NHS Students spruce up their city
This past Friday (the 13th of course) while wandering about the River City downtown area we noticed a veritable sea of green...as in the shirts worn by waves of high school students from NHS who were busy beautifying the area.
Having spotted Coach Nate Thomasma crewing a group we asked him for a bit of info on the cleanup crew.
“It was our Lions United Day at the school where our kids do community service for the city. My group put up the 20+ no parking signs behind the Post Office in Newaygo. The kids did amazing work. Dug holes 24-30 inches deep. Wasn’t easy. We only had 7 to start and a few of us (mostly me!) were running out of gas.
"Thankfully we had other kids that came over from different groups to help get us past the finish line. Their attitudes and effort were great. I took them all to WESCO for slushies because they work their tails off.
"Very proud of our kids from Newaygo."
As are we, Coach T, as are we.
“When we all lend a hand in helping in the community we improve everyone's quality of life.”- Germany Kent
Raion Taiko Japanese Drumming at the Dogwood Center on May 15
Raion Taiko Japanese Drumming will perform on the Dogwood Center Main Stage on Sunday, May 15 at 3:00 p.m. The drumming ensemble will get your heart racing with an exciting and unforgettable performance of deep thunderous sounds.
Raion Taiko is an ensemble of performers sponsored by the Great Lakes Taiko Center. Their programs are a variety of authentic, modern and traditional taiko, performed on authentic taiko drums imported from Japan’s Asano Taiko, the world’s most famous taiko maker.
The Great Lakes Taiko Center is located in Novi and offers taiko drumming classes, educational presentations, workshops and performances for all ages. Learn more about the Taiko Center at www.michigantaiko.net.
“Taiko” in general is often used to mean the relatively modern art of Japanese drum ensembles (kumi-daiko), but the word actually refers to the taiko drums themselves. Literally, taiko means “fat drum”, although there is a vast array of shapes and sizes of taiko. Within the last fifty years since kumi-daiko was created, it has seen phenomenal growth to the point where there are over 8,000 taiko groups in Japan by some counts. Borrowing on thousands of years of traditional, taiko groups are now taking the style worldwide.
Tickets are $12.50 for adults and $5 for children 18 and under. They are available through the Dogwood Center Box Office, NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont, or on-line at www.dogwoodcenter.com or just click here! For information, phone 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
NBFF Parade to feature generational honorees
The National Baby Food Festival is seeking nominations for the Grand Marshal of the National Baby Food Festival Grand Parade, themed Celebrating Family!!!
The nominees must be Newaygo County residents.
Four or Five Family Generations preferred, with family members that live in the area.
Nominees can be current or life-long residents.
If you would like to nominate a four or five generation family please provide the Nominees name and address and why the family should be nominated to be Grand Marshal and submit entries to :
Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce
7 E Main St, Fremont MI 49412
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dogwood Summer Youth Theater Auditions – May 5 and 7
The Dogwood Summer Youth Theater will be holding auditions on Thursday, May 5 from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. or Saturday, May 7 from 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Dogwood Center for Performing Arts for their summer production “The Hunchback of Notre Dame: The Musical” for youth ages 12 years and up. Please have prepared a 1-2 minute song to sing acapella.
Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney animated feature, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" has a sweeping score and powerful story makes it an instant classic. The Dogwood Summer Youth Theater will be directed again this summer by Casey Webb. The performance dates will be July 28, 29 and 30. This program is funded in part by the Fremont Area Community Foundation.
For more information please contact the Dogwood Center at 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
“If profanity had an influence on the flight of the ball, the game of golf would be played far better than it is”-Horace Hutchinson
We are moving into the golf season and with links lovers itching to begin hitting the courses N3 put out a survey asking folks where their fave place to play might be and why.
Waters Edge edged out Village Green for the top spot with The Falls at Barber Creek finishing third. Pilgrim’s Run and Northwood tied for 4th.
Here are some of the comments
The course is getting better every year. The layout has changed and has some very challenging holes. The restaurant is a great place to sit back, relax, have a pizza and a drink.
Beautiful setting on two Lakes. Challenging but playable.
Nearest, and also that course is well maintained, improvements have been great with more coming.
Not a cooler spot around!
It’s beautiful. In good condition.
They have made improvements and it’s got the best views.
Beautiful , well maintained course. The course is challenging yet fun.Staff is friendly and helpful.
It’s the best course in Newaygo County
The course is always well maintained! Also their food is delicious for a small restaurant.
Close by and great people
Larry Range is a great guy and runs a professional and challenging course.
A very well maintained course with a staff that appreciates your business. The back nine is a challenge but it keeps you humble. A nice little cafe next to the pro shop where you can get a coffee or adult beverage or a meal at an affordable price.
