By Seth Kinker
Grand Ledge Gazette
GRAND LEDGE – When was the last time you had the opportunity to see a concert with guitars, a harmonica, a banjo, the Chinese horsehead fiddle and mandolin, and throat singing? The Grand Ledge Opera House recently held such a concert featuring Paul Meredith & the Nomads.
The concert provided members of the local community to see something they might normally not get the chance to see or hear.
“To me, it’s once in a lifetime to see these people,” said Ethelen Herbstreit, a local Grand Ledge resident, “When you get older you don’t want to have to drive and struggle with traffic, but you can come here and see local and international talent.”
The Opera House, which originally opened in 1884, has many talents that come through its doors.
“We try and have a variety of things as you can see today it’s very different,” said Marilyn Smith, a volunteer on the Board of Directors of the Opera House, “Last week we had the Chordsmen, which is a barbershop quartet group. Coming up soon on the 26th is a silent movie so we do a variety of things.”
Paul Meredith & the Nomads are a group of local and international musicians. The band plays a unique blend of music combining original songs with Chinese pop and folk classics. Paul Meredith, lead guitarist and vocalist, who is a Grand Ledge Native talked a little bit about the Nomads, himself, and returning to Grand Ledge to perform.
“I currently live in China, I’m a musician in China, and I’ve played there for quite a number of years,” said Meredith “I’ve always wanted to bring some of the people that I play music with here, for sharing.”
The people he mentions bringing here to share music with include two friends from China, Jerry Liu and Meng Ke Na Seng, who play the Chinese horsehead fiddle and mandolin. Along with these unique instruments they are both able to “throat sing” a low guttural throat sound not common in American music.
The next event at the Opera House is on Oct. 26th and features a silent movie with an original organ from the Michigan theatre in Lansing.