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German orchestra to visit Grand Haven

Krystle Wagner • Jul 17, 2017 at 8:00 AM

West Michigan residents will soon have a chance to hear an orchestra from Germany.

The Albert-Einstein Youth Orchestra from Böblingen, Germany, is visiting Grand Haven, July 20-24. They will give a free performance at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 23, at Grand Haven High School’s Performing Arts Center.

The group’s visit is part of the Blue Lake International Exchange Program, which is bringing 10 groups to the Midwest this year. According to Kate Henry, director of international staff and exchange, almost 1,000 American and European musicians will participate in the exchange program this year.

The German group will arrive in Chicago and then travel to Grand Rapids, Montague and Grand Haven before leaving the country from Chicago.

Rich Erne, director of arts programs for Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, said Grand Haven is a “perfect place” for the group to visit because of the school district’s strong orchestra program and nice community and residents.

During their trip, the 70-person group — which includes three staff members — will stay with host families. 

About a third of the group will also stay with families from the United Methodist Church of the Dunes. As a thank you, the orchestra’s chamber group will perform a special performance during the church’s 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services July 23.

GHHS Orchestra Director Melissa Meyers is helping facilitate the group’s stay in Grand Haven.

When Meyers was 17, she also had the opportunity to participate in the international orchestra and visit several countries, including Germany.

“I’m excited they get to experience this now in Grand Haven,” she said. “We have such a beautiful community and a lot to offer.”

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