Great Lakes.
Great Music.
Welcome to the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra! As Northern Michigan’s champions of classical chamber music, it is our mission to entertain, to inspire and to educate.
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experience it!

UPCOMING EVENTS

Sunday Series: FREE events, tickets are not required.

Today
Recurring

Legends & Mysteries: Shackleton’s Incredible Journey

Great Lakes Center for the Arts 800 Bay Harbor Dr., Petoskey

The 2023 feature of our "Legends & Mysteries" educational series focuses upon the gripping story of Ernest Shackleton's Endurance voyage, shipwreck, and subsequent rescue mission. Shackleton was one of the principal figures in the age of Antarctic exploration and our story focuses on Shackleton's amazing traits of leadership. In this heroic tale, he brought all of his men back from 21 months of seemingly endless points of peril, to survive against all odds.

2022

2023

Season

passion

As seasoned musicians, it is our responsibility to give great effort, from rehearsal to performance, to deliver a musical experience with intention and beauty. We carry with us a deep sense of pride and enjoyment from sharing our best with you.

Making Waves

Music is a universal language — a way to cross borders and unite people of all ages and backgrounds. With a vast variety of concert themes, we highlight the most classic of traditional composers to the most innovative of today’s contemporaries — we truly have something for everyone. No matter your level of music appreciation, we invite you to come and connect with us. 

Watch

With over 75 videos we are growing our online video collection.  Check out our YouTube channel to view our past performances, Tuesday Talks, Little Bay Concerts, and more!

COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAMS

By sharing our message and collaborating with school programs and audiences of all ages, we help create vibrant communities for generations to come.

PERFORMANCE
EXCERPTS

We live and breathe classical music. Here, we aim to move and entertain you. Let’s go on a musical journey together.

Making Waves

Music is a universal language — a way to cross borders and unite people of all ages and backgrounds. With a vast variety of concert themes, we highlight the most classic of traditional composers to the most innovative of today’s contemporaries — we truly have something for everyone. No matter your level of music appreciation, we invite you to come and connect with us. 

Eric Lawson

Assistant Concertmaster

Violinist, violist, conductor and professor Dr. Eric Lawson has had a varied career in performance and education. Past performances as a conductor, soloist and lecturer have taken him to Austria, Brazil, China, Germany, Romania and Scandinavia. Before returning to his home state of Michigan, he was based in North Dakota where, in addition to serving as a violin instructor at Bismarck State College, Jamestown College, and the University of Mary, he was also concertmaster of the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra and established the Bismarck-Mandan Youth Symphony. Other former academic appointments have included Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Central College in Pella, Iowa and the University of North Dakota where he founded the string program and the UND Chamber Orchestra.

Here in Michigan, Dr. Lawson as been very active with the Alpena Symphony Orchestra as its concertmaster, conductor and president of the board. He also performs with many other orchestras in Northern Michigan and participates in the Traverse Symphony as a first violinist, in the Gaylord Symphony as concertmaster and as assistant concertmaster in the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra.

And finally, in what has been one of the most important experiences of his life outside of music, he also served almost four years as an Alpena County Commissioner, representing Ossineke and Sanborn Townships. In addition to serving as chair of the Salary and Personnel Committee, he also served on the Airport, Ambulance, District Court, Circuit Court Management and Jail Committees. He also represented Alpena County in Gaylord with the Northern Michigan Regional Entity Substance Use Disorder Board and continues to serve on the Northeast Michigan Community Mental Health Board. Dr. Lawson resides in Ossineke with his wife and two children.