Band to perform on July 23

MANISTEE — Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp Northern Winds Bands are known around the world for their outstanding musical performances.

Local members of the Blue Lake Arts Camp Northern Winds Band from Manistee and Benzie counties take a few moments during their European tour during a stop Ballerp, Denmark to pose for a picture. Shown (left to right) are Benzie Central Director of Bands Mike Eagan, Anthony Lind, Holly Fries, Sarah Kiszelik, Tim Laing, Tad Schmeling, Jake Reed and Manistee Area Public Schools Director of Bands Cynthia Swan Eagan.

Local members of the Blue Lake Arts Camp Northern Winds Band from Manistee and Benzie counties take a few moments during their European tour during a stop Ballerp, Denmark to pose for a picture. Shown (left to right) are Benzie Central Director of Bands Mike Eagan, Anthony Lind, Holly Fries, Sarah Kiszelik, Tim Laing, Tad Schmeling, Jake Reed and Manistee Area Public Schools Director of Bands Cynthia Swan Eagan.

People in Manistee will be given the rare opportunity to hear one of those 60-piece touring bands at 7:30 p.m. on July 23 in the Manistee High School auditorium. The performance will most certainly have a local flair to it as both of the conductors and several members of the band are from the Manistee and Benzie county areas.

Manistee Area Public Schools director of bands Cynthia Swan-Eagan will be teaming up with her husband Mike to conduct this talented group of young musicians. Mike Eagan is the director of bands at Benzie Central Schools.

Members of the 60-piece group come from all over the country and are talented high school musicians. Area students who are taking part in the Blue Lake Northern Winds Bands from Manistee and Benzie Central schools are Anthony Lind, Holly Fries, Sarah Kiszelik, Tim Laing, Tad Schmeling and Jake Reed.

Those students had the opportunity to tour Germany and Denmark as part of the European Tour. Students visited six different communities in Germany and one in Denmark where they performed concerts for people from those cities.

However now that the European Tour has concluded, the band is in the process of performing a short tour in the United States.

“We are once again going to have the group here for their U.S. Tour,”  said Swan-Eagan. “We’d love to to try to get a great turnout for the concert on July 23.”

The Eagans have taken the European trip in the past and have been longtime participants in Blue Lake Academy programs throughout the years.

Julie Schmeling and Ann Lind, who are parents of two of the band members this year, are organizing an effort to get people from the Manistee area to host some of the band students overnight when they make the stop in Manistee.  All the students in this band are from the United States.

“It’s more like a sleep over and people really don’t have to provide much,” said Schmeling. “If they have a sleeping bag, a couch or extra bedroom that will all work. It is just to keep them while they are here to perform the concert. We also ask that they provide them dinner on Wednesday and Thursday (July 22 and 23) and in the morning (July 23 and 24) breakfast.”

Schmeling said anyone interested or seeking more details can contact her or Lind at jschmeling@charter.net or ann.m.lind@gmail.com. They can also text or call Schmeling at (231) 690-4547.

The itinerary calls for students to be picked up by the host families at 5:15 p.m. on July 22 and to stay overnight. At 11 a.m. on July 23 the students will be dropped off at First Street Beach for a day at the beach and then be picked up later that afternoon.

Host families are also asked to get the students back to the high school by 6:45 p.m. for the concert that evening. They will then take them home again that night and remain with the host families until 2:30 p.m. on July 24 when the band will depart to Twin Lakes and  Blue Lake Arts Camp for the final concert of the tour.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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