The Rotary Club of Saginaw’s Premier Musical Fundraising Extravaganza Move Back to Apple Mountain

    icon Mar 01, 2018
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Since its inception fifteen years ago Saginaw On Stage has successfully served as a broad-ranged music festival not only to showcase multiple genres of artists performing upon multiple stages; but also, to serve as a major fundraising vehicle for the Rotary Club of Saginaw, allowing them to raise revenue for numerous local community organizations.

Over the years it has withstood the test of time and refined its orientation, evolving from the point of at one time showcasing more than three dozen bands on five stages to a more manageable and user-friendly array of three staging points and a tighter more carefully honed schedule, so patrons are not shuffling around from venue-to-venue in order to catch snippets of their favorite musicians.

This year for the 2018 edition of Saginaw On Stage, which will be held on Friday, March 9th, Rotary co-chairs Bill Koepke, Dave Oppermann and Red Hawkins have fine-tuned their fifteenth year of this event in numerous ways, most significantly by moving it back to Apple Mountain Resort and also turning the spotlight upon regional singer/songwriters in a special showcase that will feature 12 bands and 20 unique local songwriting talents.

Three years ago, organizers moved the festival from Apple Mountain to the Temple Theatre, so when asked about the reason for the venue change, Koepke says the team was presented an offer they couldn’t refuse. “This is a fundraiser so any savings we can realize goes directly to our beneficiaries; plus, we like to move the venue around every so often. We enjoyed being in Downtown Saginaw the last few years and will continue to weigh our options going forward.”

Indeed, since its inception Saginaw On Stage has raised over $170,000 for a myriad of community projects, and tickets this year are $25.00 in advance and $30.00 at the door. Veteran & Students tickets are $15.00 and there is also an optional $15.00 Buffet Dinner and Cash Bar. Tickets can be purchased online at Brown Paper Tickets and locally at Herter Music Center, Oppermann’s Cork ‘n Ale, Saginaw Medical Federal Credit Union, and Westside Decorating.

According to co-organizer Dave Oppermann, the major fundraising recipient this year will be All Music is Power (AMP) and A Place for Grace, along with donations to the Saginaw Police Department for needed equipment and the Leadership Camp at Camp Rotary, along with Dictionaries for Kids.  

According to musician Donny Brown, “AMP brings live music into special needs classrooms and provides a free, specially tailored concert for children. What happens is nothing short of miraculous. The music speaks to these kids in a way that just refuses to acknowledge any disability. I’ve never seen such a love fest between performers and their audience and am honored to involve my own talents with this incredible organization.”

While many of the performers at this year’s Saginaw On Stage are veterans returning to donate their talents to this worthy cause, according to Red Hawkins there are several notable new additions to the 2018 line-up.  “Conjunto Contento is a family-based group out of Michigan that consists of members that have all performed in other Tejano bands around the area and are just starting up a new ensemble. Bringing talents and heritage roots together, they will perform classical and original music with traditional instruments like the accordion and bajo sexto and consist of Alex Alvarez, Alex Alvarez, Jr., Alberto Boconegra, and Frank Pesina.”

“Another new group is the World Outreach Campus Ministries Gospel Band,” continues Red. “This group consists of musicians and singers that lead the workshop ministry at the World Outreach Campus Church. They are individual recording artists that have sung and played with many major gospel artists, yet all are Saginaw based-singers, writers and musicians.”

“Finally, we are totally excited about the new Singer / Songwriter Showcase that we will be featuring,” concludes Red. “This is something new we are trying and thought it would be a good way to feature the divergent original songwriting talent our area is fortunate to offer. We suggested a few names and Laurie Middlebrook pulled a lot of them together. I think it will be a great evening.”

Here’s the entire Itinerary & performance schedule for the 2018 Saginaw On Stage Music Festival.

The festival will run from 5:00 to 11:00 PM and Apple Mountain Resort is located at 4519 N. River Rd. in Freeland. For more info and tickets go to SaginawOnStage.com or call the Saginaw On Stage 24-hour hotline at 989-776-9425.

East Ballroom • Jazz & Americana

5:30 – 6:25 PM • New Reformation Band (Classic Jazz & Gospel)

6:40 – 7:35 • Robert Lee Revue (Smooth Jazz)

7:50 – 8:45 • The Straight Eights (Contemporary Jazz, Fusion, Americana, New Orleans Funk)

9:00 – 9:45 • Barbarossa Brothers (Bayou Folk - Rock)

10:15 – 11:15 • Michael Robertson & the Broken Hearted Saviors (Americana)


West Ballroom • Eclectic

5:40 – 6:35 PM • World Outreach Campus Ministries (Gospel & CCM)

6:50 – 7:45 • Conjunto Contento (Conjunto – Tex Mex)

8:00 – 8:55 • Equinox (Celtic)

9:10 – 10:05 • 23 North (R&B, Funk, Jazz)

10:15 – 11:10 • Marsupial Creampie (Electro-coustic Reggae Pop)


Atrium / Entry Way • Low-Volume Front Porch & Lounge

6:15 – 7:45 PM • ETC – Eastside Mike & Friends (Americana & Originals)

8:00 – 9:30 • Bob & Mark Barcalow (Classic Standards & Originals)


Executive Boardroom – Songwriters Showcase

5:20 PM • Karly Terry

5:40 • Jennifer Naegele

6:00 • Andrew Kitzman

6:20 • Kristine Goodwin / Kris Pride Helm

6:40 • Jean Marie Learman / Kathy Morris

7:00 • Amelia Jo / Uncle Vernon Jeeder

7:20 • Red Hawkins

7:40 • Donny Brown

8:00 • Chris Zehnder

8:20 • Mike Robertson

8:40 • Ron Selley

9:00 • Amy Petty

9:20 • Tim Neumeyer

9:40 • Jeff Schrems

10:00 • Jeff Yantz

10:20 • Bob  Hausler

10:40 • Laurie Middlebrook-Spear




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