River Blast on Belle Isle

River Blast on Belle Isle
June 14, 2019 paperlesslion

Enjoy music under Michigan’s summer skies when “River Blast 2019” returns June 23 to Belle Isle for its 2nd summer concert band series. Hosted by MOBIG — the Music On Belle Isle Group — performing ensembles are Detroit metro area community concert bands. Concert site is Sunset Point on the western end of the state park.

Opening the series is the Farmington Community Band on Sunday, June 23. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. Bands include:

    June 23 – Farmington Community Band (FCB)
    June 30 – Motor City Brass Band
    July 21 – Novi Concert Band
    July 28 – Plymouth Community Band
    August 4 – Warren Concert Band
    August 11 – Canton Concert Band
    August 18 – Five Lakes Silver Band
    August 25 – Birmingham Concert Band

The image of the Detroit skyline is a detail from a photograph by Jim Liska.

Details from MOBIG:

“River Blast! 2019” to start June 23
MOBIG to present 2nd annual summer band concert series on Belle Isle

The Music on Belle Isle Group, aka “MOBIG” is set to present its 2nd annual band concert series all summer long at Belle Isle State Park. This summer all concerts will be held at Sunset Point on the western tip of the island on Sunday evenings beginning at 6:30 pm. Eight of the Detroit area’s finest community concert bands have signed up for River Blast 2019. The first concert featuring the 90 piece Farmington Community Band will be on Sunday June 23 followed by the renowned Motor City Brass Band on June 30. Dates for subsequent concerts can be found at mobigmusic.org. Attendees should look for signs directing traffic to concert locations and are advised to bring lawn chairs and blankets for their comfort. Admission to the concerts is free but attendees will be required to pay admission to the State Park. Concerts may be cancelled at the last minute due to weather conditions.

The metro Detroit area is home to many passionate and talented non-professional musicians who play in several area concert bands. A few of those musicians have formed the group MOBIG – Music On Belle Isle Group, dedicated to returning summer band concerts to Belle Isle and to exploring the restoration/reconstruction of the Remick Bandshell. MOBIG is working in cooperation with State and local agencies that manage Belle Isle State Park to present the second summer concert series in 39 years.

The summer concert tradition on Belle Isle was originated by the legendary Detroit Concert Band, under the direction of Leonard B. Smith, that performed summer concerts at the Remick Bandshell. Erected in 1950 by Detroit music publisher Jerome H. Remick, the bandshell was a popular venue for summer concerts on Belle Isle until about 1980. Listeners would sit on the rows of green park benches, lie on blankets on the lawn, or sit in their canoes pulled up on the shore. The 40 x 80 foot stage could accommodate 80 musicians. The structure included restrooms, a radio control room, dressing and assembly rooms and storage. The design of the shell could push the sounds for a typical concert out to an audience of 10,000. The band shell hasn’t been used since then, and summer concerts had disappeared from the island until last summer.

The Music On Belle Isle Group (MOBIG) is established as a non-profit organization incorporated in the State of Michigan with a 501 (c) (3) certification. Donations for support of the music series and for renovation of the bandshell are welcome and can be made via PayPal at the MOBIG website.

More information along with a complete concert schedule and, information about each music group can be found at mobigmusic.org.