An ever-changing collection of classes, lectures, and one-of-a-kind experiences for orchestral music-lovers of all sorts!  Whether you have been an avid listener for years, or are just starting to explore the amazing world of orchestral music, these experiences are designed to bring you backstage and behind the music!  

The GRS Penny University

In the 17th and 18th Centuries, coffee houses earned the moniker of “Penny Universities”—local establishments where you could get a cup of great coffee and talk about topics ranging from arts and culture, to the political.  The GR Symphony is pleased to team up with Blue Lake Public Radio and the Kent District Library to offer two new programs for classical music lovers—whether you are new to the genre or have been an avid listener for years.  These casual presentations offer great opportunities to get behind the scenes of some of our best-loved music while enjoying a steaming cup of our favorite brew.

Reservations appreciated!      

Romantic Rachmaninoff

November 12, 2016
1 – 2:30 pm
Kent District Library, Cascade Branch
Presented by Bonnie Bierma, Blue Lake Public Radio
Cost: Free!

Often referred to as “the last of the Romantic composers,” Sergei Rachmaninoff avoided the experimental techniques (such as 12-tone and atonal music) used by many early 20th Century composers in favor of the richness of harmony and melody that defined the Romantic Era. His music spans many genres, including symphonic, chamber music, vocal and choral music. Join Blue Lake Public Radio’s Bonnie Bierma as we get to know a little more about the man and sample some of his much-loved music as well as some lesser-known works.

Bonnie Bierma has been with Blue Lake Public Radio for 26 years. She is the Classical music director and CD librarian and also produces and hosts four hours of classical music weekday mornings, as well as the popular “Choral Traditions” on Sunday mornings. She is a freelance oboist, and played with the West Michigan Symphony for 20 years before retiring in 2012.

Saturday Matinee: From Bugs Bunny to Stanley Kubrick—Classical Music Goes to the Movies

February 25, 2017
1 – 2:30 pm
Kent District Library, Cascade Branch
Presented by Foley Schuler, Blue Lake Public Radio
Cost: Free!

Just in time for the 2017 Academy Awards, Blue Lake Public Radio’s Foley Schuler will share his love of both classical music and cinema!  In the hands of master film directors, music can be transformed from simple accompaniment of the cinemographic images, to a vital and organic partner necessary to the film’s ultimate vision.  Through a selection of iconic and unforgettable scenes, we’ll explore how their musical partners have been essential in advancing the narrative, creating dramatic effect and contributing to a synergy which ultimately enhances the film beyond either the script or the music on its own.

Encouraged by creative parents, Foley began his music career at age 7.  As a Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp camper, he became Blue Lake Public Radio’s first high school intern.   Foley hosts Blue Lake Public Radio’s weekday 1:00-5:00pm Classical Music, and Sunday 9:30am-1:00pm “Sunday on Blue Lake” programs. As a musician, he has performed with the West Michigan Symphony, and has served on the English Department faculty at Muskegon Community College, and been the Music, Art & Theatre reviewer for the Muskegon Chronicle. 

 

Classical Curious?

Grab your *laptop or your tablet and join us for live chat sessions during GR Symphony rehearsals!  Moderated by GR Symphony staff, Classical Curious sessions utilize a group-chat application to provide attendees with a real-time Question and Answer experience.  Wondering who that guy is that stands up before the orchestra tunes?  How musicians get their jobs?  What does “start at 4 before 37” mean?  What exactly is the conductor listening for there?  There is no question too big or small!  And it’s an experience you will only get at the GR Symphony!

Space is limited.  Advanced registration is required.       

March 1, 2017 – Rehearsal for Korngold’s Violin Concerto/ Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition
7 pm - DeVos Performance Hall
Cost: $10

May 17, 2017 – Rehearsal for Canteloube’s Chants D’Auvergne/Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3
7 pm - DeVos Performance Hall
Cost: $10

Note: All programs are subject the rehearsal schedule and may change without notice. 

*Smartphones are not recommended.