If you read this column on a regular basis, you probably know by now that I am a disco diva but moreover, a music junkie. I love all kinds of music and I do much better on a project when I’m listening to music. In fact, while I’m writing right now I’m listening to a CD my son Randy made for me of some of my favorite tunes. I started in band when I was in the 5th grade and I never looked back. I played the flute and I did go to band camp every summer.
I’m sure there are many of you out there that have no idea that Portage has free live concerts going on every Tuesday at our own Woodland Park, Oakwood or Sycamore Halls, 2100 Willowcreek Road, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The first concert was last night but rest assured there are still 12 more concerts brought to you by a unique partnership of the Portage Parks and Recreation Department, the Portage Township Live Entertainment Association and the Portage Chamber of Commerce.
Next Tuesday will be Hobart area concert band with music of all ages. Other performances include Blue Cool Red Hot with the sounds of retro on June 18; Guy Fricano Swing Jazz band with music of the 30s and 40s on June 25; Dave Hutchens will bring contemporary tunes on July 2; Wolffgang girls choral group will perform July 9; Jimmy Buffett Tribute for all you Parrotheads by Island 49 on July 16; Monterrey performs July 23; The Relics will bring renditions of 60s and 70s on July 30; The Acousticats will play blues and classic rock on Aug. 6; The Summer Symphony stringed orchestra will perform Aug. 13; New Element for all Irish, bluegrass, Celtic and folk music fans will perform Aug. 20; Larry Spurlock's Little Big Band will perform favorite big band sounds Aug. 27. These concerts were made possible by many business sponsors here in our fine city and a grant from the John Anderson Foundation.
The Portage Township Live Entertainment Association was formed in 1989 by Russell Willis, Charter president, his wife Martha and group of volunteers who shared a vision of professional artists performing in Portage to encourage cultural activities for a well-rounded quality of life. Since then many groups from singers, dancers, Chinese acrobats, instrumentalists, ballet and magicians have entertained many a person in Portage.
While the foundation has been firmly fixed in place, they are working hard to grow PTLEA to an auditorium-capacity crowd of 1200 season ticket holders to realize their goals. Another great schedule will soon be released for their fall/winter concert series chocked full of great acts you can see in Portage and around the area with your season ticket.
For more information on the PTLEA, the concert series and how to be a Patron of the PTLEA you can call (219) 762-5025 or go their website www.portagemusic.com. The PTLEA is also looking for more members to volunteer their time to this worthwhile cause to keep the arts alive in our community. Give them a jingle to get involved with continuing the arts in our community.
This column solely represents the writer's opinion.