Release Date: 
Monday, August 14, 2023

HFC Big Band performs with Olivia Van Goor in support of early-career musicians

Event Date: 
Fri, 09/22/2023 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Sat, 09/23/2023 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Adray Auditorium (F-100) in MacKenzie Fine Arts Center (Bldg. F)
Olivia Van Goor leaning onto a piano top smiling.
A creative force in the jazz world, Olivia Van Goor will perform alongside the Henry Ford Big Band Sept. 22-23 at the Adray Auditorium on HFC's main campus.

In the first of a planned concert series, the HFC Music department and Specialty Tooling Systems in Grand Rapids will present a two-night concert event featuring Detroit-based jazz singer and band leader Olivia Van Goor and the Henry Ford Big Band.

The concert will be in the Adray Auditorium (Room F-100) on the first floor of the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center (Building F) on HFC’s main campus. Tickets are $29 each:

  • Friday, September 22, at 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 23, at 7:00 p.m.

Prior to the September 22 show at 5:00 p.m., a pre-glow reception will be held in the John McDonald Student and Culinary Arts Center (Building M) on the main campus. This $39 ticket upgrade will include hors d'oeuvres from the HFC Culinary Arts department.

“This concert represents part of a new role we'd like to see the Big Band play in our community: Providing local artists the opportunity to play with a larger ensemble while we both enjoy the cross-pollination of our audiences. This sounds like a win for all of us. And Olivia's talent is the perfect place to start. This is a concert you do not want to miss!” said HFC Band Director Anthony Lai.

A creative force in the jazz world, Van Goor will debut an original arrangement

An alumna of Denison University in Granville, OH, Van Goor is a creative force in the jazz world. She released two EPs: When the Shadows Fall (released in 2021) and Don’t Be Mad at Me (released in August). She has produced the show Duets with vocalist Reuben Stump, exploring the history of vocal jazz duets. Van Goor has toured throughout the Midwest. She has earned nominations for Best Vocal Jazz Album of 2021 and Outstanding Vocalist in 2023 at the Detroit Music Awards. She also received recognition from Michigan-based media outlets.

At the concert, Van Goor will play an original arrangement alongside the Big Band. The performance will feature many jazz standards.

Big Band

Founded in 1983 by the late Rick Goward, the Big Band serves as an ambassador group for the College’s music program and the City of Dearborn. Its repertoire comprises jazz, swing, and bossa nova from jazz-era greats including Glenn Miller, Buddy Rich, Duke Ellington, Maynard Ferguson, and others. The Big Band boasts a global résumé, including performances at prestigious jazz festivals, concert halls, three Presidential Inaugurations, and other renowned events all over the United States and Europe.

Supporting and educating the next generation of musicians

Supporting early-career jazz artists is part of the Music Department's mission, as part of educating and preparing the next generation of talent.

“Many early-career artists can’t afford to book a concert venue, hire a band, record live performances, and do many other things to promote their talent and make a living. As a community college cultivating talent in our region, we have those resources available and we can help these performers,” said recently-retired music faculty member G. Kevin Dewey. “This arrangement is a win-win-win. HFC performing groups and students get to interact with and learn from real working musicians, the College increases its impact and advances its mission, and the guest artist gets valuable stage time and an audience to engage.”

How to purchase tickets

Tickets for both concerts and the pre-glow reception are $29 and are available on Eventbrite:
* Purchase tickets for the September 22 concert
* VIP Reception Sept. 22: Select “Get Tickets” for the Friday performance, and you will be able to add the Reception for $39
* Purchase tickets for the September 23 concert

Please note: All proceeds go to a Music Trust Fund that is used to promote HFC Music.

For questions or more information, contact Lai at

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