Calvin Music Festival a resounding success

Photo by Val Markov.
Photo by Val Markov.

The annual Calvin Music Festival took place last weekend in the Covenant Fine Arts Center (CFAC). Despite the fact that it was competing with both homecoming and Family Weekend, both the Friday and Saturday night performances managed to draw in a crowd of nearly 800. Seven of Calvin’s biggest music ensembles took part in the event. Many of the participants have benefited from the scholarships that the concert helps to provide.

Every year all of the proceeds from the festival go directly into the Friends of Music Scholarship Fund. According to Heather Rodgers, who has helped to organize the various concerts that the music department puts on every year, the money placed into this fund is distributed to students “depending on where the need is.”

The festival has taken place at least since 1997, though Rodgers believes that it also took place years before then. Last weekend’s attendance rate was rather normal for the past few years, since the re-opening of the CFAC in 2010 resulted in a spike in audience size.

According to Rodgers, this year has been the best yet in organizing the Spotlight Concert, which is a more intimate showing of individuals and small groups who have practiced pieces that in past years had been performed during the transitions of the larger ensembles. It took place at 6:30 on both nights, an hour before the music festival. Kristie Plantinga, a soloist who participated in that event, appreciated having the separate concert.

“The people who come appreciate the work that you’ve done,” Plantinga said.

Rodgers agreed that the Spotlight Concert is the best way for students to avoid the audience being distracted from the performances by transitions. This year, videos about the different departments were shown in their place, which helped to keep the concert under two hours.

“This concert was one hour and twenty minutes and we incorporate video into it where people can learn a little bit about the music department,” Rodgers said.

With the success of the festival behind them, the music department turns its attention toward the numerous concerts that will be taking place in November and December. For more information about the department, concert dates and tickets, visit