“History is a symphony of echoes heard and unheard. It is a poem with events as verses.” -Charles Angoff

Lakeside Pride celebrates over twenty-five years of making music together. Over the years, we’ve seen ensembles come and go, such as our toy xylophone troupe. Many of us have formed lifelong friendships and even found love. Let us look back and celebrate our accomplishments through the years.

To view our digital archives, click on the years!
(currently, 2022 and 2023 are viewable, more years to come)


Chicago Gay Pride Band formed and marched in the 1979 Chicago Pride Parade.

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One of the founding members of the Lesbian and Gay Bands of America, along with Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C..

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Used with permission from http://actupny.com/

Late 80s and Early 90s

The AIDS Epidemic created pauses in band performances.

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June 5 – Under the name, Chicago Black Lesbian & Gay Band, held its first meeting. Organizer Jon Dallas was the only attendee.

July 28 – First formal rehearsal for the marching band under the direction of Jon Dallas (total of 25 members).

December 9 – The group re-names and is now Lakeside Pride Freedom Band (LPFB).

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August 8 & 9 – LPFB performs at Northalsted Market Days.

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Reached over 75 performers among the concert, marching, and jazz bands

Newly established “shh…OUT!” Lakeside Pride Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Mark Thompson

Concert Band’s first Spring concert “Around the World” with special guests Dykes on Pipes, under the direction of Thomas Kowalcyzk and assistant director Alfredo Gomez.

Small ensembles at this time: Brass Choir, Swing-a-Ding-Ding Swing Combo, Pep Band, Clarinet Choir, Ballistic Mistletoe Saxaphone Quartet, Women’s Ensemble, and Toy Xylophone Troupe.

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Concert Band is renamed Symphonic Band due to a growth in members.

Marching band now includes the color guard

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Organization name change to Lakeside Pride Music Ensemble (LPME)

Lakeside Pride Music Ensemble has more than 100 musicians

Kyle Rhoades takes over as the Symphonic Band artistic director

March 29 – 10th Anniversary Symphonic Band’s “For Friends & Family … Through the Years” concert

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LPME inducted into The Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame

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January 21 – Live recording of “Stand Up! A Musical Celebration of Equality” performed by Lakeside Pride Symphonic Band is available on iTunes. First digital album release.

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LPME reaches 150 members

shhh … OUT! Lakeside Pride Jazz Ensemble renamed to Lakeside Pride Jazz Orchestra (LPJO)

LPJO releases their “Feeling Good” album. Available on iTunes and Spotify

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About 250 members within the organization

Formation of the Wilde Cabaret Chamber Ensemble

November 17 – Symphonic Band performs “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

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Outgoing Board of Directors Chair Bradley Fritz, Intorduction to new Chair Melissa Terrell

March 9 – Inaugural Take the Stage Gala

June 2 – “Stonewall: Love and Liberation” in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots

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COVID-19 Pandemic shifts concerts to virtual and outside venues

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October 2 – Lakeside Pride’s Marching Band’s first in-person performance during the pandemic at the Chicago AIDS Run and Walk 2021

November 14 – Lakeside Pride’s Symphonic Band’s first in-person performance during the pandemic titled “Autumn Awkening”

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LPME Celebrates 25 years of sharing music with the Chicagoland area communities

March – LPME releases its first DEI Survey with partnering shareholders.

March 12 – Pops Ensemble’s inaugural concert (in-person) titled “Don’t Stop Believin”

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August 12 – Lakeside Pride Marching Band was invited to their first performance in the Chicago Bud Billiken Parade

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Present Day