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.

2019/20 Season Schedule

Sunday, September 22, 2019, 4:00 p.m.
Schlitz Creek Bluegrass Band
Hailing from the mountains of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Schlitz Creek performs a unique variety of bluegrass music that cannot be classified as strictly traditional or progressive. While their repertoire includes standard bluegrass tunes, the band also surprises and delights with selections from the Monkees, Bob Seger, the Beatles, Kenny Rogers, Jerry Reed, and Merle Haggard.  Don’t miss the hot pickin’ and smooth vocal harmonizations of the Schlitz Creek Bluegrass Band

Sunday, October 27, 2019, 4:00 p.m.
Spooktacular Organ Concert
Dress up in your Halloween best and join us for an afternoon of spooky and fun organ music!

Artists from West Michigan participate in a frighteningly delightful program of organ music that is sure to entertain kids and parents alike. Classical, popular and Broadway hits will be featured.

Sunday, November 24, 2019, 4:00 p.m.
Gene Knific Jazz Trio
Formed in Miami from musicians dedicated to creating an original voice, the Trio’s sound emanates from repertoire covering jazz trio classics to chamber music, contemporary compositions, and a truly unique nexus of jazz and chamber works. The trio brings deep jazz reverence and forward vision with an engaging stage presence.

Sunday, December 15, 2019, 4:00 p.m.
West Michigan Concert Winds, “A Celtic Chamber Christmas” Concert
The West Michigan Concert WINDS is traveling to Scotland and Ireland Summer 2020! At this concert we will be sharing our musical talents with not only wind band music, but many chamber, smaller ensemble selections with an Irish Christmas flair. We are excited to have guest conductor, Mr. Keith Kelly, from Ireland here for this concert as he brings many of his favorite Irish band works to conduct for you! It will be an Irish Chamber Christmas for all!.

The WINDS was founded in 1979 as a volunteer group of music educators and local residents dedicated to performing outstanding instrumental music in the community. The band also receives a yearly influx of talented musicians from Muskegon Community College who rehearse and perform for credit each semester.

Sunday, January 26, 2020, 4:00 p.m.
Uneven Ground Traditional Celtic Band
Grounded in the roots of traditional Irish music, Uneven Ground presents a blend of songs molded from hundreds of pub tunes from around the Celtic region. By teaching the history of their music, mixed with their nonsensical humor, each performance offers the listener an escape from their busy lives.

Figuratively named after the Irish slip jig ‘On the Rocky Road to Dublin,’ the group has become one of the most exciting traditional/folk Celtic bands to emerge on the scene today.

Sunday, February 23, 2020, 4:00 p.m.
Jeff Alexander, Speaker
Water Resources Presentation and Discussion
Jeff Alexander is an award-winning author and former environmental journalist. He spent two decades covering the Great Lakes and other environmental issues for several Michigan newspapers, including the Muskegon Chronicle. His 2009 book about invasive species, Pandora’s Locks: The Opening of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway, has been called the “definitive history of a Great Lakes tragedy.” The Grand Haven resident also wrote an acclaimed book about the Muskegon River. In 2017 he was commissioned to write the lead essay in a book that accompanies The Great Lakes Cycle, an art exhibit traveling around the region. Alexander will discuss some of the profound ecological changes that have unfolded in the Great Lakes, including the arrival of a foreign mussel that has made the water in Lake Michigan clearer than Lake Superior.

Sunday, March 8, 2020, 4:00 p.m.
Dr. Solee Lee Clark and Tom Clark
Tom Clark and piano virtuoso Dr. Solee Lee Clark return to West Michigan for a special concert at FPC!

Thomas Clark is an active director and performer known for his unique baritone voice, as well as his interpretive conducting skills. He holds a masters degree in choral conducting from Central Michigan University and a bachelor of music education degree from Mansfield University and is currently an adjunct vocal instructor at both Knox and Monmouth College.

Dr. Solee Lee Clark currently serves as a piano instructor and staff accompanist at Monmouth College. She earned her bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Kangnam University in South Korea, a master of music degree in piano performance from the University of Southern California and a doctor of musical arts degree from West Virginia University.

Sunday, April 19, 2020, 4:00 p.m.
Emily Amos, AGO Young Organist
Emily Dawn Amos is a young organist whose passion for music has taken her across the nation and beyond. She started studying organ at the age of eight, and at nine years old was the youngest ever admitted into a Pipe Organ Encounter (POE). She is now the organ scholar at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. Emily participated in and won the 2015 and 2016 Young Artists Competition on NPR (Red River Radio). She also won third place, audience prize, and the hymn prize at the 2018 Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival and second place at the AGO Quimby Regional Competition (Grand Rapids Chapter). Emily attended the Interlochen Arts Academy from 2017-2019, and is currently attending the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she studies with Alan Morrison.

Sunday, May 3, 2020, 4:00 p.m.
Moxie Strings
The Moxie Strings offers 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. Based in southern Michigan, the band tours routinely throughout the United States playing shows and teaching clinics.