Grand Valley's New Music Ensemble was back on the road this summer to celebrate national parks by performing specially commissioned music to reflect each of the six locations.
Members embarked on a 16-day, 3,100-mile tour of parks in the eastern part of the country and Great Lakes region, taking them from saltwater to mountains to freshwater and more, said Bill Ryan, ensemble director. Previous national park tours by the ensemble had been western jaunts.
It was the trip the ensemble had planned for 2020 until it was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a third funding award in place from the National Endowment for the Arts, the commissioned composers created work that captured natural beauty, memories from time spent in a park and more, Ryan said.