Blue Lake band to perform free concert on Thursday

MANISTEE — Anyone familiar with the name Blue Lake International Northern Winds realizes it is synonymous with outstanding musical performances.

Members of the Blue Lake International Northern Winds band will be performing a free concert at 7 p.m. on Thursday evening at the Manistee High School Auditorium. The group is conducted by Mike and Cindy Eagan and includes Manistee High School students Liam Quinn and Roger Lind. (Courtesy photo)

Members of the Blue Lake International Northern Winds band will be performing a free concert at 7 p.m. on Thursday evening at the Manistee High School Auditorium. The group is conducted by Mike and Cindy Eagan and includes Manistee High School students Liam Quinn and Roger Lind. (Courtesy photo)

Area residents are in for a real treat at 7 p.m. on Thursday evening at the Manistee High School auditorium when International Northern Winds group under the direction and Mike Eagan and Cynthia Swan-Eagan will be performing a program from their recent trip to Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. The group is made up of outstanding high school students from Michigan and around the United States.

This is the third time the Eagans have served as conductors for the Northern Winds group. The couple are retired band directors from Manistee Area Public Schools and Benzie Central Schools.

Also among the 50-person group of students that will be performing are Manistee High School’s Liam Quinn, Roger Lind, and Benzie Central’s Sam Snow and Myah Clouse.

Ann Lind, Roger’s mother, is helping to put together Thursday’s concert and she said it will be a great experience to hear these young musicians in concert. However, she said they are still looking for some host families for the students and interested persons can contact her at (231) 887-0002 for more details.

“They are all excellent musicians and this is part of the little tour they put on when they return,” said Lind.”We need about 10 more spots for students and I am sure the musical community would enjoy it.”

For many years Blue Lake has run the exchange program that sends American music and dance performers to Europe. Likewise, European groups from that area come to the United States to perform.

The Eagans feel the Northern Winds group is at the peak of its performance level. Besides performing seven concerts in their recent trip to Europe the band spent a week practicing prior to going on the trip.

“We will do the concert here in Manistee and then we go to Blue Lake where we will do our final concert together as a band,” said Swan-Eagan. “Then we disband after the singing of that last song. We end every concert with a song piece that we sing and not a musical one. It’s based on the Lord Bless You and Keep You and a way of thanking them for coming.”

Eagan said singing the last song is a tradition that every Blue Lake group follows.

“The Jazz bands, orchestra and even the ballet does that,” said Eagan. “We even sing it in front of the bus as we leave every community. Then it is one last hug with the hosts and on the bus to our next stop. It is usually a pretty emotional thing.”

Thursday’s free concert will be about 90 minutes in length and the public is invited to come out to enjoy the free performance.

“It is a varied program, there is everything from classical music to Broadway, Marches and more,” said Eagan. “We are playing the highlights from the musical ‘Grease.’ We are also doing a musical collection from Rodgers and Hammerstein that people will recognize and some typical American marches and overtures.”

Swan-Eagan some of the things Blue Lake groups like to feature is American music because the European audiences like to hear that type of music played by American students.

“That is what they will hear in this concert in Manistee,” said Swan-Eagan.

Eagan said that after spending four weeks with these individuals they get the slight break before this concert and the one at Blue Lake.

“You spend every day with these individuals and then they are gone, so the concert has a little emotion to it because of that,” said Eagan. “There is a little extra push.”

Roger Lind said he looks forward to the concert.

“I am excited to see all the people I met again,” he said.

Quinn also said it will be fun to be together as a group and that he has been staying in touch with some of his new friends from the group.

 

avatar

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.

Leave a Reply