Closest to home and challenging.
The Falls at Barber Creek
Gorgeous course well kept.
They’ve done a great job with the course.
It's beautiful, challenging and close to home.
Always perfect. No waiting on tee boxes. Challenging. Fair
Every hole is secluded and beautiful, just a great and well maintained course in every aspect!
Friendly and great course for all levels.
It's in my backyard!
"Golf is like a love affair. If you don't take it seriously, it's no fun; if you do take it seriously, it breaks your heart."- Arthur Daley
AND HERE'S A CHANCE AT SECURING A SPECIAL PUTTER AS WELL AS A CONVERSATION PIECE FOR THE DESCRIMINATING GOLFER.
A very unique piece of golf equipment is being raffled off. A putter made completely out of hemp wood. Some of the proceeds will go to a couple of different charities. One of them being the kids golf program at 517 Golf group. Tickets for the raffle are $10 each and can be purchased online at
www.bluelakecbd.com or www.cbdstoremi.com
or at CBD Store of Michigan 37 East Main St., Fremont, MI 49412
The drawing will take place Dec. 17th 2022.
For more information visit www.cbdstoremi.com or www.bluelakecbd.com
Mandy Barnett will perform on Friday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Dogwood Center.
Spend an enchanting night of timeless music with one of today’s premier vocalists with her “Nashville Songbook” show that appeals to music fans of all types—who will undoubtedly want to sing along to some of the best-loved tunes of all time!
Barnett has built a reputation for her commanding voice and unwavering devotion to classic country and popular standards. Barnett has enchanted listeners around the globe with her world-class vocals and musical chameleon qualities.
We caught up with Ms. Barnett to pose a few questions
N3-When did you begin performing?
I started singing when I was about five and began performing not long after that. I grew up around music, mostly on my mother’s side. My Mom, grandmother, grandfather, aunts, and uncles…many of them sang and played instruments, especially in church. And I’d join in. Later on, my mother would take me to local country fairs and venues to sing. I was known as the little girl with the big voice!
N3-What was on your playlist as a 14 year old?
Oh, gosh, my playlist was all over the place--country, rock, gospel, pop standards... And I had already started recording country music at that age, so some of the emerging country artists at that time were on my radar.
N3-Who have been your mentors and influences along the way?
I've had such diverse influences. As a child, I spent a lot of time with adults, like my relatives, who had eclectic tastes in music. They listened to classic country, traditional pop, gospel, and R&B; and I listened along with them. Probably, though, my biggest influences were female stylists like Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, Connie Francis, Brenda Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, and Sarah Vaughan. The way they sang--their phrasings and emotions--resonated with me. And Linda Ronstadt has always been someone I’ve admired. Like her, I enjoy musical variety and exploration.
My list of mentors is also pretty eclectic. Owen Bradley--producer of Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Brenda Lee, and producer of my I've Got A Right To Cry album--and his brother Harold Bradley, who was an amazing guitarist, certainly come to mind. Both Country Music Hall of Fame members. The wonderful Seymour Stein, the founder of Sire Records, was another mentor. And when I started recording and touring, certainly many of the other female artists I met always shared good advice.
N3-You’ve performed at the Opry many times and last year received the honor of becoming a member. Can you tell us what it was like the first time you were on that iconic stage?
Even as a young child, the Opry seemed so magical. I had been backstage a bit when other, older artists invited me. And my first real performance on the Opry was during the initial run of the musical Always...Patsy Cline at the Ryman Auditorium, when I portrayed Patsy. I was a teenager and was nervous, but also felt at home. Performing on the Opry is a huge honor that I’ve never taken for granted. Every time I walk onto the Opry stage, I feel so privileged to be there. Even after more than 500 performances, it never gets old. Becoming a Grand Ole Opry member was a lifelong dream come true!
N3-You’re hosting a dinner party for any five people (living or dead) from the music industry.
Who’s occupying the chairs?
I don't think I could limit it to just five guests! All of these names are swirling around in my head as possibilities! But I do have to say that Patsy Cline would be there. I'd like to think that she and I would have a grand time together. I'd thank her for allowing me to honor her music so much.
N3-What should people expect when they come to your concert?
I'll be performing my "Nashville Songbook" show, which features songs and artists that made Nashville famous. We'll be doing plenty of country songs, honoring the great classic country songwriters and artists, but also some of the amazing, enduring pop classics that were written or recorded in Nashville. So, the set list generally includes songs by the likes of Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, and Brenda Lee, etc., but also Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers, and other non-country icons.
N3-Your role as Patsy Cline at the Ryman production of “Always…Patsy Cline'' was lauded by critics and fans alike. Will we be hearing any Patsy music at the Dogwood this Friday?
