History

Early Music Michigan was founded in 1996 as the Michigan Bach Collegium. In 2009, we changed our name to Early Music Michigan to emphasize our mission of performing a wide variety of early music– generally speaking, music written and performed before the nineteenth century–not limited to the works of J. S. Bach. As an early-music ensemble emphasizing historically-informed performance, we occupy a valuable niche, providing music and creative programming that would not otherwise be available in the greater Kalamazoo area.

Mission

Our mission is to perform early music in a dynamic, varied and historically informed manner that honors this body of rare and ancient musical treasures, the artistic voice, and the humanity of collaborative music making.

       Eric Strand, conductor and artistic director

A musician with broad experience, interests, and repertoire, Strand is in his thirteenth season with Early Music Michigan. As an organist, vocalist, and conductor, he has performed with such diverse groups as Pro Arte Singers at Indiana University, Albany Pro Musica, The Berkshire Bach Festival, The St. Cecilia Orchestra, and The Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids Symphony. A native of Kansas, he began his organ studies with his father, Dr. James Strand, and received degrees from Southwestern College, Kansas, and Indiana University, Bloomington. He is a doctoral candidate in choral conducting and organ at the Hartt School in Hartford, Connecticut. Teachers included Marilyn Keiser, Larry Allen, and Richard Coffey. Besides his work with Early Music Michigan, Mr. Strand is Director of Music and the Arts at First United Methodist Church in Grand Rapids. From 1998 to 2011, he was the Organist-Choirmaster at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Kalamazoo, and he has held similar posts in Indiana and New York. He has done significant study of movement through work in Body Mapping and the Alexander Technique. Recent significant engagements were with the 2013 Grand Rapids Bach Festival.

     Ann Marie Boyle, artistic director and soprano

Music has always been a part of her life; singing choral music, musical theater and eventually studying voice. She received a BA in music from DePaul University and a MM in early music vocal performance from the Early Music Institute at Indiana University. Most recently she is a soloist and associate artistic director for Early Music Michigan in Kalamazoo as well as a private voice teacher and music instructor.