Named after the patron saint of music, St. Cecilia Music Center is considered to be the ?mother of the arts? in Grand Rapids. After all, it?s not just a fixture; it?s the establishment that started it all. Area women formed the center in 1883, performing in each other's homes until a steadily growing audience forced them to find bigger and bigger temporary residences. By 1894, they had a permanent headquarters in their very own building. The 800-seat auditorium, twinkling chandeliers, and reception room?anchored by arched windows?quickly attracted world-renowned musicians to the city to play for larger audiences. Today, the center continues to bring high-quality programs to its confines and even houses a School of Music, where young minds can grow to be great musicians.
Although officially founded in 1930, the Grand Rapids Symphony's history stretches back to 1917 when an enterprising group of local musicians began practicing together and holding regular concerts. In the years since, the ensemble has retained this self-starter mentality while growing into one of the nation's preeminent regional orchestras. Always asserting its idiosyncratic individuality, the organization earned a 2007 Grammy nomination for its collaboration with flamboyant electric harpist Deborah Henson-Conant and the ire of conductors for its rule that all batons should be able to shoot sparks.
Since 1938, the West Michigan Symphony (formerly the West Shore Symphony) has brought together the region's most talented professional musicians, entertaining audiences by playing a stirring mix of timeless classics and contemporary favorites. With this deal, you get the best available seat for the upcoming Salute to John Williams concert, paying tribute to the iconic music of John Williams, a prolific movie soundtrack composer, rousing conductor, and wrangler of unchained and dangerous melodies. The West Michigan Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Scott Speck, will perform some of Williams' most recognizable music, including excerpts from Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler’s List, E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial, the Harry Potter films, Jurassic Park, and Superman. Instinctually scan the seats for roaming shark fins as the orchestra plays menacing music from Jaws, or look back on fun fishing trips to Tatooine and Endor with renditions of tunes from the Star Wars films.
A mid-Michigan institution since 1929, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra performs for more than 20,000 visitors every year. Music director and conductor Timothy Muffitt currently leads its roster of professional musicians in concerts that explore a variety of musical styles, including classical masterworks, a pops and chamber series, and brassy big-band engagements.