Free community Great Lakes Stewardship concert

Song of the Lakes, above, will be part of “A Concert for the Great Lakes” at 7 p.m. Monday at Kaufman Auditorium in Marquette. (Courtesy photo)

MARQUETTE — A free family-friendly concert is set for Monday in Kaufman Auditorium at Graveraet School in Marquette.

“A Concert for the Great Lakes” has been put together by Music for All Kids, The Superior Watershed Partnership and the Marquette Area Public Schools and will feature the multi-instrumental Michigan-based band Song of the Lakes.

“They will be featuring some of the songs from their ‘Paddle to the Sea’ soundtrack, based on the 1941 award-winning children’s book by American author and illustrator Holling C. Holling,” said MFAK President Jerry Mills in a news release. “They will also be featuring the extraordinary storytelling of Norm Wheeler as the narrator.”

School children are involved in the concert, Mills said.

“The Superior Watershed Partnership has recently funded a grant to MFAK and MAPS through the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative. Music for All Kids have been collaborating with the third-grade students of Nancy Usitalo and Jodi Miller at Sandy Knoll Elementary to increase awareness of Great Lakes stewardship through music,” Mills said. “These students take part in an annual tradition each June where they design and detail their own ‘Paddle to the Sea’ wooden boats and turn them over to Thill’s Fishhouse who then transports them miles out into Lake Superior for launching.

“Some of these boats have been found as far away as Ireland.”

There will be an opportunity for many young people to hear the music, even if they cannot make it to Monday’s concert.

“This year we decided to supercharge this year’s ‘Paddle to the Sea’ tradition by using music to increase students awareness of Great Lakes stewardship,” Mills said. “(Monday), in addition to the free community concert, Song of the Lakes will perform a ‘Paddle to the Sea’ student assembly for the second, third and fourth grades of MAPS at 10 a.m. in Kaufman.

“Moreover, the Sandy Knoll third graders and I have a special treat in store for the audience,” he said. “(Recently) I met with these students and their teachers and we collaboratively composed a brand new song titled ‘Stewards of the Watershed.’ The students will practice the song this week before we meet (later in the week) for final rehearsal. We will then perform the song live at the close of the 10 a.m. event. We also plan to play the video of the student performance at the evening concert.”

“A Concert for the Great Lakes” will be at 7 p.m. The concert is free and open to public and is for all ages.

For more information, contact the Superior Watershed Partnership at 906-228-6095 or