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Grand Rapids Symphony to Perform Free Concert Feb. 4 during Big Rapids Festival of the Arts

Ferris State University
PHOTO CAPTIONS: Christopher Kantner, the principal flutist of the Grand Rapids Symphony will be featured Sunday, Feb. 4, as the GRSO performs at Ferris State University's Williams Auditorium at 4 p.m. An all-Mozart performance is planned, with Concerto No. 1 for Flute, along with Symphonies No. 3 in D Major and No. 41 in C Major. The performance, part of the Big Rapids Festival of the Arts, is free and open to the public. (Photo courtesy Terry Johnston)


For an eleventh year, Big Rapids Festival of the Arts organizers will welcome the Grand Rapids Symphony for a free concert on Sunday, Feb. 4 in Ferris State University’s Williams Auditorium.

Festival of the Arts committee member Ed Mallett said he has enjoyed a long acquaintance Ferris State Universitywith members of the Symphony, and knows their 4 p.m. performance of Mozart’s symphonies No. 3 in D Major and No. 41 in C Major, along with Concerto No. 1 for Flute is among the highlights of the Festival schedule.

“This fits the mission of the GRSO and, as much as we enjoy having them contribute to the Festival, this performance is an important part of their schedule, one they look forward to,” Mallett said. “It is great that a full professional orchestra is available to us and interested in joining us year after year.”

The concert will feature Christopher Kantner as a flute soloist, along with associate conductor John Varineau. Mallett said Festival organizers would hope to fill Williams Auditorium with an audience of all ages.

“The Symphony has offered a ‘Kid’s Day’ for fifth-graders from school districts throughout West Michigan for years and over the years area children have enjoyed that concert in Grand Rapids,” Mallett said. “We hope families will also take advantage of this opportunity on Feb. 4.”

Mallett said the Festival committee is pleased to have the contributions of Ferris faculty members Roxanne Cullen and Courtney Gilson-Piercey, along with emeritus Jerena Keys, as they join with Miriam Andrus, Mark Gifford, Melanie Henry and himself to help present more than 80 events on Ferris’ campus and throughout the city of Big Rapids.

“It is truly a campus-community collaborative, and anyone is welcome to a campus, or community-based festival event,” Mallett said. “The Big Rapids Festival of the Arts is well supported by the university community and the administration.”