About the festival
Establishment of the Grove Street Music Festival in 1998 grew out of the discovery that an old church at Grove and Gordon streets was a great place to perform chamber music.
With $500 startup money from the Midland Suzuki Education Program, the festival rented a grand piano, brought Chagall Trio from Chicago, formed a small local orchestra, and presented Friday and Sunday concerts.
On the Saturday between the concerts, guest artists coached Suzuki students in the morning. The students broke for a picnic and playtime, and then gave a concert.
The festival’s goals have remained the same since — to bring professional chamber music to Midland to perform in a fine hall with natural acoustics, and to work with local student and adult musicians. The group also seizes on opportunities to present other fine soloists in concert as they become available.
A annual jazz concert was added in 2000 through the hard work and dedication of the late Ed Carney, founder and former head of Jazz Programming for the Grove Festival. The jazz concert was renamed in 2015 to honor Ed’s leadership and contribution.
The festival was established in 1999 as a state non-profit corporation and later became a 501(c)(3) organization. Funding has come from the Northeast Michigan Arts Council, local foundations and generous contributions from music lovers.
The church at Grove and Gordon served the festival well until 2005. Chapel Lane Presbyterian Church became the festival’s new home because of uncertain availability of the old building. Chapel Lane is also acoustically fine, and is disability-accessible as well. The festival, a secular organization, rents use of the church for concerts and enjoys a warm and supportive relationship with the Chapel Lane staff and congregation.
Members of the board of directors are Robin Von Wald, director; Mary Haslam, President; Grant Von Wald; Secretary, Marilyn Gillett, Treasurer; Roberta Kennedy; Larry Carbary, Head of Jazz Programming; George Widiger; Tom Peterson and Jon Van Regenmorter, Webmaster.