Outstanding classical music in gorgeous island settings could be the reason to make a trip to Beaver Island at the end of July for Baroque on Beaver.  From July 28 to August 2, over sixty musicians from around the state will gather on Beaver Island for the ninth annual Baroque on Beaver music festival—five days of classical concerts by soloists, chamber ensembles, chorus and full orchestra.

Four outstanding artists will open the festival with a special benefit concert at the Beaver Island Community Center on Wednesday, July 28.  Martha Guth, internationally known opera singer; Claudia Schmidt, popular jazz/blues vocalist and songwriter from Ann Arbor; Penelope Crawford, renowned harpsichordist from the University of Michigan; and her daughter, Annie Crawford, classical and jazz violinist, will delight audiences with a variety of vocal and instrumental music.

On Thursday evening chamber ensembles, as well as soloists Martha Guth and Claudia Schmidt, will perform in a casual, intimate setting at Gillingham Hall at CMU.  Friday, July 30, will be “Friends and Family Day” with a children’s concert in the afternoon and a performance of baroque music by the chamber orchestra in the evening – both at the Community Center.  On Saturday evening the full orchestra and festival chorus, with soloist Martha Guth, will present an evening concert of works by Handel and Shubert at the historic Holy Cross Parish Hall.  On Sunday afternoon the festival will conclude at the Parish Hall with baroque and American pieces performed by the chorus, orchestra and soloists.   All concerts, except the opening event, are free, with a free-will offering.

For the July 28 benefit concert, tickets may be purchased for $25 at the Beaver Island Community Center or online at baroqueonbeaver.org.  Special Benefactor and Patron tickets for priority seating at the benefit are also available.

Baroque on Beaver – 2010 is being organized by a new managing director, Zac Moore, from Traverse City.  Mr. Moore is also Managing Director of the Traverse Symphony Orchestra.  Robert Nordling, of Grand Rapids, is the new conductor of the Festival Orchestra.  Kevin Simon, from Saginaw, will lead the Festival Chorus for the third year.  For the first time in the event’s nine-year history, all musicians will be either Michigan residents or Beaver Island summer residents—in keeping with the festival’s title, Baroque on Beaver – 2010  – Made in Michigan.

More information about the festival, the musicians, and the program is available at baroqueonbeaver.org.

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