Root Doctor plays for hometown crowd at Summer Solstice Jazz Festival

For 23 years, the Summer Solstice Jazz Festival has brought live jazz music and education to the East Lansing community, showcasing both nationally recognized and local artists. The 2019 festival served more than a gathering of bands. For its closing act, Root Doctor, it served as a homecoming celebration. “We’ve been playing for 30 years in the area,” said band manager Marge Mooney. “We have a lot of family and a lot of friends that we’ve acquired through playing in the area, so it was exciting to have us back in town.”

This year marks the 30 year anniversary of the band, which formed in Lansing in 1989.

Ernest Green, the homecoming Grand Marshall

MSU homecoming Grand Marshall, Ernest Green, sat in on a special screening of the documentary The Road to Little Rock. The documentary tells the courageous story of one visionary judge and nine determined teenagers who are now known as The Little Rock Nine. Ernest Green, who was one of the nine students that were a part of this historic movement and subject of the film, talked about his groundbreaking time at Michigan State. “Any student coming here should see this as a lifetime opportunity and its more than going to classes, it’s getting to know people and building relationships,” said Green.

Life as a local Lansing performer

By Kristen Alberti
Listen Up, Lansing

Working three jobs is enough to keep anyone busy, but when you have a dream to chase, who has time for sleep? As an employee at a life insurance company, a movie theater, and helping coach a high school girls’ soccer team, Tyler Ennis, vocalist in Lansing metal band Ground Tracer, should seem too exhausted to practice with his band. Nevertheless, Ennis said his commitment to his band is worth it because it helps him support both his group and himself. “As cliche as it sounds, it really is my escape,” said Ennis. “I go through a lot of stress with how busy my life is, but anytime I’m on stage performing, I really truly forget about everything and just have the time of my life.”

Lansing is home to many local performers of all genres ranging from hip-hop to country to progressive metal with everything in-between.

Holt High School counts music classes the same as math classes in GPA

By Caleb Nordgren
Holt Journal staff writer

It’s 11:20 on a Friday at Holt High School. Senior Evan Edwards makes his way to band class. The future MSU music student is, among other things, getting ready to hear the band play “Abyss,” a song he wrote himself and used as part of his application portfolio. The band will perform “Abyss” at their next concert in May. Edwards and his classmates obviously will receive a grade in their band class.

Okemos High School Hosts Annual Festival of Bands

By Florian Cherdron and Adam Ilenich
Meridian Times staff writers

OKEMOS — Eleven bands from across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula came together at Okemos Community High School to perform free concerts for the 17th Annual Red Cedar Festival of Community Bands. The festival was developed by members of the the Meridian Community Band in 1996 and has been held every year since. Over the years, 45 bands have performed in the festival, giving the public 188 free concerts in 17 years. Kyle Tooker, a 15-year-old freshman who plays tenor saxophone at Okemos High School, said he really enjoyed the concert, especially the German band that brought energy and fun to the show. “Seeing all the people having so much fun, especially the German band, they were having so much fun with the costumes and they make music look cool,” Tooker said.