West Michigan Symphony season opening celebrates Michigan’s Queen of Soul: Aretha Franklin

Muskegon, Michigan, September 18, 2023—She left us just five years ago, but Aretha Franklin remains one of the most influential singers of all time. West Michigan Symphony will present a concert tribute to the Queen of Soul at 7:30pm Friday, September 29. Music Director Scott Speck will lead the performance featuring Franklin’s greatest hits, including […]

Largest orchestra ever assembled on Frauenthal stage will perform Holst’s epic The Planets during WMS Season Finale

Muskegon, Michigan, May 31, 2023—Concertgoers will take a musical journey from the ocean to the cosmos when Music Director Scott Speck and the West Michigan Symphony present the 2022-2023 Season Finale, culminating with Gustav Holst’s epic work The Planets. The concert will open with Peter Maxwell Davies’s An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise, complete with solo […]

Well-known Michigan trombonist steps into the spotlight for upcoming WMS concert

Edward “Kip” Hickman will perform rarely heard work for trombone and orchestra Muskegon, Michigan, May 3, 2023—Edward Hickman has been the Principal Trombone of the West Michigan Symphony since 2013 and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Trombone since 2001. He is a familiar face to West Michigan concertgoers, and the low brass section he fronts […]


Children from 36 schools in six area counties will play recorders along with West Michigan Symphony MUSKEGON, MI, April 26, 2023—Few things in life are more impressive than getting to play along with a 60-piece live orchestra, no matter what your age. For a fourth grader, it’s more than impressive—it’s life changing. Couple that with […]

WMS percussionist brings piano and percussion colleagues back to The Block for Scheherazade, Stravinsky and more

Muskegon, Michigan, December 20, 2022— WMS Principal Percussionist Matthew Beck returns to The Block with a program featuring music by Steve Reich, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Igor Stravinsky, among others, at 5:00pm Saturday, January 14. Joining him will be CMU faculty member and former WMS timpanist Andrew Spencer, along with pianists Patrick Johnson from MSU and […]

Two youth choirs, nationally acclaimed guest soprano join guest conductor/pianist Rich Ridenourin Home for the Holidays

Muskegon, Michigan, November 22, 2022— West Michigan native, pianist, and consummate performer Rich Ridenour will lead the West Michigan Symphony during its Home for the Holidays concert, putting a fresh twist on a beloved local tradition of joyful, heartwarming family fun, seasonal favorites, and a carol sing-a-long. Joining him for this year’s performance—scheduled for 7:30 […]

Venezuelan pianist returns to West Michigan for Rachmaninoff 2nd Concerto

Muskegon, Michigan, October 18, 2022—Venezuelan-born pianist Gabriela Martinez returns to West Michigan after nearly 10 years to perform the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 with Scott Speck and the West Michigan Symphony. The concert, held at 7:30 pm Friday, November 4, will also feature Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 and Adolphus Hailstork’s Fanfare on “Amazing Grace.” […]

West Michigan Symphony launches after-school string program in partnership with 21st CCLC Impact

“Tune Up” will provide Muskegon Elementary students with free instruments and instruction Muskegon, MI, September 19, 2022— Beginning this fall, elementary students in Muskegon’s Marquette and Oakview Elementary schools will be given an early start in instrumental music. A new program called “Tune Up” will provide aspiring young musicians with their own string instrument and […]

West Michigan Symphony season opening celebrates John Williams at 90

Concert will feature music from Star Wars, Jaws, E.T., the Indiana Jones movies and more Muskegon, Michigan, September 13, 2022— What would Star Wars, Jaws, and Raiders of the Lost Ark have been without the music of John Williams? This great American composer knew just how to write music that enhanced the mood of whatever […]