Yes, we'll be doing some Patsy music for sure. "Crazy" and more!
Tickets are $35.00 with reserved seating for this 7:30 p.m. main stage performance. Tickets are available through the Dogwood Center Box Office, NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont, or just click here. For information, phone 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
Photo and Story by Jewel Brink
Publisher’s note: My decades of being perpetually perplexed by the orphaned shoes found along the road (with remarkable frequency I might add) has led to folks occasionally sending me photos of various shoe situations they’ve encountered. One such missive arrived this past week from N3 reader Jewell Brink. After confirming that even N3 Editor Alexis Mercer,who has long spent hours running the trails in our region, was unaware of the locale we pressed upon Ms. Brink to supply us with a bit of backstory.
Here is her reply.
That Sunday was raining off and on and we waited til late in the afternoon to start. We started hiking the NCT on Sunday afternoons during Covid to get out of the house and explore a bit. That turned into a goal of hiking all of the NCT in Newaygo County. We finished that and are now going back to favorite NCT sections or in this case a section that's a spur off of the regular trail.
White Cloud Campground has a spur trail connecting to the main NCT and we wanted to do that portion. The XC shoe tree is on the spur closer to the High School where the White Cloud XC team trains and has a course for their meets. If you park at the High School you can pick up the NCT spur just beyond the front parking lot and the cemetery. The XC course is marked by yellow flags that loop around on the NCT and a power line. We stayed on the NCT and found the tree about a mile from where we started.
I wonder if the White Cloud XC team appreciates what a great trail they have to train on right next to their school. Some high school teams have to drive to get to such nice running trails and spend more time running along a paved road for practices. Having raised high school XC runners we found the shoe tree amusing and could definitely relate to kids throwing the old torn and smelly training shoes and racing spikes up in the branches when done for the season.
There's also a 2-seater outhouse near the shoe tree, although 2 seats and no door puzzles me as to usefulness.
What's your home course?
After a lengthy winter and a stalled and sputtering spring the golf season is about to go into full swing.
Unless, of course, you’re chipping or putting when a bit less than a full swing is the optimal stroke.
Anyway, to celebrate the arrival of the links season we want to hear from you.
Whether you're a Hacker or a 4 Handicapper, tell us your favorite place to grab a quick 9, enjoy league play or walk/ride 18.
More importantly, tell us why. Is it the layout, the location, the amenities, the customer service, the selections in the refreshment cart?
We’ll compile your answers and share them later this week.
By Megan Wirts
When the stage comes calling, you answer.
I am a performer at heart. Some of my first memories are of me standing on a chair belting out “Over the Rainbow” to anyone within earshot. I fell in love with musical theater when I was in middle school. My first show was “A Christmas Carol” where I played Mrs. Cratchit with my very own solo! I vividly remember the aching nerves and the rush of being on stage. I remembered my lines, but I did spill sparkling apple juice all over the Cratchit’s table. I’m pretty sure nobody noticed, I hope. All throughout high school and into adulthood I found my way to the stage. I performed in various shows over the years when my life would allow it. Then it all came to a screeching halt when I was diagnosed with a neurological movement disorder and I couldn’t do the things I did before. I would go to shows only to feel an emptiness and longing to be in the lights again. The grief of losing that part of my life was too much to bear for quite some time.
I dabbled with stand up comedy for a couple of years, but nothing compared to being in a musical or play. I never thought I would be on stage again until I was doing my daily nosey scroll through Facebook and I saw an audition notice from my old theater stomping grounds LionHeart Productions. It said “Lionheart Productions is hosting auditions for Motherhood the Musical. This musical shows the humorous struggle of motherhood that all mothers will understand.” My interest was piqued. A humorous musical about motherhood set for mother’s day weekend? I had to know more.
It had been eight years and one brain surgery since my last show and I wasn’t sure if I could actually be part of one again. Would I be able to learn the lines? Hit the notes? Not trip and fall on my face? My body isn’t the same as it once was. My brain and my muscles don’t always communicate well with each other and I’m a bit dizzy and wobbly on my feet. I also haven’t danced in years. Not that I was a great dancer before, but I could follow simple choreography and shake my booty when necessary. I figured if this show involved just a little shimmy shimmy now and then, I could handle it. I messaged the director, “So, how much dancing does this show involve?”. When she told me that it wasn’t going to be too much and encouraged me to audition, I decided to give it a try. Despite my nerves and anxiety, I was offered the role of Tina in the Motherhood the Musical. I was thrilled!
