The Summer of coming back to life is coming on stronger. If your cup hasn't been filled just yet with the absoultely staggering amount of activity in Muskegon or maybe the offerings have not quite hit what pleases your palate when it comes to what to do, well maybe Wednesday nights at Heritage Landing will be what gets you out and about and enjoying the sounds of the West Michigan Concert Winds as the prepare for their month of FREE shows at Heritage Landing.
The West Michigan Concert Winds was founded in the fall of 1979 as a volunteer group of music educators and local residents dedicated to performing outstanding instrumental music in the community, from their website. They are an 80 piece ensemble conducted by Gail Brechting and they perform all over. Like many others, I needed a little more knowledge about the WMCW Organization, because even though I think I am pretty "in touch" with different groups and organizations in town, I can't know them all and the level of artistry and longevity of this group was surprising to me. My first assumption when I hard about this story was a small group who played and a nice little production. An 80 piece? You have my attention now.
Born of the pandemic, like so much was, the WMCW was allowed to play for one night at Heritage Landing last year with the appropriate social distancing and outdoor venue. This year, building off the success that was seen, some benefactors decided to pick up the tab for the use of the Muskegon County facility and make the concerts free for everyone. There will be food trucks on hand so you can enjoy some of the finer cuisine offerings around town. There will be the sounds of the band and the opportunity to expose your kids to something other than the sounds they hear in video games.
The line up over July is like this, Every Wednesday 7:00pm. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy music as you look over beautiful Muskegon Lake!! July 6th - Red, White and Bluegrass, Featuring trumpet soloist Dr. Ken Austin also The West Michigan Bluegrass band. July 13 - Cultural Crossings. Music from all over the world. July 20 - Music of America, Featuring Dave Bennett - Jazz Clarinetist, July 27 - Summer WINDS and Shoreline Community Orchestra POPS!!!
Not everyone gets to sit and talk with a conductor, so I did just that. We're at the beautiful Barclay Event Center in Muskegon and Gail Brechting not only talks about her passion for the music, but gives a lesson on what a conductor is doing with their baton and thinks she may have been the one who could have taught me how to play more than records...take a listen.
A little culture and a very little amount out of pocket! That argument.... "There's nothing to do in Muskegon".....it sure is falling on deaf ears more and more. Get out and enjoy it! It's going to be an awesome experience every Wednesday beginning at 7 and with some younger ears around this kind of music, you never know what might spark within a kid to go on and become part of the next generation of the West Michigan Concert Winds. We are incredibly fortunate to live where we do with so many gifted artists willing to paly like they are.