Archive for the ‘Performing Arts’ category

GRCC In the News, 8-26-14

August 26, 2014

U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga gets pitch on tax breaks during visit to Grandville shop floor

Aug. 25, 2014; MLive

GRANDVILLE, MI — Troy Turnbull played show and tell on Monday, Aug. 25, when he brought U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga into his back shop at Industrial Innovations, the company he owns and manages at 2936 Dormax St. SW.

… For Turnbull, the legislation will provide a career path for kids like his son, a 19-year-old Grand Rapids Community College student who is studying industrial maintenance technology and helping out on the shop floor.

President Carter, Gov. Snyder to speak in Detroit

Aug. 26, 2014; Midland Daily News

DETROIT (AP) — Former President Jimmy Carter and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will speak at an Islamic conference in Detroit this week.

… The 89-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner is set to visit Michigan again on Sept. 22 as part of Grand Rapids Community College’s Diversity Lecture Series.

Grand Award nominees announced

Aug. 25, 2014; WZZM

They’re the Tony’s of West Michigan!

(Article doesn’t mention the GRCC connection, but faculty members Tom Kaechele, Michelle Urbane and Nancy Wagner and alumni Dylan Harris, Sherryl Despres, Darius Colquitt and Sammy Publes are all nominated.)

Tickets for Open Door available to employees, students, retirees on August 25

August 22, 2014

Open Door poster

GRCC is taking everyone on a time-twisting adventure through 100 years of its history with its production of Open Door.

A collaboration between the theater and music departments, the script was written by retired English professor Walt Lockwood and James Schafer,  coordinator of video broadcasting and distribution. The music department created the play’s original compositions.

The story centers on Jill, a GRCC freshman who stumbles upon a mysterious door. It’s a roller coaster ride through the people, music and events that made GRCC — and West Michigan — what it is today.

Performances of Open Door are 8 p.m. November 7 and 8 at the Spectrum Theater — and GRCC employees and students get the earliest opportunity to buy tickets! Tickets go on sale to the campus community on August 25 — prices are $25 for employees, $20 for GRCC retirees, and $15 for students with a valid student ID. A complimentary dessert reception will be held in the theater lobby following each performance.

A dinner theater package with the Heritage restaurant is available for the November 7 performance, and GRCC employees and students have the earliest opportunity for those tickets, too! That ticket cost — which includes both the dinner and the performance — is $45 (nonalcoholic drink only) or $50 (includes a glass of wine with your dinner choice). Two seating times, with 20 reservations each, will be offered: at 5:30 and 6 p.m. The menu includes Scotch Quail Eggs and Rosemary-Lemon Feta Cheese Crusted Pork Porterhouse. A special vegan menu of Mock Eel and Cauliflower Steak also is available.

Call extension 3946 to purchase your tickets.

Tickets for the production as well as the dinner theater package will go on sale to the public on September 8 — and they are expected to sell out.


GRCC In the News, 8-13-14

August 13, 2014

GRCC offering homeland security course

Aug. 12, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A new course on homeland security at Grand Rapids Community College aims to prepare students for a “world of ever-evolving threats,” according to the college.

Tech companies search for talent in West MI

Aug. 12, 2014; WOOD TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The U.S. Labor Department announced Tuesday that in June, employers advertised the highest number of monthly job openings in more than 13 years. At the same time, some industries in West Michigan have a number of well-paying open positions that they can’t seem to find the workers to fill.

… Four months ago, OST partnered with economic development group The Right Place and places like Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Community College, Kent Intermediate School District and Spectrum Health to form West Michigan Tech Talent a group focused on attracting and retaining technology workers in West Michigan.

Understanding more about dementia

Aug. 12, 2014; WZZM

Many of us have loved ones in our lives struggling with dementia.

Mike Faber of the Older Learner Center at Grand Rapids Community College visited WZZM 13 News at Noon to dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Ingredients contest kicks off Restaurant Week GR

Aug. 12, 2014; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS – A summer salmon salad.

… Promoters say some restaurants have booked up early in advance of Restaurant Week, which is held during the peak of the summer harvest. Proceeds from the week help fund scholarships for students at GRCC’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education.

Grand Rapids Jazz Festival: Two days, 10 acts, totally free, opens Saturday

Aug. 12, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Grand Rapids Jazz Festival is back.

… Local favorites performing in Rosa Parks Circle include Cooper, Hay, Van Lente Group; and vocalist Edye Evans Hyde and the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra in the festival co-sponsored by the City of Grand Rapids.

