For 50 years, Opera Grand Rapids has assembled the region’s finest vocal talents, animated timeless stories and characters onstage, and sustained a grand artistic tradition in the community.
To connect and integrate more deeply with all generations and cultures, arts organizations across the United States are spending more time and energy building their engagement efforts with today’s youth. While these organizations have a strong interest in increasing participation among younger adults, they often struggle to sustain interest and attendance. To better understand the motivations of young people, arts organizations in the area are providing opportunities for teens to lead through their own artistic expression. We talked with a handful of local organizations about what those opportunities look like and why they matter.
Holland Symphony Youth Advisory Committee
A hint of dance, a dash of American soul, a splash of color and prodigious talent ushered in the Grand Rapids Symphony’s 2017-2018 season on Friday night. This season marks the first under GRS Music Director Lehninger’s full leadership, as well as the orchestra’s return to Carnegie Hall this April.
The five women who perform Kalamazoo’s New Vic Theater’s Big Night Out sing old standards, Broadway classics, as well as songs from more contemporary musicals, and through them, offer what they describe as “a celebration of life.”
The tranquil smile Rhea Olivaccé wears as she sings an aria masks the sweat equity she puts in before every performance.
It’s common to see people dancing and singing along at Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán shows. According to Julio Martinez, a harpist who has performed with the band for 22 years, it’s also not out of the ordinary for audience members to cry. The range of emotion Mariachi Vargas elicits is the result of a masterful balance between 120 years of tradition and innovation within their art form.
It’s not often one attends a string quartet concert and hears witty banter among the players, much less a description of the next arrangement as “an Italian sandwich” or “almost like a tiramisu.”
Madelaine Lane spends her days in an office tower overlooking Calder Plaza, defending people for Warner, Norcross & Judd.
There are no program notes for Saugatuck Chamber Music Festival performances. Instead, musicians tell the stories behind the compositions directly to the audience before playing the piece.
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