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The Community Artist Series was established to make the performing arts more available to the people of West Michigan. We have hosted many exciting musicians, speakers and events over several seasons. Our events are held at First Presbyterian Church and are always free and open to the public.

Watch the following video for our 2016-2017 Community Artist Series lineup!

2016/17 Season Schedule

September 25, 2016, Sunday, 4:00 p.m.
Schlitz Creek Bluegrass Band
The group performs a unique variety of bluegrass music that cannot be classified as strictly traditional or progressive. Their repertoire includes standard bluegrass tunes as well as a collection of refreshing and unusual choices for a bluegrass band. Performing material from such bluegrass legends as the Dillards and Flatt & Scruggs, they also surprise and delight audiences with selections from the Monkees, Bob Seger, the Beatles, Kenny Rogers, the Bee Gees, and Cheap Trick.  Don’t miss the hot pickin’ and smooth vocal harmonizations of the Schlitz Creek Bluegrass Band!

October 16, 2016, 4:00 p.m.
Rich and Brandon Ridenour, Trumpet Invasion
Critics hail pianist Rich Ridenour as amazingly versatile, masterfully musical and wickedly funny. He has made over 50 recordings, including Piano Pops 1 and 2 with the Grand Rapids Symphony. At the age of twenty, trumpeter Brandon became the youngest member ever to join the iconic Canadian Brass, a position he held for seven years. He has won multiple competitions and has performed across the world as a soloist, with leading orchestras, and in support for artists including Sting and James Taylor.

November 20, 2016, Sunday, 4:00 p.m.
The Moxie Strings
The Moxie Strings offer listeners the unique opportunity to experience some of the world’s best-known instruments through a young, progressive lens. Diana Ladio and Alison Lynn, often joined by percussionist, Fritz McGirr, compose the majority of their pieces and arrange melodies from many traditions, resulting in a genre-blurring blend of ear-catching melodies and foot-stomping, rock-influenced rhythms. Their polished, high-energy show and unique sound are redefining strings’ role in contemporary music, and have quickly made the band one of the country’s most promising instrumental acts.

March 12, 2017, Sunday, 4:00 p.m.
Amanda Mole, Organist
Amanda Mole is originally from Holden, Massachusetts and currently a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate studying with David Higgs at the Eastman School of Music. In 2011, Amanda graduated from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and the School of Music with a Master of Music degree in Sacred Music and Organ Performance.

Amanda serves as the Director of Music at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Webster, NY.

This concert is presented in cooperation with the American Guild of Organists.

April 23, 2017, Sunday,  4:00 p.m.
Gina Morgano, Soprano
Gina Morgano is a singing actor who champions the “in-between” area that bridges classical and popular music. With repertoire ranging from Handel to the Andrews Sisters, Gina embraces composers who blend formal and colloquial styles, such as Copland, Weill and Sondheim. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Gina always dreamed of a life onstage. She attended Mt. Lebanon High School and studied piano, violin and clarinet before switching her focus to voice and theater.

May 21, 2017, Sunday, 4:00 p.m.
Aebersold & Neiweem, Four Hand Piano Duo
Described as “consummate practitioners of pianism” by the Washington Post, Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem have worked together for more than 25 years as a duo and have concertized across North America and Europe with appearances in New York, Washington, D.C., Detroit, Santa Fe, Vienna, Rome, Florence and more. They tour annually and have performed piano concertos with orchestras including the Chicago Philharmonic and the Vienna Tonkunstler.

Aebersold & Neiweem record for Summit Records and are the founders of the National Endowment for the Arts award-winning Chicago Duo Piano Festival.

June 4, 2017, Sunday, 4:00 p.m.
New Reformation Band
The New Reformation Band (NRB) jazz repertoire encompasses Dixieland, ragtime, blues, big band, and swing… the hot music that lifts spirits. It delivers beautiful harmonics reinforced by a beat that sets toes tapping. It’s true. It’s been unscientifically proven.

NRB is still together after forty-five years and thousands of performances. We hope this “American almost-success story” will pique your curiosity enough to want to see “what all the shouting’s about.”