GRSO performs at Tuba Bach Chamber Music Festival

SYMPHONY PERFORMANCE: Ed Mallett performs a solo with the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra on Sunday during the Tuba Bach Chamber Music Festival. The GRSO made its debut at the annual festival, which continues through Oct. 21. (Pioneer photo/Jonathan Eppley)

BIG RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra played to a nearly full house as it made its debut appearance at the annual Tuba Bach Chamber Music Festival.

The seventh annual festival reached the half-way mark of its 2012 seasons on Sunday with the symphony’s performance at Big Rapids High School. The festival continues through Oct. 21.

The symphony’s performance included concert variations for euphonium and orchestra by composer Jan Bach featuring soloist and festival founder Ed Mallett; concerto for tuba by Ron Newman featuring soloist Phil Sinder; and tuba concerto by Roland Szentpali featuring Mallett. The program also featured pieces performed by GRSO, and an encore number with Sinder, Mallett and the symphony’s principal tuba Monty Burch.

The festival is presented in conjunction with STAGE-M, and provides audiences with a free, live music experience and engages the community outside of a concert setting.

The Tuba Bach Chamber Music Festival costs $60,000 annually. Anyone interested in donating to the festival can do so by mailing a check to Tuba Bach to: Tuba Bach c/o STAGE-M P.O. Box 1236, Big Rapids, MI, 49307.

Funding for the festival also is provided, in part, by a grant from Arts Midwest, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, and the General Mills Foundation.

Remaining performances during the 2012 Tuba Bach Chamber Music Festival:

  • Sunday — Harmonica virtuoso Mike Stevens performs. Stevens’ talent is as unorthodox as his career trajectory. As an innovative and groundbreaking performer, educator and author, Stevens continues to expand the paradigms of harmonica, balancing tradition with cutting edge innovation.
  • Oct. 14 — The Alvin Waddles Trio featuring Marion Hayden and David Taylor performs. Pianist, singer, composer and director, Alvin Waddles, bass player, Marion Hayden, and drummer, David Taylor, join Ed Mallett to perform the music of George Gershwin.
  • Oct. 21 — Sunny Wilkinson performs with Voca Lyrica. Jazz singer Sunny Wilkinson performs with the Big Rapids women’s choir, Voca Lyrica.

For more information about the festival and for a complete schedule, visit


Leave a Reply