Source: Sherman Publications

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Music in the family

by Phil Custodio

October 03, 2012

Jim Powers of Clarkston and his granddaughter Laura Miller, with a violin passed down from her great-grandfather. Photo by Phil Custodio
Jim Powers of Clarkston and his granddaughter Laura Miller of Waterford help keep the music playing, serving together on the Symphony of the Lakes Board.

"This is fun, a good chance to spend some quality time with my grandpa," Miller said. "I rarely get to spend time with him."

"She's a good kid," Powers said.

Powers has been on the board for two years, now as treasurer. Miller joined the board this year.

"I'm helping with fund raising, social media on Facebook, and making a website," she said.

Powers has enjoyed the music of Symphony of the Lakes, formally the Pontiac Oakland Symphony, for decades.

"Their first performance was in 1957 – it's great for the community," he said. "Our goal is to keep it in business and keep improving. We can only do that with help of the total community."

"It's important to the community and to the children," said Miller, who works at McCourts Music on Sashabaw Road. "It's important to expose children to the type of music the symphony provides."

Most of today's music has roots in classical music, she said.

"To see it performed live, close to home by professional musicians, that's an outstanding activity," she said.

She also plays violin. Her favorite is a family heirloom passed down from her great-grandfather, Barney McKevitz.

The instrument is a Stradivarius copy, German trade instrument, kept in an Italian hand-carved case.

"My brother in law restored it – it's all in the family," she said. "It's pretty cool."

The symphony performs 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 2 at the Central Methodist Church in Waterford. There will be offerings from composers Bach, Hoist, Mozart and Vivaldi. Guest violin soloist will be Joanna Frankel.

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