Crowds fill Rochester Municipal Park for a past Music in the Park concert series.

Crowds fill Rochester Municipal Park for a past Music in the Park concert series.

Photo provided by the organizers of Music in the Park

Music in the Meadows series hits a high note in Oakland Township parks

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published June 21, 2023


OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — The public can enjoy the sounds of jazz, country and classical music in two township parks this summer.

The 16th annual Music in the Meadows series, hosted by the Oakland Township Parks and Recreation Department, will supply free Friday night concerts June 30, July 14 and Aug. 11 in various parks.

Recreation Manager Becky McLogan, of Oakland Township Parks and Recreation, said she likes to think of this concert series as a cut above the average music in the park.

“We take pride in offering professional-quality performances,” she said.

Former township residents Dave and Ann Strubler, who currently serve as the music advisors for the series, first brought the idea for the series to township officials around 16 years ago.

Ann Strubler, a retired violinist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and her husband pitched the idea of holding three “high-caliber” free concerts a year in June, July and August, which the township welcomed.

“The idea behind it was to bring in high-quality musical acts,” said Dave Strubler. “We’ve got a great lineup this year. All of our acts that we bring in are excellent, outstanding, well-known acts.”

The series has since grown in popularity, drawing an average of 300 people per show.

“One night we had close to 500 show up for an electric Mozart concert with musicians from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra playing on electric instruments,” Strubler said.

The 2023 concert series kicks off at 7 p.m. June 30 with the jazz sounds of Dave Bennett Quartet at Bear Creek Nature Park, 740 Snell Road, between Orion and Rochester roads.

The next month, crowds can enjoy country music from Mark Blomsteel at 7 p.m. July 14 at Bear Creek Nature Park.

Wrapping up the series, Cranberry Lake Farm Historic District will host The Rose Quartet — which includes Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians Rachel Klaus and Jing Zhang on the violin, Mike Chen on the viola, and David LeDoux on the cello — at 7 p.m. Aug. 11.

People can arrive early for tours of the Cranberry Lake Farm Historic District and the restored historic Axford Coffin farmhouse. The 16-acre historic district — located within the 213-acre Cranberry Lake Park — is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The gates open at 5 p.m. for concertgoers who want to arrive early to set up their blankets and folding chairs and enjoy an evening picnic at all three concerts. Food and nonalcoholic beverages are permitted.

The concerts are funded via the Oakland Township Parks and Recreation Department fund, which McLogan said is supported via an approved millage.

In case of inclement weather, concerts will be held at Rochester Christian Church, located at 4435 N. Rochester Road. Call (248) 651-4440, ext. 299, on the day of the event to verify the concert location.