West Shore Symphony shouts out to manufacturing

February 6, 2009
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MUSKEGON — Manufacturing has always been at center stage of Muskegon’s economy. In March, manufacturing will be center stage at the West Shore Symphony Orchestra as it presents “American Made: The Art of Manufacturing” March 27-29 at the Frauenthal Theater in Muskegon.

The lead sponsor is L3 Communications and Propulsion Systems, and more than a half-dozen other manufacturers have contributed a total of more than $100,000 for the performance, said Carla Hill, president & CEO of West Shore Symphony Orchestra.

“We’re calling it a celebration of the history of manufacturing in West Michigan — what it is, what it was and where it’s going,” Hill said.

“A year ago, we didn’t know quite what the economy was going to be for manufacturing. Now I feel strongly that this is even more important to really honor what West Michigan manufacturing has been.”

The three-screen multimedia production debuted in Springfield, Ohio, in 2007. It is produced by Seattle visual media company The Now Device, which specializes in multimedia shows for orchestras.

Using a Grand Rapids production crew, The Now Device filmed at Muskegon manufacturing sites to produce a show with a local angle, Hill said.

“We decided it was the perfect thing for us to do,” she added.

The dress rehearsal will feature a job fair of sorts, with college and high school students arriving on buses for the performance and local manufacturers setting up booths for them to peruse.

“We’re talking about music and manufacturing in one breath,” Hill said. “People who have not typically sponsored anything saw something they could really get behind.”

Tickets range from $10 to $42 and are available through Star Tickets Plus or in person at the Frauenthal box office.

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