Saginaw On Stage Festival

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Local Music,   From Issue 701   By: Review Magazine

25th March, 2010     0

When the 8th Annual Saginaw On Stage showcase takes flight at Apple Mt. Resort on Saturday, April 3rd, over 28 bands and artists will be performing on five stages, giving music lovers in the Tri-Cities an opportunity to sample a broad musical smorgasbord of live entertainment ranging from Folk, Blues, Country, Pop, and Rock to Celtic, Gospel, and even ‘barbershop’ music thrown in for good measure.

A major fundraising event for The Saginaw Rotary Club, according to event coordinator Bill Koepke, since its inception this annual event raised $60,000 for local charities and arts organizations during its first two years, and in the last two years has averaged around $10,000 per year – not a bad achievement, given our challenging economy.

“This year we’ll be partnering with Covenant on their ‘Sleepsack Project’ for kids with SIDS,” notes Koepke, “and also be purchasing and handing out dictionaries for kids. Additionally, we can obtain matching funds from the district and national Rotary levels, so this is definitely a major annual event for us.”

With approximately 60 members in the Saginaw Rotary and two other clubs in the Saginaw area, while the complexion of Saginaw On Stage strives to evolve every year, Bill notes that “We try to bring at least half of the artists that we feature back each year and then mix the other half up with new artists. The main idea is to expose people that might not see these acts at local taverns or bars.”

Given the amazing amount of top-notch talent that continuously crops up in the Great Lakes Bay area, here is a closer profile at three relatively new acts that will be performing at the 2010 Saginaw On Stage.


The Saginaw Brass Quintet

Initially converging back in December of 2006, this multi-dimensional group performs music arranged and written by many different people in the musical world.

“We perform Sousa marches, Bach fugues, Joplin rags, and many old as well as contemporary songs, which incorporate many different styles,” explains group spokesman Bill Ostler.

“Our personnel has changed over the last three years and we now have 2 ‘reserve’ trumpet players and a reserve tuba player who perform and rehearse with us when one of our members is unable to perform a scheduled gig.”

“We originally performed as the First Congregational Church Brass and changed our name to Saginaw Brass Quintet because we began performing outside the church in Saginaw County. Besides,” he laughs, “many people thought that FCC was the Federal Trade Commission Brass, so we needed a name change.”

“Our lead trumpet, Don Belcher, may be doing some arranging of tunes for us in the future, but we have found several arrangers of brass music that we like, and are using for now.”

How would Bill define the sound of the SBQ in terms of musical objectives that he feels distinguishes their sound?

“There are a number of professional brass quintets that have served as musical models for our quintet,” he reflects. “One of our favorites is the Canadian Brass. During rehearsals we work on our tone, balance, and tuning, concentrating on blending our tone and balancing our part in an equal but changeable relation to the whole sound we are creating. With brass it’s very important to play in tune to make our combined sound shine.”

“Dynamic and tempo changes add creatively in our performances, which become part of our musical interpretation. Our goal is to wake up the musical spirit in our audiences and present to them an enjoyable experience.  We also wish to span the musical genres by having many types of music in our play book to please everyone in our audience.”

Thus far audiences have been very receptive to their collective sound. “We have heard the comment, ‘Move over Canadian Brass’ from audiences, which is quite an honor to hear,” states Bill.

“They also wonder how far ahead they need to book us and if we go on tour. We are the only performing brass quintet in Saginaw and thus we fulfill a niche in Saginaw’s musical world. We would like to add a drummer for some of our music, which would definitely add another dimension to our sound.”


Dick Case & Friends

This band has grown a quick reputation for rendering jazz standards that include swing, Latin and ballads while incorporating some improvisation that is easy on the ears.

According to Dave Case, while they have not tackled any original material yet, his father, Dick (for whom the band is named) has accomplished some incredibly sweet arrangements, “particularly on the intros and ending to songs.”

“We’ve made some headway with the computer, which allows us to record instruments on separate tracks and has proven to be a very good practice tool.  We’ve been playing almost our entire lives and have performed on and off for about 15 years.”

In terms of performance highlights, Dick Case & Friends have enjoyed affiliation with the Bay Arts Council and have performed at Bay City’s Waterfall Park and the Masonic building. “When our sister Cindy and her husband Pat are in town they join us. Cindy plays an incredible flugelhorn – kind of a mix between Miles Davis and Chuck Mangione; and Pat has his own group and performs throughout the Denver area. We will also be performing at the Waterfall Park on June 4th of this year.”

“Last year’s Waterfall gig got rained out, yet we still had some fans hanging out with us and getting wet!” he laughs. “The year before we about packed the place and are developing a growing list of followers. We’re in it for the music and family camaraderie, so proceeds after covering our costs go into a fund that we hope to grow and eventually use to help promote the arts.”      


Taco and Jac

Andrew ‘Taco’ Reed is a licensed minister and an anointed worship leader, while Jacques ‘Jac’ Reed is an anointed worshipper, with the two singing all of their lives.

As third generation descendants of a family that has excelled in the field of music, this dynamic duo is intent on continuing their family legacy. Additionally, they have recorded television commercials for their school district and provided background vocals for many professional artists.

Since its inception, Taco & Jac have evolved from a Gospel duo to versatile singers, musicians and worshippers who incorporate a myriad of styles into their music. They’ve shared the stage with many artists like J. Moss, Twinkie Clark, Darlene McCoy, Take 6 and other talented local and regional acts.

“Whether on stage, at the alter, or in the streets, you can count on us to blend soul-stirring worship and R&B in a combination that continually brings praise to God and stops evil in its tracks,” enthuses Taco.

“We want to create music that makes the people feel as if God Himself is physically amongst them,” he continues. “To create music that can make people forget the ‘now’ and help them transcend to higher heights. We feel like we are music set aside to glorify God by praising His name and appreciating His awesome works. The specific thing that separates us from other groups is that we focus on our music and don’t care about the style, as long as God gets the glory.”

Taco & Jac have a new album in stores and on-line entitled We Welcome You, and it can be found on itunes, amazon, cd baby and

“We have been received with open arms around the world and God definitely gets all the credit,” concludes Taco. “Without the gifts he has given us we would be lost and unable to help the helpless. Spreading the gospel and being examples of God’s love is an honor. We want others to feel that they are unconditionally loved and victorious through Christ. For us, failure is not an option.”


Saginaw On Stage Festival 2010 will run from 4:00 to 11:00 PM and tickets are $20.00 in advance, $25.00 at the door. Students are $5.00 in advance and $10.00 at the door and a buffet dinner is available for $12.00.

Tickets can be obtained by Credit card by phoning 989-776-9425 24 hours/7days, or by visiting Independent Bank offices, West Side Decorating and the White Crow Conservatory.


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