WILLIAMS BAY—When the summer season ends, Yvette Somerville said it feels rewarding to look back at another season of Music by the Lake come and gone.
The vice president for operations at George Williams College of Aurora University said the summer series held at Ferro Pavilion is an ideal activity during the summer.
“I think that being able to service the community in an atmosphere that is so beautiful, we strive to bring memorable experiences to all of our guests,” Somerville said. “And the musicians, as well.”
The 2018 summer series starts at 4 p.m. Sunday, June 24, with a performance of movie music by the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra. The campus will open at 2:30 p.m., and pavilion and lawn tickets are both $15 for this show, although prices vary for other performances.
The orchestra has performed pieces from films such as “Star Wars,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Frozen,” “Lord of the Rings,” “Forrest Gump,” and more, according to a press release from Music by the Lake.
Somerville said the music performances are a “perfect way” to spend a summer afternoon or evening on Geneva Lake. She also said the venue is family-friendly.
The July 29 performance will be especially child-friendly with a concert by Ralph’s World. Ralph Covert, an indie rock musician, and his band change their original songs to make them more appealing to children. Covert also is a children’s book author, according to Music by the Lake.
Somerville, who has been with the college for eight years, said the events benefit the community. She helps book the music and handles logistics for the series, she said.
In response to a Gazette question about reasons for hosting the series, Somerville read from the series’ mission statement, which states: “To present and create excellent musical programs for the enrichment, education and entertainment of our friends, neighbors and visitors in the Geneva Lake community.”
There aren’t any major changes this year aside from the addition of country music, Somerville said.
There were more changes in the series’ past, however.
It all began in 1950 when the community created the George Williams College Summer Music Association. The group ran shows for 19 years before the festival stopped in 1969, according to the Music by the Lake website.
Performances after the original formation included the Chad Mitchell Trio with John Denver and trumpeter Doc Severinsen. The New York City Opera and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra also performed, according to the website.
Music by the Lake started up again in 2001, and it has been running since. That year, the pavilion tent was erected to host the series, which had previously been housed at the university’s Lewis Auditorium.
Performances since the more recent opening have included Kenny Loggins, the Doobie Brothers and the Beach Boys.
The lineup this year features an already sold-out show by the Grammy-nominated group Three Dog Night on Aug. 11. Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers will perform July 7, and Wynonna & The Big Noise take the stage July 14. The July 21 show is “An Evening of Love Songs,” with performances from Grammy winner Nathan Gunn with the Chicago Philharmonic.
After the summer and Music by the Lake officially ends, the college keeps events going with performances at 4 p.m. Sundays. Those events are free and open to the public, Somerville said.