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Musical, Visual Presentations Highlight 2017 Festival of the Arts Closing Ceremony

Festival of the ArtsA schedule of more than 70 performances, presentations and workshops will conclude Sunday, Feb. 26 at 4 p.m., in Ferris State University’s Williams Auditorium, with the closing ceremony for the 2017 Festival of the Arts.

Courtney Piercey, a Ferris adjunct Humanities instructor, is a member of the festival board, said that the university’s Symphony Band, West Central Concert Band and West Central Chamber Orchestra will each perform that afternoon.

“The theme for their presentations in their annual winter concert is ‘Video Games Ole’,” Piercey said. “Scott Cohen and Dale Skornia, of the university’s Music program, will be joined by guest conductor Adria Ronda-Sampayo, from Valencia, Spain. These selections should be enjoyable for all ages.”

Piercey said the intermissions between performances by those musical groups will include presentations of a number of items created during the course of the festival.

“Each of the Quilts of Valor were produced to commemorate the military service, and life of a veteran,” Piercey said. “A workshop was held on Tuesday, Feb. 21, one of the many opportunities that the festival offers where the public was able to get involved, and create art through these events.”

Another intermission session will offer a video tribute to the festival schedule, produced by Justin McKee, from the staff of the Big Rapids Pioneer newspaper.

“That montage will include photos and video,” Piercey said. “Justin faithfully came out to each event, and we’re looking forward to see what is included from the festival schedule.”

The wrap-up of the closing ceremony features the unveiling of a mural created by visiting spray-paint artist “Cosmo Joe,” which Piercey said will be put on display on an outer wall of the AT&T Building in downtown Big Rapids when weather allows.

“He has been working on sections of treated plywood in the Salvation Army Thrift Store to create the mural, during the closing week of the festival.” Piercey said. “It is exciting that this work will be displayed where townspeople, students and visitors can enjoy it.”

There will also be artwork on display from visiting artists and workshop participants in the Williams Auditorium lobby that can be viewed prior to, or after the concerts.

Piercey said the festival board believes its 2017 schedule exemplified the organization’s mission, to serve the Big Rapids and Ferris communities by fostering art, culture and the cooperative spirit. They welcome students, along with faculty, staff and the public to enjoy the closing ceremony, which is offered free of charge.

“It’s a wonderful capstone event,” Piercy said. “It helps us celebrate what the arts bring to the community, and what we, as a university are able to contribute, through hosting a number of festival events, including this ceremony.”

PHOTO CAPTION: The FSU Symphony Band will be among the performing groups during the closing ceremony of the 2017 Festival of the Arts, Sunday, Feb. 26 in Williams Auditorium. The concert, will also feature the university's West Central Concert Band and the West Central Chamber Orchestra, will begin at 4 p.m.