Muskegon, Michigan, July 16, 2020—You’ve heard of Christmas in July; now Mardi Gras is coming to Muskegon—in August! Trumpeter Byron Stripling will present his lively program, originally scheduled for last April, as a video performance in the WMS’s new Virtual Concert Hall. Sponsored by Raymond James and Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge, the virtual concert premieres at 7:30 p.m. Friday, August 21 and will be available for viewing for a full week thereafter. Attendees will celebrate the spirit of Mardi Gras with music by Fats Domino, Mahalia Jackson, Louis Armstrong and all the greats. Selections will include stirring renditions of “Down by the Riverside,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “He’s Got The Whole World,” “When the Saints Go Marchin’ In”—and much more. Virtual Performance Passports are available for purchase at $50 by calling 231.726.3231. For more information, visit www.westmichigansymphony.org.
In the wake of the current health crisis, West Michigan Symphony has been actively developing ways to continue bringing music to the community—during a time when it is arguably needed more than ever. June and July saw the inauguration of a new series of video concerts produced in collaboration with local filmographer Arvin Candelaria and including sound engineering by Blue Lake Public Radio. The initial result was described by participants as “like being among the musicians” and having the orchestra “in our living room.” The Muskegon Times cited the event as “representative of an organization determined to provide music for a community wading through deep uncertainty surrounding our health and economy.”
With his engaging rapport, jazzy vocals and virtuosic trumpet sounds, Byron Stripling dazzles audiences wherever he goes. Since his Carnegie Hall debut with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops, Stripling has become a pops orchestra favorite throughout the U.S. He earned his stripes as lead trumpeter and soloist with the Count Basie Orchestra under the direction of Thad Jones and Frank Foster. He has played and recorded extensively with the bands of Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Dave Brubeck, Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry, Louis Bellson, and Buck Clayton in addition to The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, and The GRP All Star Big Band.