Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Muskegon Heights Marching Band to Perform on Take Five & Company

The excitement for the Drumline Live show at DeVos Performance Hall on November 13th has spread to many of the area marching bands. The Muskegon Heights High School Marching Band, with one of the most accomplished drumlines in the West Michigan region, will be making an appearance in the WZZM studios on Take Five & Company Monday, October 31 at 9:00 AM. Their marching band will also be performing in the lobby of DeVos Performance Hall at Drumline Live on November 13th as patrons enter.

The Muskegon Heights High School Marching Band, under the newly appointed direction of Mr. Nigel Foster, has a grand history of high-stepping, high energy, show stopping entertainment for over 40 years. Some of their accomplishments are:

  • Muskegon Heights High School has been chosen to receive a $2,000 grant for their music program on behalf of Best Buy Children's Foundation, Best Buy Mobile and the GRAMMY Foundation

  • Coast Guard Children's Parade, Grand Haven, MI

  • Fremont Gerber Baby Food Parade

  • Mardi Gras Parade, New Orleans, Louisiana

  • Muskegon Heights Festival in the Park Parade

  • Circle City Classic Parade, Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Performance in Tokyo, Japan

Drumline Live is an incredible performance based on the 20th Century Fox hit movie Drumline. The show stopping marching bands bring energy and talent in all areas of music to the stage in what promises to be an entertaining show for everyone in the West Michigan region.

"In order for West Michigan to be a destination that attracts top level talent and entertainment to our area, we must begin to operate as a region instead of individual communities," CAA Operations Committee member, Community Inclusion Group Chairperson and Muskegon Heights High School graduate, Darius Quinn states. "This reason, accompanied by Muskegon Heights High School's incredible marching band is why we feel that it is critical to include Grand Rapids' neighboring communities, such as Muskegon and Muskegon Heights in events/attractions that come to our facilities."

Tickets for Drumline Live are available at the DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena box offices, Ticketmaster outlets, or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Groups of 10 or more save 10% on tickets when purchased by November 7th. For group tickets, call 616-742-6185, e-mail or order on-line at

Monday, October 24, 2011

2011 WAVE Awards Winners Announced

Experience Grand Rapids and the Kent County Lodging Association(KCLA) today announced the 2011 winners of the 4th Annual WAVE Awards - a program that recognizes outstanding service providers in the Grand Rapids and Kent County hospitality industry.

Guests and employers nominated nearly 40 individuals in six categories between April and October. A judge panel evaluated the nominees on a set of criteria, including the individual's attitude, attentiveness, performance, knowledge and consistency within the local hospitality industry. Winners were selected in the categories of Attraction/Events, Dining, Lodging, Nightlife, Retail & Service and Transportation.

2011 winners include:

  • Dining: Mary Metts JW Marriot - Grand Rapids

  • Lodging: Norina Cadili JW Marriot - Grand Rapids

  • Nightlife: Chris Kenyan The Gilmore Collection

  • Transportation Terron Smith The Rapid

  • Retail & Service Brittany Carter Rylee's Ace Hardware

  • Attractions/Events Patty Alexander Meijer State Games of Michigan

"We are so grateful to the West Michigan community for its continued support of the Experience Grand Rapids mission. Our new name for this event - Impacting Hospitality Celebration - is reflective of our gratitude and is a sincere acknowledgement of the many service providers and Hometown Champs being honored as this year's WAVE award winners,"said Experience Grand Rapids President Doug Small. "You have each gone above and beyond to provide exceptional service, create memorable experiences and bring new convention business to Grand Rapids. Thank you for making such significant contributions to our industry."

WAVE winners and their employers will be formally recognized at the Impacting Hospitality Celebration on Thursday, Nov. 17 at the Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival at DeVos Place. WOOD TV 8's Eva Aguirre Cooper will host the ceremony. Experience Grand Rapids will also recognize its "Hometown Champions" at the event for their help in bringing conventions to Grand Rapids (

The six winners will also be nominated in their respective categories for the Stars of the Industry Awards. The winners will be announced at the 2012 "Pure Michigan Governor's Conference." Hosted by Michigan Lodging & Touring Association and Travel Michigan, the annual industry gathering of tourism and lodging leaders will be held next March in Grand Rapids.

Nomination for 2012 WAVE awards will open in April and will run through early October. Winners will be recognized in conjunction with the Wine, Beer & Food Festival next November. Program information is available at

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rock & Bus Offers Shuttles to Van Andel Arena & DeVos Place Shows

Need a ride to a show at Van Andel Arena or DeVos Place? The Rock & Bus is now an option of transportation for people who are attending selected events at both venues. The bus will offer a ride from several locations to the venues for upcoming shows, including the Rock & Worship Roadshow, Reba McEntire, Katy Perry, The Gaither Christmas Homecoming and The Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival.

