Arts & Entertainment

Rockford student wins t-shirt design contest

June 20, 2013 // 0 Comments

Actors del Arte Ensemble of Rockford will be hosting its tenth Annual Summer Arts Camp for (K-12th) graders to be held at the N.Rockford Middle School July 15 through 19. Visual and Performing Arts will be taught and those nterested in registering are invited to find out more by calling (616) 874-5264. This year’s theme is “Reaching For The Stars.” Each year local students are invited to design the t-shirts for the camp and three are chosen. Pictured is artist Elizabeth Montroy, first place winner from Crestwood Elementary in Rockford. Second place winner is Christina Grutter of Belmont. Third place winner is Meadow Brunette of Meadow Ridge Elementary and third place is Derrik Schuring, also of Meadow Ridge Elementary.

Local camp to host two ballet ensenbles from Germany

June 13, 2013 // 0 Comments

The Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in White Hall has been hosting music camps for 47 years. In 1969, they also began an exchange program. Choirs, orchestras and ballet ensembles of young Americans  go to a variety of European countries for 2-3 weeks and perform there. On the other hand, European music groups come over here, to travel through various states in the Midwest, and entertain American audiences.         This year, the West Michigan Youth Ballet, located in Ada, is hosting two Ballet ensembles from Germany. Ballettschule Feibicke from Berlin will be here from June 30 – July 3, and put on a show at the Peter Martin Wege Theater, from GR Ballet  Company, on June 2, at 4pm.       The second group, from Augsburg, will be in our area from Aug 4-7, and present a ballet program at the same theater, on August 6. Both shows will be at 4 pm, and they will be free to the public. So, if you are a dance afficionado (or are considering becoming one!), here is a chance for you to take in a great program, at no cost to you! If you are a parent or grandparent, this is a wonderful opportunity to take your children/grandchildren to, and expose them to this magnificent art form. We are still looking for some host families, who would be interested in taking in a couple of girls from each of these ensembles. The girls are all of MS/HS age, and speak English. Would yours be that kind of family, that loves to welcome young people into your home, and share a bit of our culture and some of the beauty our area has to offer? I would love to hear from you. Please contact me at or call me at 883-6111, Brigitte Nelson, host chairman.

Rockford Community Band and Rogue River Artists perform at annual Start of Summer event

June 13, 2013 // 0 Comments

Throughout the Rockford area, people are eagerly anticipating Rockford’s annual Start of Summer event scheduled for June 13 – 16. This hugely popular West Michigan event kicks off at 5 pm Thursday evening and runs through 5 pm Sunday. Every year, festival-goers enjoy the live concert presented by the Rockford Community Band. This year, the band will perform at 12:30 on Saturday, June 15th in the Rotary pavilion at the corner of Squire Street and Courtland. Band Director, Tiffany Engle said, “We will be presenting a concert themed ‘Tributes and Dedications’.” This concert is an extension of the Rockford Community Band’s April concert program. Their repertoire, Engle explained, consists of various musical tributes ranging from classic American marches to medleys of music by Herb Alpert, Cole Porter and Leroy Anderson along with a medley of Disney tunes. “We will also,” Engle said, “honor our service men and women through a special Armed Forces Salute.” The Rockford Community Band is a subsidiary organization of the Rockford Area Arts Commission. In addition to directing the RCB, Engle is also Associate Professor/Director of Bands at The Department of Music at Calvin College. The Rogue River Artists’ Association is another RAAC subsidiary participating in the Start of Summer event. Members will be exhibiting their artwork in two tents in the downtown area Crafts Fair on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday only, Rogue River Artists will also be demonstrating various art medium techniques on the lawn area in front of Herman’s Boy Inc. at 220 Old Northland Drive. President of the Rogue River Artists, Mary Myszka said, “This opportunity to demonstrate painting, drawing and other techniques offers the public a rare opportunity to see visual art being created in front of their eyes.” The association thanks Herman’s Boy for providing the space to perform these demonstrations during Start of Summer Saturday.  

Free Blues Concert series returns with stunning summer lineup

June 6, 2013 // 0 Comments

Eleven years ago then Mayor Steve Jazwiec had a vision of bringing diversity and great blues music to Rockford in a free, family-friendly setting on the banks of the Rogue River. He hoped others would appreciate a chance to relax outdoors, hang out with family or friends, and enjoy a free concert by some terrific bands. Entering the eleventh season of live music on stage at Garden Club Park by the Rockford dam, the over 1,000 people that turn up each Tuesday during the ten-week summer season have proved Jazwiec wasn’t wrong. The concerts run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. “This year we have our first Grammy-winner,” stated Jazwiec about the line up for 2013. Little Frank & Premiers is among the hot bands on tap for the free entertainment this year. The concerts are offered free of charge because local sponsors have stepped up to help with funding. The series is the Huntington Bank Rogue River Blues Concerts presented by the Rockford Brewing Company in cooperation with the City of Rockford. Huntington Bank is once again the main sponsor of the series which runs ten weeks beginning Tuesday June 11 with the band Hank Mowrey & The Hawktones. “Come early and enjoy dinner in one of Rockford’s fine eating establishments and stroll through the wonderful shops,” said Jazwiec. “Then bring a blanket or lawn chairs, and enjoy an evening of wonderful music.” Garden Club Park is located in downtown Rockford north of the Rockford Dam on Bridge Street, directly behind the Squire Street shops. The series continues June 18 with the Rusty Wright Band, June 25 with the Harper and Midwest Kind, Tuesday July 2 with the Weezil Malone Band. On Tuesday, July 9 enjoy Little Frank & Premiers. Tuesday, July 26 will feature Blue Molly and on July 23 Serita’s Black Rose will finish out the Blues portion of the concerts. The following three Tuesdays will feature bands other than the blues with The Crane Wives on Tuesday, July 30, the band AnDro on August 6 and finally Seth & May on Tuesday, August 13. Parking can be tricky in downtown Rockford so concert fans can find spots on the old Northland Pontiac lot accessed from Bridge Street entrance drive between Vitale’s […]

Praise in the Park returns to downtown

June 5, 2013 // 0 Comments

The community is invited to experience an evening of Christian music in the beautiful setting of Rockford’s Garden Club Park on the banks of the Rogue River near the downtown dam. Praise in the park runs Sundays from 6 to 7:15 every week June through August. Former Rockford Mayor Rich Mull was instrumental in bringing this unique opportunity to the community. Christian praise music is provided by area churches and Christian bands. Neighbors, families and friends are invited to come on down to the dam Sundays for an evening of fellowship and praise and maybe a family picnic in this welcoming setting. BridgeWay Community Church’s band begins the summer schedule on June 9 followed by Marty Miller on June 16, River Rock Church June 23, Grace Evangelical Free Church on June 30, Grace Fellowship Church on July 7, Keystone Community Church on July 14, Rockford Baptist Church on July 21, Crosswise on July 28, Rockford United Methodist Church on August 4, Solon Wesleyan Church on August 11, Berkley Hills Wesleyan Church on August 18 and the season wraps up with Blythefield Hills Baptist Church the evening of August 25.

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