The Meadowlark Music Festival plans to return this summer after a one-year hiatus, beginning with a concert on July 3 in partnership with the city-run Uncle Sam Jam.
The festival did not schedule any concerts last year for financial reasons. Last summer would have been its 12th season.
“We still are very active and involved,” board president Chris F. Blomenberg said. “We’ve heard a lot of things, primarily ‘Where are you guys?’ There was a lot of that out there.”
In January, the festival hired Hans Sturm, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln double bass teacher, as its new executive director.
“I’m coming in and trying to pick up the pieces,” Sturm said. “From my perspective, aligning Meadowlark with a major event like the Uncle Sam Jam is huge for us.”
Meadowlark tentatively has scheduled Trinkle Brass Works, a 14-piece brass and percussion ensemble, to perform at the Uncle Sam Jam, including accompaniment to the fireworks display.
Other festival artists will be double bass player François Rabbath performing July 5 at Saint Paul United Methodist Church with his pianist son, Sylvain, and pianist Anthony Molinaro on July 6 in Kimball Recital Hall.
Winner of the 1997 Naumburg International Piano Competition, Molinaro currently is touring in support of his new release, “Here, There and Everywhere,” due out this fall. The album features new arrangements and improvisations of Beatles music.
Meadowlark shut down last year because of a decrease in individual and corporate donations in the wake of the recession. The festival operated on a $100,000 budget, with ticket sales making up $6,000 to $7,000 in revenue. Grants and donations made up the rest.
“We had a model that was working, but it was too expensive to do it,” Blomenberg said.
The festival plans to operate this season on a $72,000 budget “at least until we get our feet back under us,” Sturm said.
Meadowlark hasn’t signed artists to contracts and will wait until funding is secured, but has holds with them for the dates, Sturm said. The nonprofit festival currently is fundraising and seeking corporate support, he added.
To donate and learn more about this season, visit meadowlarkmusicfestival.com, which is in the process of being updated. Click on the “Lark Society Membership” tab to donate. Questions also can be directed to Sturm at email@example.com.