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The 2023 White Lake Winter Lecture Series

The White Lake Music Society is pleased to announce a joint venture with the MADL, Muskegon Area District Libraries, to present the Winter 2023 Lecture Series. Featured will be engaging and stimulating presentations! From January through April, a wide variety of expertise and talent will be showcased.

The overall theme for 2023 will be women who impacted the world of art, music, and literature throughout history, especially during times when it was not socially accepted. To wrap up this series Thomas Wikman will return to complete his “Great Voices” series.

On January 31, Mary Tyler will present “Important American Female Writers”.  She will show how three prominent women writers broke through the predominately white, male, American literary canon and, thus, forged the way for countless other women writers. Mary will share how we can learn from the rebellious, zealous, often-banned, cigar-smoking feminist Kate Chopin to the seemingly meek recluse, Emily Dickinson, to the lionhearted Toni Morrison. Mary welcomes and even expects interaction!

Mary Tyler is a newly retired English professor with more than 30 years teaching Shakespeare, Creative Writing, Poetry Writing, Film, and Survey Literature courses at Muskegon Community College. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan, a Master (MA) in English and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Poetry and Creative Writing from Western Michigan University. She was Chair of the Muskegon Writers’ Series for many years where she brought numerous professional writers to the Muskegon area: David Sedaris, Mary Karr, Frank McCourt, Billy Collins, Garry Trudeau, and many others. It is said that Mary suffers from Bardolatry – an extreme idolization of William Shakespeare and his work. She also loves to travel, garden, read, write, attend live concerts and performances, and hang out with her family.

February 28 features Erin Walling speaking on “Women Artists of the European Baroque Era”

The focus of this presentation will be the lives and art of women Baroque artists such as Artemisia Gentileschi, Lavinia Fontana, Judith Leyster and others.  Not only did each of these artists face overwhelming personal challenges, but also systemic misogyny.  Despite these limitations, they both became successful working artists during their lifetime.  Unfortunately, after their deaths, male art historians ignored their art, and some even attributed the work to male artists of the same time period.  Art historians now know better, and this presentation will help to set the record straight.

Erin Walling is a retired American and World History teacher with 39 years of experience in public education.  Although she is not an expert in art history, this self-described “history nerd” is an authority on keeping high school students entertained and sneakily educated by regaling the class with historical anecdotes, fun facts, and interesting slides.  “Seekers of knowledge” will enjoy the benefits of her detailed research and the ability to weave historical facts into a compelling story.

March 28 will feature a lecture entitled “Women Composers” by Elizabeth Morrison.

Women have been composing music forever, and there is great music there to be discovered. Elizabeth will highlight Clara Schuman from the 19th century, Grazyna Bacewicz, from the 20th century, and Caroline Shaw, from the 21st century. The talk will include recorded music selections from their work. She will also point you to easy ways to get to know more of them.

Elizabeth Morrison is a writer and educator who has lectured, taught and written extensively about women composers. She is also an amateur cellist and lifelong lover of chamber music, and especially enjoys playing music written by women.

Winding up this series on April 25 will be Thomas Wikman presenting “The Great Voices”. Thomas Wikman will continue his series on the great singers of the 20th century. He will focus on the golden voices of the two decades between 1940 and 1960, many very familiar in our culture. Carefully selected recorded examples will be included.

Muskegon native and music scholar Thomas Wikman is the founder and conductor Laureate of Chicago’s Music of the Baroque and has a long and extensive career as a performer, instructor, conductor, and leader. In May 2002, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts (Honoris Causa) from the University of Illinois at Chicago for “making an incomparable contribution to the musical life of Chicago.”

All presentations will take place at 7 PM at the Book Nook & Java Shop, 8744 Ferry St. in Montague. A live stream option on Zoom will be available also and will be posted on the Book Nook’s website and Facebook page. Suggested donation $10 at the door.