Welcome to the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra’s 2022 educational outreach series, Legends and Mysteries.  The intent of this program is to offer students exposure to some orchestral classics while also teaching through some other topics presented in either live theater or video.

Although at first glance, you might not draw any commonalities between Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations and the folk legend of the Confederate Gold, there actually is something in common: “Mystery.” It is our sincere hope that students will find this experience enjoyable as well as educational on many levels.

Please refer to the Education Packet of Information pertaining to:

  • Edward Elgar as a person
  • Edward Elgar’s “Variations on an Original Theme, op. 36 “Enigma”
  • Some historical information on the area where we live as it existed during the period of the Civil War.
  • Suggested activities for students, as well as games, puzzles, and more

Students’ knowledge and experience of this information before watching the video performance below will greatly enhance their aesthetic appreciation of the actual performance.

Remember the quote from Edward Elgar, “My idea is that there is music in the air, music all around us, the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require.”


Watch now:

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.