Beaver Dam Area Orchestra Holiday Concert Saturday Marks Last For Conductor

(Beaver Dam) Saturday’s Beaver Dam Area Orchestra’s Annual Christmas concert will be the last for its longtime music director. Richard Zeman has conducted the holiday performance for three decades. The retired educator is stepping down from the position after moving out of the community to be closer to family.

Zeman came to Beaver Dam in 1983 as a student-teacher and started his first job as band director that fall. In the late eighties Glenn Wood, founder of the Beaver Dam Area Orchestra, retired as its director. Zeman says he (quote) “threw his hat in” and got the job in the late summer of 1991. He says he put his own twist on the orchestra during his tenure as director. Zeman is only the second director of the orchestra in its nearly seven decades of existence.

In his own words, during Zeman’s last ever appearance on WBEV’s Community Comment he said there were two philosophies he kept in mind as he stepped away from his teaching and music directing career. They are: “when you leave, leave it better when you found it” and “leave while you still enjoy it.”  Zeman says he knows he has done that with the orchestra.

Erin Ebersole, a former student of Zeman’s, will be the new Beaver Dam Area Orchestra director. This Saturday’s Christmas concert will feature two performances at the Beaver Dam High School auditorium. The first one is at 5pm and is referred to as a ‘family concert’ as it is an abbreviated version of the main show which begins at 7pm. The show will also be live streamed online. A link will be at