Since its inception 20-years ago Saginaw On Stage has served as an expansive and divergent music festival designed to showcase multiple genres of musical artists throughout the region, but also to serve as a major fundraising vehicle for the Rotary Club of Saginaw, which has allowed them to raise approximately $180,000 for numerous local community organizations over the past two decades.
On Saturday, April 15th, the 18th Annual Saginaw On Stage Music Festival will once again return to Downtown Saginaw’s historic Saginaw Club with a line-up featuring some of the best musical talent throughout the Great lakes Bay Region to donate their talents for charity. Doors will open at 3:30 PM this year and the festival will start earlier this year at 4:00 PM and run until 11:00 PM.
According to Festival Chairman Bill Harman, last year when the Festival returned after a two-year hiatus due to COVID, they featured twelve bands and 12 singer-songwriter acts performing on seven stages; but this year the festival is expanding significantly.
“It’s a great honor to be Chairman of the festival this year,” states Harman. “This year we are excited to be making this festival bigger and better than ever and will be featuring a total of 57 acts performing on a total of nine stages for a total of over 7-hours of music. We have an amazing line-up of performers this year and actually had to turn away a couple bands even though we expanded the number of hours for the festival, the number of stages, and the number of performers on all the stages. Performers are donating their services, and some are giving up paying gigs so that we can maximize the proceeds that will help those in need in Saginaw.”
Several popular features of Saginaw On Stage will be also be returning in 2023. Tribute to the Artist will consist of a stage where ten local artists perform their own tribute to musical icons who have passed away over the past three years; and the popular Singer/Songwriter Showcase will feature 17 singer-songwriters performing 20-minute sets of their own material. This year’s line-up consists of Renee Belden, Lori Keisler, Brightyn Jude, Nicholas Jame Thomasma, Sarah Schingeck, Scott Baker, Jennifer Naegele, Randy Juhl, Michelle O’Neil, Jeff Yantz, Scott Foor, Brad Corpus, Eric Thorp, Brian Satterlee, Doug Larson and Clayton Cipolletti. This will be held on the 2nd Floor in the Centennial Room.
“We’ll be using the main ballroom on the third floor to stage six larger bands, beginning with Case & Friends, continues Harman. “Dick Case taught music at the Intermediate school system in Bay City and played for a long time at the Skyroom Lounge out at the airport when it was open. His son and daughter are joining him with three other musicians and will kick things off as our traditional Jazz Band this year.”
Other mainstage 3rd Floor Ballroom bands include Ryan Scott & the Creek Hounds, Saginaw Elite Big Band, Frohliche Musiker Blasorchester, 23 North, and We, The Infamous. Bands performing on the second 3rd floor stage will consist of Fat Henry, Major Chords for Minors, Stix & Stone, and Loren Kranz.
“On the second floor we’ll have the Main Dining Room and the Centennial Room opposite that for three and four-piece bands who will alternate back and forth with 45-minute sets,” notes Harman. Groups performing on the second floor will include Coleman Road, David Asher Band, Off Tempo, Just Folkin’ Witcha, Sensory Overload, Magh Maell, PBR Band, Hiding Salem, and Matthew de Heus.
Proceeds this year will be divided evenly between two homeless shelters for men (men make up the majority of homelessness in Saginaw) and a historic park. The beneficiaries consist of The Well of Saginaw, which is a new opening-soon men’s emergency shelter and residence for homeless men patterned after Emmaus House and Mustard Seed for women. Up to 10 men at any one time will be housed in semi-private rooms and receive counseling. The house was donated to them by Emmaus.
Saginaw on Stage money will help complete an outdoor recreation/relaxation area and/or investment in The Well endowment fund.
The second beneficiary is Restoration Community Outreach, a homeless shelter for men located in a refurbished fire station. In operation for 25 years, it serves the chronically homeless, unemployed, those battling substance abuse, men with mental challenges, military veterans and parolees. Festival proceeds will be used to provide clothing, food and toiletries, as well as resources geared toward mental health, substance abuse and life skills.
The third Festival donation this year will provide seed money for the Friends of Hoyt Park to begin the construction of a $20,000 pavilion, 24-feet by 32-feet, in the upper part of Hoyt Park. The group receives many requests from families and groups to put on events at Hoyt Park that would require a pavilion.
Hoyt Park dates back to the 1800s and is now leased by the city to this group, which offers year-round activities, including baseball, ice skating, sledding and walking/jogging as well as Veteran's Memorial Park.
“Last year we raised more money than anticipated and gave $3,000 to each of our beneficiaries, so this year we are going to try and raise the bar higher and will hopefully do well enough to give them $5,000 each,” notes Harman. “One of the things we decided to do this year was up the ante for sponsorship levels, so we have a lot more categories for sponsorship and a lot more benefit for the sponsors.”
Tickets this year will stay at $30.00, however this year a paid ticket will also get the attendee one free drink included with their ticket purchase. Additional drinks are available at bars on all three floors
“There’s a lot of parts in motion with an event of this nature, so we are hoping for a great turnout and a smooth engaging evening of top regional entertainment,” concludes Harman.
For more information, a complete performance schedule, and to purchase tickets go to SaginawOnStage.com.
16th November, 2023