Concerts & Events

From Bohemia’s Woods & Groves

Prepare to be captivated by the enchanting melodies and virtuosic performances at our summer-opening concert! Taking place at the historic John M. Hall Auditorium in Bay View, this musical extravaganza promises an unforgettable evening of classical brilliance.

At the heart of the concert is the spellbinding performance of Samuel Barber‘s timeless masterpiece, the Violin Concerto, delivered by the award-winning virtuoso, Dylana Jenson (the first American woman to win the Tchaikovsky International competition). Composed in 1939, Barber’s concerto encompasses three breathtaking movements. The first two movements overflow with lyrical beauty and irresistible melodies, drawing listeners into a world of unparalleled emotion. Yet, it is the grand finale that sets hearts racing, as the music races forward with unyielding intensity. With every note, the solo violin dances in perpetual motion, navigating intricate rhythmic complexities and astonishing virtuosity.

In addition to Barber’s masterwork, the concert embraces the Bohemian spirit through Antonín Dvořák‘s magnificent Symphony No. 8. Written in the key of G major, this symphony exudes a genial and uplifting atmosphere, captivating audiences from the first note. However, upon closer examination, one discovers the hidden allure of the minor-key passages woven seamlessly throughout the major-key composition. The Eighth Symphony, heralded for its innovation, marked a departure from Dvořák’s previous works. The composer sought to craft a musical experience that was distinctly individual and pioneering. By infusing his adoration for the Czech countryside into the symphony, Dvořák created a unique sonic landscape. Nature comes alive within the music, as the haunting calls of hunting horns and the melodies of birdsongs emerge from various wind instruments. Hanz-Hubert Schönzeler, Dvořák’s biographer, once remarked “When one walks in those forests surrounding Dvořák’s country home on a sunny summer’s day, with the birds singing and the leaves of trees rustling in a gentle breeze, one can virtually hear the music.”

Under the masterful guidance of GLCO’s esteemed Maestro Libor Ondras, the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra is set to transport you on a remarkable musical journey. Be prepared to be whisked away into the depths of Bohemia’s woods and groves, where each note resonates with beauty, passion, and the very essence of nature itself. This concert promises to be an extraordinary celebration of the boundless power of music.

Learn more about Dylana Jenson, featured violin soloist, here.



Sat, June 10, 2023
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
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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.