16th Annual Saginaw On Stage Music Festival 2019

Inside the Rotary Club of Saginaw’s Musical Fundraiser Showcase!

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Local Music,   From Issue 875   By: Robert E Martin

21st February, 2019     0

Since its inception sixteen 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  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 the 2019 edition of Saginaw On Stage will be held on Friday, March 1st from 4:30 - 11:30 PM at Apple Mt. Resort, 4519 N. River Rd in Freeland and will feature three stages with 12 bands and an ambitious Songwriter’s Acoustic Stage hosted by Donny Brown. Tickets are $25.00 in advance and $30.00 at the door, with students and Vets paying $15.00 with ID. A Buffet Dinner will also be available for purchase, served from 5:30 - 8:00 PM. Tickets can be purchased online online by visiting www.SaginawOnStage.com and locally at West Side Decorating, Saginaw Medical Federal C.U., and Oppermann’s Cork ‘n Ale in Saginaw; at Herter Music Center in Bay City; and at Oppermann’s Cork ‘n Ale in Midland.  You can also call their 24-hour information hotline at 989.776.9425.

Since its inception Saginaw On Stage has raised over $170,000 for a myriad of community projects; and according to SOS co-organizer William Koepke, the major fundraising recipient will be All Music is Power (AMP), along with other community organizations that have yet to be determined, in addition to the Leadership Camp at Camp Rotary, and their Dictionaries for Kids program. “We haven’t made final determinations yet on many of the ancillary beneficiaries, but intend to spread things around a bit.”

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 co-organizer & co-founder Dave Oppermann, the biggest evolution in Saginaw On Stage since its inception is the Singer Songwriter Showcase that was added into the line-up last year. “That added a whole new dimension to what we could do with bands and added a whole new list of top-notch artists that we could add to the show besides the performing bands. The concept worked out well, so we figured why not do that again?”

Oppermann, who also is the co-founder of the New Reformation Band that will again be performing at this year’s showcase, notes that 2019 will mark the 49th Anniversary for the legendary Dixieland Jazz ensemble. “Maybe we should start our 7th Annual Farewell Tour at the end of next year when we turn 50 and then hang it up,” he jokes, but also adds on a more serious note: “The thing that will make that happen is the loss of the good musicians. We feature Dave Tatrow on trumpet and Dave Bennett on clarinet; but if something happened to either one of those guys I’m not sure what we would do. We’ve used a lot of players all over the country while on tour over our 49 years, but once we no longer have what I call a good product, I’d rather stop before the snickering starts.”

Adds Bill Koepke: “Donny Brown got involved with our show last year and assisted us in a lot of ways by helping bring fresh talent in and putting together the mega-backing group for the Singer Songwriter Showcase, and this year’s all-star group he is putting together will feature folks like Scott Vandell and Mike Robertson, so we’re able to give exposure to many of the top-notch songwriters in the area and let them do their own material. It’s important to focus on fresh talent rather than stick with the same acts every year.”

Some of the new groups featured this year include Jake & Jarod, cousins that focus on crowd pleasing covers and originals. New on the music scene, their first all-original album is set to be released in 2019.

Kin Faux is an incredibly engaging Country Band, who wrong numerous honors, including Best Country Band at last year’s annual Review Music Awards celebration. The like to think of themselves as an ‘Industrial Dirt’ Country Band and combine Texas/Red Dirt Country with their own gritty Midwest influences to form a truly unique sound. Their cleverly written original material is complimented by blistering fiddle and guitar solos and an extremely solid rhythm section.

Laurie & the Lefties is the new band featuring Laurie Middlebrook-Spear, who has notably performed all over for Michigan for more than 30 years. She has recorded 5 albums and her new group adds a fresh feel and dimension to her sound.

Finally, Leland Blue is an Alt/Indie Rock band of young musicians who became inspired by their experience of traveling all throughout Michigan. Brothers Ben & Connor Robertson, along with their cousin and another close friend, Bradley Sinclair, formed this highly acclaimed group that creates original songs celebrating love, loss, life, and nature with a fresh lighthearted sound.

Here’s the entire Itinerary & performance schedule for the 2019 Saginaw On Stage Music Festival.

East Ballroom • Variety

4:50 – 5:40 PM • The Lucky Nows (Folk-Amercana)

5:55 – 6:45 • Laurie & the Lefties (Americana)

7:00 – 7:50 • Kin Fuax (Texas / Red Dirt Country)

8:10 – 11:15 • Laurie & Donny Introduce the Saginaw Bay Region All Star Showcase featuring Barbarossa Brothers, The Straight Eights, Lavel Jackson, The Friends of Rosco Collective, Donny Brown & Michael Robertson, and Leland Blue.

West Ballroom • Variety

4:50 – 5:40 PM • Brush Street featuring Julie Mulady (Compositions & Arrangements by Mike Brush)

6:55 – 6:55 • New Reformation Band w/Dave Bennett (Classic Jazz)

7:15 – 8:15 • 23 North (Blues, Jazz, R&B)

8:30 – 9:35 • Saginaw Elite Big Band (Swing, Jazz, Ballroom Dance)

9:50 – 10:50 • Marsupial Creampie (Electro-coustic Reggae Pop)

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

6:15 – 7:30 PM • Pablo Mundo - The Human Jukebox (Folk, Rock & Pop)

8:00 – 9:15 • Jake & Jarod (Classic & New Rock, Country)

Executive Boardroom – Songwriters Showcase Hosted by Donny Brown

5:00 • Krisfire

5:30 • Andrew Kitzman

5:50 • Jennifer Naegele

6:10 • Jake & Jarod

6:30 • Loren Kranz

6:50 • Chris Zehnder

7:10 • Mike Robertson

7:30 • Rosco Selley

7:50 • Donny Brown

8:10 • Amy Petty

8:30 • John Krogman

8:50 • Laurie Spear

9:10 • Jen Cass

9:30 • Joe Balbaugh

9:50 • Tim Nuemeyer

10:10 • Michael Richards


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