Hiawatha Music Co-op holds annual concert

Nolan Krebs

The Hiawatha Music Co-op will have its annual membership meeting followed by a concert on Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Ore Dock Brewing Company in downtown Marquette.

The co-op is a non-profit organization that supports traditional American music by holding concerts and workshops in the Marquette area.

The group works to provide traditional music events to an audience that may be new to the genre, said board president Susan Bertram.

“The mission of the co-op is to promote traditional music and bring it to people who may not be familiar with it,” Bertram said. “For this concert, it’s a younger band presenting traditional music in a modern way, and I think people who haven’t been to a concert like this before would be surprised.”

Dragon Wagon, a bluegrass band based in Ann Arbor, will be performing from 8 p.m. to midnight.

The six-piece group is composed of Mike Bustos (bass), Diana Ladio (fiddle/vocals), Troy Stanley Radikin (mandolin/vocals), Rich Delcamp (banjo/vocals), Don Sicheneder (guitar/vocals) and Fritz McGirr (drums/percussion).

The band, self-described as bluegrass folk-rock with a shot of Irish whiskey, played at the teen dance at the Hiawatha Music Festival over the summer, Bertram said.

“They’re a really high energy group and really good for dancing,” Bertram said. “We’re really excited to have them back—they’re one of Michigan’s premiere bluegrass bands.”

Prior to the concert, the annual Hiawatha Co-op membership meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on the second floor of the Ore Dock Brewing Company.

The meeting will include drawings for prizes and refreshments will be served.Memberships, which can be purchased for $10, provide voting privileges at the meeting and eligibility for the board of directors.

The membership fees fund music events throughout the year and allow the group to maintain a small staff and office.

They also cover performer fees, venue rentals, printing, postage and taxes. All operations are exclusively for charitable and educational purposes and for the promotion of social welfare, Bertram said, and that students are welcome to join.

“We would love to have students be involved with the co-op,” Bertram said. “We used to have a student chapter at NMU, and we’re always pursuing new members.”

The co-op is active in Marquette’s community, Bertram said. The organization recieved the Michigan Governor’s Art Award in 1993, as well as the Community Arts Impact Award from the Marquette Arts and Culture Center in 2006.

A popular event sponsored by the co-op is the Hiawatha Music Festival, which features bluegrass, old-time, Cajun, folk and other types of traditional music from around the world.

The festival, held each summer in Tourist Park, also holds workshops and other activities for all age groups. In 2013, the festival will be in its 35th year and will be held from July 19 through 21.

“Hiawatha [Music Festival] is one of my favorite things to do in Marquette over the summer,” said senior communications studies major Julia Smith. “It seems like a higher caliber type of performance. The bands are great and because it’s a traditional festival, it has sort of an old-time feel that makes it a really cool experience.”

Admission for the Dragon Wagon show at the Ore Dock Brewing Company is free for members of the Hiawatha Music Co-op and $5 for non-members.

For more information on the Dragon Wagon concert or upcoming events through the Hiawatha Music Co-op, visit www.hiawathamusic.org.