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.

2018/19 Season Schedule

September 30, 2018, Sunday, 3:00 p.m.
Human Trafficking Documentary and Panel Discussion
Human trafficking is quickly becoming a national crisis. The film documentary, Break the Chain, will be shown at 3:00 p.m., followed by a panel discussion exploring human trafficking and ways this troubling epidemic is being combated. Our panelists will discuss their work with victims of human trafficking – including how to identify victims and appropriate interventions so that victims can become survivors.

Panelists include Carmen Kucinich, FBI Victim Specialist, Joy Washburn, EdD, RN, WHNP-BC, and Laura Swanson, Break the Chain documentary filmmaker.

Note: the documentary is fairly explicit and may not be appropriate for younger children.

October 14, 2018, 4:00 p.m.
Blackthorn Irish Music Band
Returning to our artist series for the third time, the ever-popular Blackthorn Celtic music band is back to take us on a journey through time and emotion!

Based in Detroit and performing throughout the Midwest since 1984, Blackthorn welcomes you to the rich tapestry of Celtic music. Traditional songs of emigration, sea shanties, lively jigs and reels, and ancient airs combine with some of Ireland’s best contemporary songs for a musical experience that captures the history and legend of Ireland and its people.

November 4, 2018, Sunday, 4:00 p.m.
New Music Ensemble “Our National Parks”
The New Music Ensemble at Grand Valley State University promotes the music of our time through commissions, tours, recordings, educational events, workshops, and videos.

Through the National Endowment for the Arts, the ensemble commissioned five composers to write original works inspired by the national parks. During the summer of 2018, the students traveled to the parks and presented the compositions through interactive and educational performances. Come and experience these works in a multi-media presentation inspired by the great American landscape.

December 16, 2018, Sunday, 4:00 p.m.
Muskegon Chamber Choir, “Wreath of Carols”
In collage format, this concert covers a wide range of musical selections and has become a local seasonal favorite. The choir performs as many as 26 Advent, Christmas, & Epiphany pieces ranging from medieval to 21st century music, with some audience participation.

Join us for this musical celebration of the season!

January 13, 2019, Sunday, 4:00 p.m.
Grand Rapids Guitar Quartet
The Grand Rapids Guitar Quartet is comprised of four award-winning guitarists, Brian Morris, Michael Stockdale, David Martin, and Andrew Bergeron.

The Quartet will present a program of a variety of transcriptions of masterworks, Latin music and original compositions, along with entertaining, informative and often humorous explanations about the music.  A sampling of their music may be heard at:

February 17, 2019, Sunday, 4:00 p.m.
Steel Doin’ It
In 2002, Steel Doin’ It was born from a community education class taught by Glen Miller at Spring Lake High School. Although some folks from the original group have retired, and others have joined, the group is still completely composed of Tri-Cities residents. Their mission is to have fun, while bringing the sounds of the Trinidadian steel pan to West Michigan. Attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite brightly-colored Caribbean clothing!

March 10, 2019, Sunday, 4:00 p.m.
Daniel Chang, AGO Young Organist
A native of San Francisco, California, Daniel Chang is a Master’s degree candidate in the studio of David Higgs at the Eastman School of Music. He began his music studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s Preparatory Department where he studied composition with Michael Kaulkin and piano with June Choi Oh. He continued his education at the San Francisco Conservatory for a B.M.A. in composition with David Conte and studied piano with Alla Gladysheva. At Eastman, Daniel was recently awarded the Gerald Barnes Organ Prize for Excellence in Pipe Organ.

May 5, 2019, Sunday, 4:00 p.m.
West Michigan Opera Project Presents Susannah
Join us for the West Michigan Opera Project’s performance of Susannah by American composer Carlisle Floyd.

One of the most-performed American operas of all time, Susannah is the story of a wide-eyed and lovely young woman who lives a simple and happy life with her older brother Sam, who raised her. Susannah finds herself viciously ostracized by her small Tennessee mountain village after a group of church elders targets her as a sinner, but when the town attempts to drive her out of town, she stands her ground.