IRON MOUNTAIN -- For several years, Iron Mountain has struggled to keep some of its best artists and performers local. One of the reasons is the lack of a consistent venue for performances.
That's where the "Friends of the Braumart" come in to the picture.
"There have been so many losses of historical buildings in the area, and we wanted to put a stop to that because the building is basically in good condition," said Friends of the Braumart Treasurer Barbara Kramer. "We felt we had a real opportunity here."
The Friends of the Braumart are working to restore the historical Braumart Theater which was once a main attraction in Iron Mountain. The goal is to make it a main attraction once again.
"It's just such a beautiful building and people remember going there and being there," said Devona, a member of the group. "I think it could create a lot of enthusiasm in the community, not just for people who went to the Braumart back in the day, but also for our young people."
The Friends of the Braumart are working to raise funds through grants and fund-raisers to continue the project.
Restoring the Braumart Theater is about more than bringing in arts and cultural events to the area. The project could provide a boost for Iron Mountain's economy.
"People don't understand the value of arts and culture in an area until the economic impact begins to be felt," Kramer said. "If you put $5,000 into the community in terms of arts, you return about $3 per dollar invested."
Friends of the Braumart present the Marquette Male Chorus
On the verge of celebrating its 30th anniversary, The Marquette Male Chorus continues its tradition great music and family entertainment.
Formed in the fall of 1981 by Ellen Clement who was at that time the director of music at Marquette Senior High School, the chorus had 18 members its first season. In the last 29 years, under the direction of several fine musicians (including David Dagenais and Jeff Bruning), the membership has grown and shrunk as faces and voices have come and gone, but the quality oftheir sound has never wavered. The current director, Wayne Hanmer, is particularly dedicated to achieving a blended sound of voices, which has become a trademark of the chorus.
In its almost three decades of performing, The Marquette Male Chorus has tackled almost every genre of music, from opera (their rendition of "Nessum Dorma" is a great crowd pleaser) to show tunes to rock and roll. They've even sung in foreign languages, including French, German and Italian!
The chorus has experienced many highlights since it was formed, including being a solo chorus at the 1988 International Big Sing in Winnepeg, Canada, hosting the Associated Male Choruses of America Big Sing in 1993 and joining with the Marquette County Chamber Chorale to perform the Faure Requiem at Carnegie Hall in March, 2007. The chorus has also sung at the Rosza Center in Houghton and had the honor of performing at the grand opening of the Ericson Art Center in Curtis, in June of2008. The chorus performs two concerts in Marquette each year, in the spring and fall, and also participates in the Christmas Tapestry each December. They also perform at local churches, nursing homes and start the UP 200 sled dog races each January in Marquette by singing the national anthems of the US and Canada.
Over the years, the chorus has had members that range in age from 15 to 85! Any man who enjoys singing is welcome in The Marquette Male Chorus.
For scheduling info, please send an e-mail to:mqtmalechorus @ yahoo.com. or call Wayne Hanmer at 906-249-9867.
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