The first night of rehearsals was filled with so much laughter, my face literally hurt the next day. The cast clicked immediately and it has been a dream to work with each and every one of them. I had not forgotten how it felt to form a bond through the theater. It’s unlike any other. When you are in a show this small and intimate you will get to know each other in ways you never thought you would. You eventually start showing up to rehearsal dressed a like, you will randomly bust out into song or dance if you run in to each other at the grocery store, you will know each other. I missed that part of theater so much. Don’t get me wrong, I love being on the stage, with the spot light on me, the heat, the butterflies in my guts, the adrenaline coursing through my veins. I missed who I was when I was on stage. I am me, but bigger, brighter and more alive. I missed all of it, but the relationships made behind the scenes are what makes the theater worth loving.
This role has been one of my favorites. Tina is a compassionate, newly divorced mother who loves chocolate cheesecake and her kids, but also cannot wait for them to go to sleep or learn how to clean up after themselves. The entire show is made up of sassy, funny and caring moms. The content is relatable, funny and will leave you wanting to see it again. Every single night we rehearse, we laugh or cry or laugh and cry. You would think that you would get tired of hearing the same songs and saying the same lines agian and again, but not with this show. From songs about leaking, going on strike and a love letter to all things bulk, the laughter is non stop! There are more emotional moments too with ballads like, “Danny’s Mom”, “Every Other Weekend” and “Now I Know”, the tears will flow. It also doesn’t help that two of us in the show have daughters about to graduate high school in just a few short weeks. When you sing a song called, “When The Kids Are Grown”, it hits a little different this year and you need to have tissues stuffed in your bra just in case. Motherhood is an emotional rollercoaster and this show captures all of it.
I don’t know when the next show will come around for me, but I am so happy that I answered the call from the stage this time.
You can catch Motherhood the Musical on May 6th and 7th at 7:30pm at the Grant Fine Arts Center. Tickets are $10 and available for pre order online at https://grantfac.booktix.com/ or at the door the night of the shows.
GRS returns to the Dogwood
By Ken DeLaat
After a one year pandemic-driven sabbatical from their annual trek to the Near North the Grand Rapids Symphony made a triumphant return to the Dogwood Main Stage with an epic performance led by their uber-talented guest conductor Nicholas Hersh.
With an appreciative audience tuned in with rapt attention Hersh led the talented trove of gifted musicians through an intriguing selection of pieces highlighted by a tribute to health care workers.
Beginning with the Overture from The Creatures of Prometheus the symphony set the stage for the evening, capturing the crowd with its vigorous take on the Beethoven piece. Conductor Hersh is a dynamic and spirited director of sound and his podium presence seems to energize the musicians he faced on this night.
The Suite No.1 from Carmen proved to put on display the versatility of the GRS with a number of memorable moments featuring some powerful solo work.
Then came the salute.
Hersh told the story of how the selection 7 O’Clock Shout came to be, relating the tribute to the outpouring of appreciation residents of New York City delivered each night during the height of the pandemic. For weeks folks opened their windows at 7pm to produce a cacophony of noise by shouting, clapping and banging together pots and pans. All to honor their health care workers who were putting their lives on the line every day.
And on Thursday the GRS shared a lively version of the Valerie Coleman composition inspired by those heartfelt expressions of admiration and followed it up with a collective shout from the musicians, the conductor and several from the audience.
Meanwhile in the background a series of photos ran across the screen featuring the staff of SHGM a fitting recognition of the dedication shown by our own health care worker during trying times.
Following intermission we learned about the origins of Charleston, and while the tune is familiar to any who have seen a 1920’s dance scene from an old movie the version provided by the orchestra put on display the deep roots of early jazz composer James P Johnson brought to the table. As Conductor Hersh related in his intro, the sound was “Gershwin before Gershwin.”
The finale gave us the suite from The Firebird, a Stravinsky ballet based on an old Russian fairy tale. Hersh gave a synopsis of the story and the symphony followed with a dramatic, soulful and uplifting musical telling of the classic battle between good v. evil.
The GRS and Conductor Hersh received a well deserved and rather raucous standing ovation from the crowd at concert’s end in appreciation for once again being treated to the world class musical experience that is the Grand Rapids Symphony.
And should you ever get the opportunity to see Mr. Hersh take to the podium, do yourself a favor and snare a seat. His work with the baton and his obvious appreciation for the talent around him translates exceptionally well to his audience.
Kudos to the GRS and the Dogwood staff for bringing this early Easter gift to the community and also to the Fremont Area Community Foundation for their support of this most welcoming musical encounter.
Features and Fun
Concerts, Plays, Happenings, Local Recipes, Gardening, Entertainment, Charities, Fundraisers, upcoming events, Theater, Activities, Tech, and much more.
“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.”
- Eric Qualman