Music House Opening Celebration!
To celebrate the opening of the Music House’s 35th season we are having a very special family day on May 7th from noon to 4 pm. We will feature special tours that will include instrument demonstrations, a silent film short with popcorn and much more. Come and see our beautiful displays and experience the magic that is the Music House Museum! There will be special discounted admissions with of adults $5, students $3 and children under 6 are free and a special family admission of $15.
Interlochen Arts Academy pianist, Steve Larson, Accompanies
‘The Son of the Sheik’ starring Rudolph Valentino
This was Valentino’s final film, considered by many critics his best. He plays the son of the Sheik who falls in love with the wrong woman and finds himself held for ransom by a den of Moorish thieves.
In this dramatic adventure set in the south of Algiers, in a camp of outcasts, the Frenchman André (George Fawcett) leads a troupe of mountebanks and thieves. His daughter Yasmin (Vilma Banky) is the dancer of the group and is promised to the cutthroat Moor Ghobah (Montague Love). However, Yasmin meets Ahmed (Rudolph Valentino), who is the Sheik’s son but she does not know, and they fall in love for each other. When the young couple secretly dates in the ruins of Touggourt, where Yasmin dances, the criminals attack Ahmed, beat up and capture him, expecting to ask for a ransom. Ghobah poisons Ahmed, telling that Yasmin is a bait to lure victims for them. Ahmed escapes, and he abducts Yasmin and despises her.
Will Ahmed believe that Yasmin set him up for capture? Even if true love finds a way through webs of deceit, what will the vigorous and imposing sheik say about his son consorting with a dancing girl?
An advanced screening of The Son of the Sheik was shown at the Million Dollar Theater in Los Angeles on July 9, 1926. Valentino then embarked on a nationwide tour to promote the film. On August 15, he collapsed in his New York City hotel room and was rushed to the hospital. Doctors discovered he had a perforated ulcer which required emergency surgery. After the surgery, Valentino developed peritonitis and died on August 23, 1926.
The Son of the Sheik was released nationwide on September 5, 1926, nearly two weeks after Valentino’s death. The film was an instant hit with audiences and grossed $1,000,000 within the first year of its release. Eventually it more than doubled that.
At IAA, Steve Larson has played in recitals and chamber music festivals throughout the Midwest including the Absolutely Amadeus festival, the Manitou Music Festival and Chamber Music North. As a dance accompanist, Mr. Larson served as company pianist for the Milwaukee Ballet and has played for Minnesota Dance Theater, Alaska Dance Theater, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Ballet Hispanico and others. He has made dance accompaniment CDs for Aquarian Sound and Brio Recordings. His compositions have been performed by violinist Hal Grossman, the Concord Chamber Orchestra, the Interlochen Arts Academy Choir and the Backyard Recorder Consort. His improvisational skills are frequently put to use accompanying silent movies. Mr. Larson is currently organist at Grace Episcopal Church in Traverse City, Michigan.
Barry Ross and Steve Kamerling will be bringing their lifetimes of musical experience to the Music House in a concert ‘From Brahms to Beatles with Jazz on a String’. Ross and Kamerling are popular musicians from the Kalamazoo area and perform around the State. These accomplished musicians combine their skills with Ross on the violin and Kamerling on the guitar and vocals to entertain and create great music.
When not performing with Kamerling, Dr. Barry Ross is Assistant Conductor of the Kalamazoo Symphony and Professor Emeritus of Music at Kalamazoo College where he founded the Kalamazoo College and Community Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra. He has performed as solo and chamber violinist as well as conductor throughout the Midwest. For 32 years he appeared as Concertmaster of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, and since 1987 has served as Assistant Conductor of that orchestra. In 2006 he formed the String Orchestra of Kalamazoo for young musicians, and in 2008 Ross founded BeethovenFest!, an annual all-volunteer fund-raising concert to benefit the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony. Dr. Ross can be heard regularly performing jazz and classical music in Kalamazoo.
Steve Kamerling grew up on the south side of Chicago with music in his soul. He was an only child, and grew up steeped in the music that thrived in the big city clubs. Jazz was his first love. Steve began playing guitar at age 11, then bass guitar and the upright bass. However, guitar became his primary instrument, along with his voice, and he began performing in public in his early teens. Eventually, Steve relegated music to the background theme of his life and decided to pursue a more practical career, or “day job” — in the field of pharmacology and pharmaceutical research. In the late 1990’s he and his wife, an accomplished bassoonist, moved to Kalamazoo to work for Upjohn. Both continued their musical careers on the side.
Together, Ross and Kamerling combine to create beautiful and fun music, as only two music lovers and masters of their craft can. You don’t want to miss this!
Peter Bergin: Gottschalk to Gershwin
The Music House brings Peter Bergin Ragtime Concert as part of our concert series back by popular demand. Bergin’s 2015 and 2016 concerts were such hits that we have invited him back! He will bring even more Ragtime fun while moving around and entertaining on many of our wonderful pianos. This year’s concert will be from ‘Gottschalk to Gershwin’
Bergin is a pianist and vocalist whose refined singing and energetic ragtime has entertained audiences for over 25 years. After a long career as a computer scientist, Peter is now in full-time pursuit of his life-long desire to share music with the world. Join us for an evening of ragtime music and history as Peter moves around the museum playing on many of our pianos.
Ragtime is a musical genre that enjoyed its peak popularity between 1895 and 1918. Its cardinal trait is its syncopated, or “ragged,” rhythm. It began as dance music in the red-light districts of African-American communities in St. Louis years before being published as popular sheet music for piano. Ernest Hogan (1865–1909) was an innovator and key pioneer who helped popularize the musical genre, and is credited for coining the term ragtime. Perhaps its most famous composer was Scott Joplin who became famous through the publication of the “Maple Leaf Rag” (1899) and a string of ragtime hits such as “The Entertainer” (1902), although he was later forgotten by all but a small, dedicated community of ragtime aficionados until the major ragtime revival in the early 1970s. Ragtime fell out of favor as jazz claimed the public’s imagination after 1917, but there have been numerous revivals since the music has been re-discovered.