The Rock & Bus offers a shuttle service for patrons to get to the concert and back safely from various cities in the West Michigan region. Patrons need not worry about parking or gas, because the bus drops them off right at the door. This opportunity allows event-goers to have fun with their friends on the way to a concert and on the way back, all with the comfort of knowing that they will have a completely safe ride that drops them off right where they need to be. The buses are outfitted with many luxuries including TVs, comfortable seating, and more.

Rock & Bus prices are as low as $35 per round trip, depending on departure location, and reservations for the bus can be made at For more information on Rock & Bus, contact them at or visit

For most show, patrons will need to purchase tickets for the event separately from the Rock & Bus service. However, the ticket price has been bundled into the Rock & Bus price for The Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival at DeVos Place November 17-19, 2011. Tickets for all other shows are available at the Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place box offices, Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Broadway Grand Rapids & Grand Rapids Ballet Company Collaborate on Holiday Season Show Package

Broadway Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Ballet Company have teamed up to offer a Holiday Season Show Package. Patrons can save 30% off regular prices for three great shows when they purchase the package which includes: the Broadway National Tour of
White Christmas, the family favorite ballet The Nutcracker, and the 25th Anniversary Production of Les Miserables.

Each of the 3 shows are available at 30% off individual ticket prices when bought as a package for $100. Seats are located in the Mezzanine level for each show. White Christmas and Les Miserables tickets are available on the Tuesday and Sunday evening performances only. Nutcracker tickets are available for Friday or Saturday night performances of either weekend. All performances are located at DeVos Performance Hall at 303 Monroe Ave NW in downtown Grand Rapids, MI.

The Holiday Season Show Package is available through Broadway Grand Rapids at 616-235-6285 or at the office located at 122 Lyon Street NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

Irving Berlin's White Christmas
Presented by Broadway Grand Rapids
November 15-20, 2011

Irving Berlin's White Christmas tells the story of two showbiz buddies putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn and finding their perfect mates in the bargain. Full of dancing, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written, Irving Berlin's White Christmas promises to be a merry and bright theatrical experience for the whole family!

The Nutcracker
Presented by Grand Rapids Ballet Company
November 25-27 & December 9-11, 2011

Kick off the holiday season with the most beloved ballet of all time, The Nutcracker. This year the Grand Rapids Ballet and Grand Rapids Symphony unite to bring this timeless favorite to you during the Thanksgiving weekend as well as December 9-11. Bring the whole family and experience the magic of dazzling sets, costumes and choreography combined with the dramatic Tchaikovsky score in this delightful family tradition.

Les Miserables
Presented by Broadway Grand Rapids
November 29-December 4, 2011

Cameron Mackintosh presents a brand new 25th anniversary production of Boublil & Schonberg's legendary musical, Les Miserables, with glorious new staging and dazzlingly re imagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo. This new production has been acclaimed by critics, fans and new audiences and is breaking box office records wherever it goes.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mia Tavonatti Wins ArtPrize 2011

Mia Tavonatti of Santa Ana, California has taken home 1st place for ArtPrize 2011. Her entry, "Crucifixion", was announced as the winner at DeVos Performance Hall last night. Her art piece was at DeVos Place.

Tavonatti has now finished in the top five of ArtPrize the past two years as last year she took 2nd place with her entry "Svelata." Her entry this year was a 13-foot by 9-foot drawing of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and was made to be an altarpiece for a Roman Catholic Church in California. The entry now, however, will be property of ArtPrize.

Tracy Van Duinen's entry "The Metaphorest Project" won 2nd place and Lynda Cole's entry "Rain" took home 3rd place. As a new rule of ArtPrize, the top 10 of this year's competition will not be allowed to participate in next year's ArtPrize, but are welcomed to enter again in future competitions.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Local Musicians Could Win Chance to Perform with DRUMLINE LIVE

DRUMLINE LIVE is calling for local musicians to submit videos of their best musical solos. Winners will perform their solos onstage with the cast of DRUMLINE LIVE during the show at the DeVos Performance Hall on November 13th, receive 2 VIP tickets to the performance, and get to meet the cast backstage. You can submit your solo now at

We are searching for the best musicians West Michigan has to offer. This contest allows musicians from bands around the country to post YouTube videos of their best solos for the chance to be able to perform it onstage with the cast of DRUMLINE LIVE during the show in their city! One winner will be selected in each market, based on votes cast by their friends and families online at Drumline Live's Facebook page (

DRUMLINE LIVE kicks off its third US tour in the 2011-2012 season following its extremely successful tours in 2008-2009 and 2010-2011. Their energetic cast has honed its precision and energy with years of training in marching band programs across the southern United States. This versatile group of musicians and dancers brings an explosive energy and athleticism to an eclectic mix of sounds. Equally at home with the hottest contemporary hip hop, R&B, classic Motown tunes, and the rousing sounds of the great brass tradition, DRUMLINE LIVE is thrilled to share the American Marching Band experience with a wider audience.

Tickets for DRUMLINE LIVE at DeVos Performance Hall are still available and can be purchased at the DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena box offices, Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and on-line at Groups of 10 or more save! For group tickets, call 616-742-6185, e-mail or order on-line at