Spring Concert Showcases Saginaw Bay Symphony Stable of Soloists
St. Mary Church, Convent are New Venues for Musical Activities
March 10, 2003
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By: Dave Rogers
Soloists perform ensemble, Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, as encore at spring concert
Rod Bieber, and Catherine McMichael, join children Nathan, 7, and Meredith, 9, in folk fiddle tune.
St. Mary Church and convent resounded with an array of melodies from Bach to rag in a rousing "Sounds Like Spring" concert Sunday, March 9, in a fundraiser for Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra Youth Outreach programs.
The event, hosted by St. MaryChurch and The Ramona Group, drew an appreciative crowd of more than 100 which after the music-making gravitated to a mixer and tour of the renovated convent.
The event was appropriately named as shivering concert-goers needed a warming effect in the wake of a surprise snowfall which blanketed the city just hours before.
The concert featured 10 soloists, all of whom sounded like marquee artists in their own right. These were Mary Anderson, flute; Meredith Bieber, piano; Nathan Bieber, violin; Roderick Bieber, violin; Daniel Gale, bass; Jack Goeman, tenor; Maureen Goeman, soprano; Martha Martin, flute; Catherine McMichael, piano, composer; and Mary Wagner, soprano.
Notable was flutist Martha Martin, an emerging talent, who teamed nicely with Catherine McMichael in Bolling's lilting "Veloce'", and Mary Wagner's towering vocal tones of "Ave Maria,' fitting the ecclesiastical setting perfectly.
Highlight of the concert was Catherine McMichael's composition "Baikal Journey" featuring her piano and husband Rod Bieber's violin. Subtitled "Pearl of Siberia, Crystal Sea," in tribute to one of the world's deepest and most mysterious lakes, the piece alternately roared and tinkled like the mighty waters themselves. A listener's imagination was transported by this innovative music thousands of miles to the Siberian vastness. Catherine also recently has composed "Great Lakes Voyage," commissioned by Mary Anderson in memory of her late husband Andy Anderson. That piece was first performed by the Bay Concert Band last spring.
McMichael also delighted the audience with a delightfully whimsical original piece, "Makin' Mama Miserable, Meredith's Waltz," composed when her daughter was a demanding infant.
Sister Mary Epple, RSM, associate pastor of St. Mary, performed near miracles with her maintenance crew, removing pews and moving the grand piano to the altar area, and then replacing the piano and pews for church activities that night.
The partially restored convent was proudly shown by Ramona Group CEO Lori Perreault and her father, Joe Perreault, who supervised the renovations. The 1916 building is nearing its post-Victorian splendor with shining woodwork and floors, a magnificent fireplace and period antique furniture.
Arts/Theater Article 154
Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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