be an enchanted evening Saturday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m., at the Legion Memorial Building on Culver Academies' campus, sponsored by the Antiquarian and Historical Society of Culver.

The Radio Hour will be performed by 16 voices of the critically acclaimed chorale group Encore Vocal Arts under the artistic direction of Chris Ludwa, Music Director and Conductor of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra (as well as Artistic Director of the Indianapolis Arts Chorale, Conductor of the Bloomington Pops Orchestra and Director of Arts at the International School of Indiana), according to the event's main organizer, Ginny Gibson, of the AHS.

Central to the production will be an actor's portrayal of Porter as the audience is taken on a musical journey through his life and music, with special attention to Porter's Lake Maxinkuckee connection.
Porter, a native of Peru, Indiana, spent his summers on the lake, most often with childhood friend Tommy Hendricks, whose granddaughter, Julie Hollowell, continues to maintain the family's legacy on the east shore of the lake to this day. Hendricks wrote an extensive account of his and Porter's childhood here, detailing Porter's piano playing on the Maxinkuckee steamboat, The Peerless.

"Night after night, summer after summer," wrote Hendricks, "Cole hammered out his rhythm by the tempo which that master Captain Crook set for the 'Peerless' engine. That is where Cole got the heavy accented phrasing and that powerful punch in his music...I believe that some of the melody which lives in his songs is a direct reflection from a Maxinkuckee moonpath of long ago."

The concert will be followed by a wine and cheese reception, also at the Legion building. Tickets are $25 for members of the AHS and $35 for the general public. Seating is limited, so interested persons are encouraged to purchase tickets at the Center for Culver History in the lower level of the Culver Public Library, or by contacting Ginny Gibson at 574-635-0635.