Sunday Series provides free chamber music with small ensembles of musicians from the orchestra. The venue location rotates throughout northern Michigan neighborhoods. Generous support for the Sunday Series is provided by Carolyn Klender.
Cheryl Staats received a Master of Fine Arts degree in piano performance from the University of Minnesota, and later invested in extensive post-graduate performance study at Indiana University and The University of Texas at Austin. She has presented solo piano recitals and collaborative vocal and instrumental recitals in Ohio, Colorado, Indiana, Minnesota, and Texas. In addition to performing, Ms. Staats also has been active in professional music teacher associations, serving in many executive positions, including as President, for music organizations in several states, and organizing various competitions and festivals. She served as Executive Director of the Boulder Bach Festival for many years, administering an annual budget of $100,000+ and producing performances throughout the year which featured the great Baroque composer.
Joan Raeburn Holland is the Associate Professor of Harp for the University of Michigan and Instructor of Harp for the Interlochen Arts Academy and Arts Camp. Joan performs as principal harp for the Midland Symphony, Co-Principal for the Traverse Symphony Orchestra, the Lexington Bach Festival and also, played several years with the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra. An avid chamber musician and soloist, Joan participates in various chamber music series recitals and as concerto soloist.
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.