Trip to Marquette, Michigan

 

View to Marquette, originally uploaded by bill kralovec.

Yesterday we went to Marquette, Michigan which is about 90 miles north east of Caspian. It is the largest city in the Upper Peninsula with a population of around 20,000 people. It is my favorite city in the UP and a place that I would like to retire to. I like it because it is located on the southern shore of Lake Superior and it is home to Northern Michigan University. It maintains the beauty and ruggedness of the Upper Peninsula, but it also has a cultural side with an educated and slightly cosmpolitan populace. They have miles of hiking and biking trails, lakes, etc. but different from the rest of the UP, they have things like Thai  and ethnic restaurants, lectures, theater, etc. The city also gets heaps of snow from the lake effect, guaranteeing great cross-country skiing.

They have an excellent medical center and we use it for our family when we are visiting the USA. Besides visiting the doctor in the morning, we had a chance to do some shopping and go for a hike up to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain. It is located just outside of the city and has spectactular views of the lake and surrounding pine forests.

We start the walk up the mountain
We start the walk up the mountain

Pine Mountain Music Festival

 

 

Yesterday we took the kids to a presentation by the artists of the Pine Mountain Music Festival’s (PMMF) opera performance. The PMMF is a five-week festival that brings classical music, workshops, and master classes to the small towns in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was started by a former cellist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra that was from Iron Mountain. It is quite an opportunity to see world-class performances in this remote area. I guess the artists enjoy the beauty of the north woods .

The video above shows the performers in The Secret Marriage, an opera written by Italian Cimarosa, a contemporary of Mozart. They did a workshop for kids. We were impressed by the voices of the performers! We hope it inspires our chlidren to develop themselves in the performing arts. The audience got to ask questions and Owen asked the performers if they ever got sick and couldn’t go to a performance. The baritone answered that is how young artists such as themselves break into the business. When the veteran performer is ill, they serve as alternates and get their chance for gaining experience. Most of the performers came from music families, either having parents as music teachers and/or performers.

I was a bit disappointed at how many people came to the workshop. What a great opportunity for kids! I feel bad that I have not been able to support the festival by attending many of the performances. We don’t have babysitters here in Michigan. Perhaps as the kids get older, I’ll be able to. I encourage everyone in the area to take advantage and enjoy any of the performances. I would also like to thank the artists and the organizers of the festival for reaching out to the UP and providing us with this enlightening entertainment.