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CMU's Opus XVII takes center stage in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids students are among top performers

Contact: CMU News

With each note played and every hour practiced, Central Michigan University music students are preparing to showcase their talents in Grand Rapids this spring at Opus XVII.

The annual concert showcases the most talented solo and ensemble groups from CMU to raise funds for scholarships, equipment and travel expenses for music students.

“The collage concert at Opus is a good example of the caliber of talent and hard work of the students at CMU,” College of Communication and Fine Arts Dean Salma Ghanem said. “Anybody who attends Opus is very impressed with the entire event which is an elegant soirée with amazing musical performances by CMU students.”

This year will mark the second time Opus will travel off campus. In 2012, Opus musicians entertained at the Dow Center for the Arts in Midland. This year, Opus XVII will be held April 5 in Grand Rapids at the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Arts and Worship on the campus of Grand Rapids Christian High School.

Among the musicians are 13 students from the Grand Rapids region.

  • Kelly Vander Molen, Grand Rapids
  • Kaleb Lenneman, Portland
  • Matthew Sullivan, Hudsonville
  • Dominic Bierenga, Middleville
  • Alyssa Shepard, Holland
  • Mitchell Demorest, Greenville
  • Cassandra Smith, Middleville
  • Sean Griffin, Plainwell
  • Brandon Bowker, Ionia
  • Kelsey Mankel, Lowell
  • Jonathan Moss, Grand Rapids
  • Cory Spelde, Grand Haven
  • Jenna Veldboom, Byron Center

Performing for a hometown audience is a thrill for the students.

“I like playing music because it’s how I express myself,” said Byron Center junior Jenna Veldboom, who will perform in a saxophone ensemble. “Performing gives you this exhilarating feeling.”

The event will include a strolling reception and cash bar beginning at 6 p.m. followed by the collage concert at 8 p.m. Dessert and coffee with the student musicians will conclude the evening.

Tickets for Opus XVII are $125, which includes a $75 tax-deductible contribution. Individual tickets may be purchased by calling 989-774-1885, and corporate or group sponsorships may be arranged by calling Mark Baczewski with the College of Communication and Fine Arts at 989-774-1698 or online here.

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