Though it’s the crown jewel of Bay View’s famous Victorian cottage community, the restored John M. Hall Auditorium is no musical wallflower.
This summer the 100-year-old concert venue just north of Petoskey will shake, rattle, and roll with bluegrass, Irish, and classic rock.
Chris Ludwa, the artistic director of Bay View’s Music Festival, keeps the auditorium hopping each summer with a schedule of shows that take best advantage of the venue and its updated, state-of-the-art facilities.
“The gorgeous, old open-air auditorium blows your mind the first time you see it,” Ludwa said. “It’s like time stopped and you are able to observe it all and take it all in.”
Taking it all in along with Ludwa are the members of Bay View’s community committee, who meet throughout the year to determine the next summer’s roster of acts.
“We look at what Interlochen is doing, what’s trending, who the up-and-coming bands are, and then try to select for a wide cross-section of society,” Ludwa said.
The goal: to provide show experiences that can’t be found anywhere else.
So this summer, Bay View is topping their bill with a triple threat of diverse performers.
ONE, TWO, THREE
The fest’s 2014 lineup features one emerging artist: the Irish buzz band Moxie (July 5), who amp up traditional Irish music with pop in a distinctive and energetic way.
They’re arriving for their first stateside tour to promote their new upcoming album, “Planted,” which will hit outlets in August.
Add in one crossover artist: the genre mixing Time for Three (July 19), who call themselves a “classically trained garage band.” The three string musicians blend country, gypsy, jazz, bluegrass, and classical sounds which has them rearranging Brahms one minute and reinterpreting The Beatles the next.
And wrapping up the headliners is the late-’60s rock band Blood Sweat and Tears (August 2), which has recently added reality TV show’s “American Idol” finalist Bo Bice on lead vocals.
SOUNDS FOR ALL
The 2014 Bay View schedule also includes ’50s tunes by The Doo Wop Project, theater performances of the Mozart opera “Cosi Fan Tutte” and Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables,” the Chamber Music faculty series, and the Sunday Sunset mixed-media music revues.
Ludwa recommends all shows, but he’s personally looking forward to Time for Three this year.
“They played really well to our audience about five years ago, and have such diverse musical experiences that you can’t help but love them,” he said. “I feel like they represent the best of what music is: fun, intricate, and communicative.”
But it’s perhaps even more important to Ludwa to show that great music is truly inclusive of all age groups and interests.
“I take great joy in seeing older audiences surprised that a younger generation’s music isn’t all crap, and younger audiences surprised that their parents’ and grandparents’ music wasn’t that different from their own,” he said.
The 2014 Bay View Concert Series kicks off on June 15. For tickets, a full schedule and more, visit www.bayviewfestival.org.