West Michigan-based acts also include Evidence Jazz Group led by saxophonist Michael Doyle; and Grupo Aye, which was part of the inaugural GRandJazzFest lineup.

(Article doesn’t mention it, but Edye Evans Hyde and Fred Knapp, a member of Evidence, are GRCC alumni.)




GRCC In the News, 8-6-14

August 6, 2014

Judges to take on entries in Grand Cocktail 2014

Aug. 5, 2014; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) — Restaurant Week in Grand Rapids begins next week, but one part of the annual event is being held today.

… Today’s competition is from 12-4 p.m. at The Heritage Restaurant at Grand Rapids Community College, 151 Fountain Street NE.

Circle Theatre’s upcoming production of “Spamalot” promises laughs

Aug. 5, 2014;

Circle Theatre will be performing “Monty Python’s Spamalot” from August 7-23. Performances will be held at the Aquinas College Performing Arts Center, and tickets can be purchased either online or by calling the Circle Theatre Box Office.

… “All I can say about these cast members is that they are talented, talented, talented,” says director Tom Kaechele. “They’re all singer-actor-dancer types and they are just really on their game with this show.”

… Kaechele, who also serves as Theater Program Director for Grand Rapids Community College, is no stranger to Circle Theatre. He has been involved with the company since the early ’80s, when he started out acting in Circle Theatre shows. He estimates that Spamalot is the 16th production he has directed for Circle Theatre since 2002.

For those with disabilities, celebration marks progress and resolve to keep moving forward

Aug. 5, 2014; (newsletter sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan)

A showcase of talent, community, and ability lit up Grand Rapids Rosa Parks Circle on Tuesday.

… Peter Gordon, Director of Jabez Ministries, a ministry for Grand Rapids Community College students with disabilities, said the passing of the ADA was a big step forward.

GRCC In the News, 8-1-14

August 1, 2014

All but six GRCC faculty complete new evaluation system, awarded $683,445 in salary increases

July 31, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – All but six of Grand Rapids Community College’s 238 full-time faculty successfully completed a new, more rigorous evaluation system that ties pay increases to performance, administrators said.

Restaurant Week returns to Grand Rapids with locally inspired menus August 13 through 24

July 31, 2014; MLive

It will be extra hard to find rumbling stomachs in Grand Rapids Aug. 13 through 24 when Restaurant Week GR is ordered up.

… Throughout Restaurant Week GR, not only will hungry diners be filling their stomachs, but also contributing to a student scholarship fund at Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College. For every Restaurant Week meal sold, one dollar will be donated to the scholarship fund.

Triumph Music Academy offers an innovative take on music lessons

July 28, 2014;

Go ahead and holster your witty comparisons to Jack Black and the movie School of Rock when you are around James Hughes he’s heard them before.

… Triumph does put its students on display, though, with annual showcases. These started in the live room at Guitar Center before moving to the music school at Grand Rapids Community College, and, most recently, Wealthy Theatre.

GRCC students, faculty, staff get special ticket price for Blithe Spirit

July 21, 2014

Heritage Theatre Group is putting on a production of Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward in the Spectrum Theater.

Heritage would like to offer all students, faculty, and staff with a valid GRCC Raider Card a special rate of $5 for their ticket. (Tickets normally run $20 for adults and $10 for students).

Remaining shows are July 24, 25, & 26 and July 31, Aug 1 & 2. All show times start at 8:00 pm.

GRCC In the News, 7-11-14

July 11, 2014

‘Orange is the New Black’ gives Grand Rapids actress Aubrey Sinn time in spotlight

July 11, 2014; MLive

Aubrey Sinn’s most high-profile acting job was one of her easiest to land. One day, she was auditioning for Orange is the New Black, and the next day, she had the role.

… She studied acting at Grand Rapids Community College, and credits instructors Tom Kaechele and Mark Amenta for honing her methods. Ten years ago, she moved to New York City to attend New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, graduating as a drama major. Her first role after college was for a musical theater festival, playing the Hero character in About Face, a version of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, set in the 1950s.

Two Grand Rapids area coaches to be inducted tonight in Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame

July 8, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS — Longtime Grand Rapids area baseball coaches Tim Johnson and Thad Abel received phone calls this spring that left them humbled and honored.

(Article doesn’t mention it, but Tim Johnson works in Ford Fieldhouse.)

$3.7M conference a ‘big step forward’ in attracting diverse groups

July 10, 2014; Grand Rapids Business Journal

A national conference for a group of African-American law enforcement executives is coming to town.

