Photo provided by Alex Szwarc

Grosse Pointe War Memorial musically celebrates its 75th anniversary

By: Brendan Losinski | Grosse Pointe Times | Published January 19, 2024


GROSSE POINTE FARMS — The Grosse Pointe War Memorial Association is inviting the community in to celebrate its 75th anniversary with a concert series beginning on Sunday, Jan. 21.

Established in 1949, the War Memorial has long stood as a community landmark and site of various public events in the Grosse Pointe community.

For its diamond anniversary year, the War Memorial's Winter Brunch and Concert Series presents a lineup of musicians spanning genres from classical to jazz. The series will kick off at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 21 with the music of jazz pianist Scott Gwinnell and vocalist Emma Aboukasm, both from Detroit. The series continues on Sunday, Feb. 25 with Ramona Collins and the Cliff Monear Trio; The Chamber Soloists of Detroit on Sunday, March 10; and jazz clarinetist Dave Bennett on Sunday, April 21.  

All performances in this series feature a gourmet brunch, and will be held in the Fred M. Alger Center at The War Memorial, located at 32 Lake Shore Drive in Grosse Pointe Farms.

“As we begin to celebrate our 75th anniversary, there will be countless opportunities for our community to come together and join in,” War Memorial President and CEO Maria Miller said in a press release. “From veteran-focused events, to dances, a gala, and concerts, your War Memorial is the happening spot for 2024 and beyond. I hope to see both new and familiar faces in the coming months.”

The War Memorial also presents a broad range of programming and top-shelf experiences that promise to entertain, engage and inspire. On Friday, Feb. 2, Dueling Pianos brings together duo pianists, Cliff Monear and Pierre Fracalanza, for an evening full of spontaneity and entertainment. For a bit of romance, the perennial event, Sing to Love, returns on Wednesday, Feb. 14 as The War Memorial and Detroit Opera partner to showcase young opera professionals performing romantic gems from the opera and Broadway stage.  

Both events feature a gourmet multi-course dinner curated by Executive Chef Joe Paxton and specialty cocktails. Dinner begins at 7 p.m., with a concert to follow. 

Also new to The War Memorial this winter is the Mini Maestros Family Concert Series. Curated with young audiences in mind, the series offers a full suite of engaging and interactive musical experiences designed to get families dancing and singing. Coined as “candy-coated rock music for kids and adults alike,” Miss Paula and The Candy Bandits kick off the series with a War Memorial debut on Friday, Jan. 27. The series continues Saturday, Feb. 24 with Stop, Bop, and Roll! with Sean Dobbins and Friends; Saturday, March 16 with Six Mile Strings; and closes out with an Earth Day Celebration with Joe Reilly and Friends on Saturday, April 20.