Finnish trio to perform tonight

Members of the Midsummer Strings — from left are Maija (Savolainen) Niemi, Seija (Alasimi) Kenn and Marianne Saarivirta-Kolpack. The group performs tonight at Bay College in Escanaba.

ESCANABA — Bay College sponsors an evening with the Marquette Symphony Orchestra’s own Midsummer Strings: Finnish Folk Trio at 7 p.m. Eastern time today on the Besse stage. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The Finnish Folk Trio has performed a wide range of Finnish folk music from various time periods over the course of more than 20 years, and feature two violins, a cello, singing in Finnish and the kantele (a Finnish lap harp). All three artists are regular members of the Marquette Symphony Orchestra and all are of Finnish descent.

Maija (Savolainen) Niemi the first violinist and does a lot of the arrangements. She is from Ishpeming, where she works remotely as a software engineer and is married with three children. She started playing the violin at a very young age, learning from her mom. Her father is from Kuopio, Finland and her mother’s family is American Finn. She loves traveling to Finland any chance she gets.

Marianne Saarivirta-Kolpack is the second violinist and main vocalist. She is a native of Marquette and began taking violin lessons as a part of an afterschool music program. She is married with two children. She is the lead teacher for Head Start and GSRP (CAAM) housed at Superior Central Schools in Eben Junction. Her mother and late father are both from Finland (Pori and Siikainen, in southwest Finland). She loves her Finnish heritage, which is why music is so important to her — it keeps the memory of those no longer here alive through voice and song.

Cellist Seija (Alasimi) Kenn is from Negaunee, where she started cello in the public schools. She is married and has two children and works as a laboratory supervisor at UP Health System Marquette. Her family of origin has proudly kept their Finnish heritage alive through owning and operating a Finnish bakery and enjoying traditional handcrafts.

“We are really excited to come back to Escanaba to perform our second all-Finnish concert. Last time we had great energy from the audience and loved performing for the Escanaba community,” Niemi said.

For tickets go www.baycollege.tix.com, drop by the box office or call 906-217-4045. Admission is $15 for adults and $7 for students. For discounted K-Bay tickets, go to the box office with photo ID/Bay ID. Discounted tickets can be purchased in-person.


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