… During the conference, more than 200 students from West Michigan will have the opportunity to speak with law enforcement, discuss potential career opportunities and tour the campuses of Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Valley State University’s downtown campus.

GRCC In the News, 6-18-14

June 18, 2014

Culinary school ranks among ‘Top 20′ in US

June 17, 2014; Grand Rapids Business Journal

A local culinary school is one of the best in the nation.

Grand Rapids Community College’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education is featured among the comprehensive culinary programs in the ranking of America’s Top 20 Culinary Schools published last month by Full-Service Restaurant magazine.

GVSU students received more scholarship funds than other Michigan colleges

June 17, 2014; The Holland Sentinel

Holland, Mich. — Students attending Grand Valley State University received more scholarship funds than any other Michigan college from the Grand Rapids Community Foundation this year.

Grand Valley students were awarded a total of $163,000 in scholarships out of a record-breaking $1 million that was given by the foundation this year. Schools that follow Grand Valley on the college list of scholarships are University of Michigan, Michigan State, Grand Rapids Community College and Ferris State.

Black theatre group creates safe space to explore race

June 17, 2014;

Edye Evans Hyde knows Grand Rapids is missing something crucial in its theatre community. This is why she recently started the Ebony Road Players, a nonprofit black theatre troupe that focuses on racial issues. The company took to the stage at Aquinas College’s Kretschmer Recital Hall to present a reading of “The Story” on June 5, a play by a Tracey Scott Wilson. This play is the second performance the Ebony Road Players have held, the first being a choreopoem by Ntozake Shange called “For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.”

… Tom Kaechele, the theater program director at Grand Rapids Community College, is pleased to see a new theatre troupe in Grand Rapids.

“I think it gives any actors in the community more options for shows. If you have experienced theater in Grand Rapids, you know we have a really deep talent pool. The more theatre companies that are around to tap into the talent pool, the better for theater in general,” he says. “To a certain extent, you’ll see some plays at Circle or Civic or Actors Theater that deal with racial issues, but having something someone who specializes in that kind of voice just lightens the community.”

Aging population trends

June 17, 2014; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) — The population of the United States is aging at a dramatic rate, thanks to 76 million Baby Boomers.

… Mike Faber, from the Older Learning Center at Grand Rapids Community College, visited the WZZM 13 Noon News to share about the growing trends as the Baby Boomers are growing older.

Comstock Park’s Brayden Olson overcomes early obstacles to play college hoops

June 18, 2014; MLive

COMSTOCK PARK — Brayden Olson never gave up on his dream of playing college basketball, although the recent Comstock Park graduate had some serious doubts that it was going to happen.

… A big senior year helped Olson get back on the recruiting map. He played a key role off the bench for a Comstock Park team that won OK Blue Conference and district championships. The team included Drake Baar, who has signed with Grand Valley, and Ryan Hurley, who will be playing at Grand Rapids Community College. Jake Bush has committed to play football at Trine University.

Cronkright likes versatility, pitching depth on this year’s Berryhill roster

June 17, 2014; Midland Daily News

Diversity. That was the word that continually came up when Steve Cronkright was discussing this summer’s Midland Berryhill Post 165 American Legion Baseball team.

… The pitching staff for Berryhill will be led by third-year player Evan Marquardt, who graduated this spring from Dow and has committed to Ball State in the fall. He’ll be joined by Charger teammate Alex Sova, a second-year Berryhill player who will attend Iowa Western. Bullock Creek’s Caleb Somerville and Brian Feinauer of Grand Rapids Community College round out the returning pitchers.

Condolences to Mike Gillan

June 16, 2014

Condolences to Mike Gillan in the Music Department on the loss of his father, Staff Sgt. Eugene Gillan. Sgt. Gillan passed on June 11

GRCC In the News, 6-12-14

June 12, 2014

GRCC construction certificate programs wins state award

June 10, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A Grand Rapids Community College construction certificate program has been recognized by a statewide workforce development agency for creating skilled workers in an in-demand field.

Grand Rapids to hold “maker faire”

June 11, 2014; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) – Grand Rapids is going to have its own “Maker Faire”.

… The Grand Rapids event is being organized by the GR Makers, The Geek Group, Grand Rapids Community College, Genesis, Inc., and the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Chef Rock Harper talks reality TV, food and community outreach at Downtown Market

June 11, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Sixteen-year-old John Lipscomb, an aspiring chef, listened carefully Wednesday, June 11, as the third season winner of the TV show Hells Kitchen shared his journey into the culinary spotlight at the Downtown Market.

