Taps Across the Water

The annual tribute of Taps Across the Water is set for Sunday, May 26 for Lake Webster, Lake Wawasee, Syracuse, and Papakeechie Lakes. This event honors United States military personnel who died serving in the U.S. Armed Services. Trumpet players are distributed across the lakes and perform an Echo Cascading Rendition of Taps. With a staggered start, Taps is heard across the lakes for nearly four minutes from one side to the other. Participants and attendees share their experiences as reverent, contemplative, and memorable.

Dr. Matt Murdock, an educator who resides in Indianapolis and North Webster, has assembled nearly 40 bugler and trumpet players for two programs, one in North Webster and one in Syracuse. Participating musicians include members of our community and surrounding areas, including veterans, community bands, high school students and music directors, and professional musicians. Dr. Murdock makes the point “We are connected and inspired by Jari Villanueva’s Taps Across America. One of our goals is to bring awareness of the shortage of live trumpet players at military funerals. Jari retired from the U.S. Air Force, where he spent 23 years with the USAF Band in Washington, DC.” Murdock goes on to say, “As educators, it is our responsibility to instill in our students, especially those in high school bands, a sense of obligation to our communities. They may not fully realize the services they provide, whether it’s boosting school spirit at athletic events or fostering community spirit by participating in festivals. This event presents the students an opportunity to promote this experience personally with the intent of continuing community service after graduation.”

North Webster

A Memorial Service is planned for 6:15 p.m. at the Lake Webster Town Park. Participants and sponsors include the American Legion Post #253 and Dixie Sternwheeler. Following the service, musicians leave by pontoon for their designated locations around Lake Webster. Taps will be performed from piers at 6:30 p.m.
Following the Taps remembrance, a Trumpet Ensemble Concert of patriotic music will be performed at 7:00 at the Town Park. The Ensemble is composed of the trumpet players who sounded Taps during the ceremony. After the concert, many of the performers will travel to Syracuse to participate in the Wawasee, Syracuse, and Papakeechie Lakes program.


Chautauqua-Wawasee, Syracuse American Legion Post #223, and approximately 40 trumpet players, are collaborating for a Memorial Day weekend tribute on Lakes Wawasee, Syracuse, and Papakeechie.

The event starts with a trumpet ensemble concert of patriotic music at the Oakwood Resort gazebo on Sunday, May 26, from 8:10 to 8:40. Then the 40 musicians move to their designated locations distributed strategically around the three lakes to play Taps simultaneously at 9:09 pm. We ask that all guests observe one minute of silence at 9:08 p.m.


We are providing these maps as a guide, and ask that you please keep in mind that we put a lot of effort into carefully planning these locations. However, the direction of the wind can sometimes affect how the sound travels, and we’ve been made aware that it can make it difficult to hear. We’d also like to mention that many of our buglers are high school students with busy schedules. We apologize if you miss out on hearing the tribute as planned, but we are sure you can understand that many young people don’t have much control over their schedules and therefore may find themselves in a position in which they would possibly have to choose another obligation over the Taps Across the Water event at the last minute.

We genuinely appreciate your understanding and thank you for your patience, as so many things, including the fact that it’s a busy holiday weekend, can be a factor in hearing (or NOT hearing) this beautiful tribute despite our very best efforts.