… “I thought he was very inspiring,” said Rachel Berg, a culinary student at Grand Rapids Community College. ” I came to hear about his education and his journey.”

American Idol Maurice Townsend to entertain at LINC Rock the Block party

June 11, 2014; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The Madison Square neighborhood is adding an American Idol and culinary competition to its growing Rock the Block event.
Grand Rapids native and recent American Idol contestant Maurice Townsend will headline the live entertainment lineup, while the LINC BBQ Challenge will debut and feature eight contestants vying for the title of grill master and a $1,500 grand prize.

(Article doesn’t mention it, but Maurice Townsend is a former GRCC student.)

BWW Reviews: From Everything to Nothing: GREY GARDENS the Musical (Actors’ Theatre)

June 11, 2014;

The offbeat and somewhat perplexing musical Grey Gardens acts as a pseudo-documentary of the rise and fall of the reclusive mother/daughter duo of “Big” Edith Bouvier Beale and “Little” Edith Bouvier Beale. Aunt and cousin, respectively, of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the story follows their lives from high society to abject poverty, living in a decomposing mansion overrun with flea-infested cats.

… Book by Doug Wright; music by Scott Frankel and lyrics by Michael Korie; based on the film Grey Gardens by David Maysles, Albert Maysles, Ellen Hovde, Muffie Mayer and Susan Froemke; directed by Fred Sebulsky; music direction by Michael Shansky; choreography by Erin Kacos. Presented by Grand Rapids Actors’ Theatre at the GRCC Spectrum Theater; (616) 234-3946. Through June 14th. All shows begin at 8pm.

Arts Outreach students perform today

June 6, 2014

Arts Outreach music program invites you to attend their Suzuki Strings performance today, June 6 at 1:00pm! Performance will be held on Calder Stage, downtown GR. Violinists ages 6-14 will perform as a group variety of repertoire, from Classical Martini’s “Gavotte” to folk songs, finishing the concert with a festive arrangement of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. Suzuki Strings ensemble performed outreach performances for Pilgrim Manor, Lacks Cancer Center, the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, Meijer Heart Center, and DeVos Children’s Hospital as well as a number of area inner city schools.

GRCC Arts Outreach is a community music school accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and affiliated with the GRCC Music Department. This accreditation holds the program to a high standard of excellence in music education. Music faculty provide individual and group instruction on violin, viola, cello, guitar, flute and piano, offering both traditional and Suzuki instruction on select instruments. Courses are available from beginner to advanced levels of study and students of all ages are welcomed. The program employs twelve highly qualified instructors and serves over 100 students from the Greater Grand Rapids area. For more information about the program, please visit



Arts Outreach students to perform at Festival of the Arts

June 5, 2014

Students in GRCC Arts Outreach’s Suzuki Strings will perform at 1 p.m. Friday on the Calder Stage as part of Grand Rapids’ Festival of the Arts.

The students, ranging in age from 6 to 14,  will perform under the direction of Professor Yelena Wells.




The latest from GRCC TV on YouTube: Musical Moods, board meeting, Core Construction graduation

May 27, 2014






GRCC In the News, 5-22-14

May 22, 2014

After slow start to education, Belding senior turns life around

May 21, 2014; The Greenville Daily News

BELDING — His heart racing quickly, sweat dripping from his brow, Gio Vanni Delgado suddenly found himself at the center of the world standing on the turf of Rudness Field.

… Delgado says he plans to attend Grand Rapids Community College for two years before hopefully transferring to Grand Valley State University.

Actors’ Theatre to Present GREY GARDENS, 6/5-6/14

May 21, 2014;

On June 5, 2014, Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids completes its 33rd season with the opening of Grey Gardens, the musical. The show will be presented Thursday through Saturday on two consecutive weekends at GRCC Spectrum Theater, 160 Fountain Street NE, Grand Rapids, beginning on June 5, 2014 and closing on June 14, 2014. All performances begin at 8PM. A special talk back discussing the history of the Bouvier family, the focus of the musical, will follow the performance on Friday June 6th.

Congratulations to Christian and Keriann Poquette

May 20, 2014
Alistair Laurence Poquette

Alistair Laurence Poquette

Alistair Laurence Poquette was welcomed on Thursday, May 15! Dad Christian (Technical Director at Spectrum Theater) and mom Keriann were so happy to get their sweet little Jedi home this weekend! Much love and congratulations to the Poquette family.


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