Tuba Bach Chamber Music Festival

The Tuba Bach Chamber Music Festival is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Big Rapids, Michigan.

Since its inception in 2006, Tuba Bach has brought hundreds of exceptional musicians from around the world, across the United states, and from every corner of our state to present concerts and educational programming in West-Central Michigan, free of charge and available to all.


Past Seasons Archive > 2012 Concert Season > Concert 6

Concert 6
October 21, 2012 • 4:00 P.M.
Big Rapids High School Auditorium

Jazz singer Sunny Wilkinson and Voca Lyrica

Tuba Bach welcomes back Sunny Wilkinson with pianist Ron Newman to the Tuba Bach Festival stage. Sunny and Ron, who have performed with Tuba Bach on many previous occassions, once again join Ed Mallett to bring a taste of vocal jazz to the concert stage. Bringing a full choral to the mix is the Big Rapids women's choir Voca Lyrica, who, under the direction of Ginny Kerwin, mixes their vocal artistry with jazzy flair.

Sunny Wilkinson

SUNNY WILKINSON has taken her place in that elite group of jazz vocalists who have stretched the boundaries and found themselves "one of a kind."

In addition to over three decades of professional accomplishments and performances, Sunny has sung with music icons such as The Count Basie Orchestra, Rob McConell and the Boss Brass, Clark Terry, Mark Murphy, Milt Hinton, Curtis Fuller and many more. Her latest CD is a duo project featuring Los Angeles based pianist Tom Garvin entitled A Gentle Time – When Sunny Meets Tom. “The musical empathy that is shared by these two artists is truly extraordinary…Sunny Wilkinson is at the top of her game here. She has spent a lot of time refining her craft in the trenches and now emerges as a master songstress able to get inside of a song and find its essential emotional core." ~ Worlds Records, L.A.

In addition to an impressive performance career, Sunny has also made significant contributions in Jazz education. She served as the Past President of the Michigan chapter of the International Association of Jazz Educators and the past chairperson for IAJE’s Women’s Caucus. She is also the co-founder of IAJE's Sisters in Jazz mentoring program.
With stage history at jazz festivals, clubs and music programs across the country, Sunny is taking her career to new heights. In October of 2011 she had the honor of performing with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra for their POP Series. Sunny was accompanied by her trio and performed masterfully on arrangements by her husband, renowned pianist and MSU faculty member Mr Ron Newman. Looking ahead, Mrs Wilkinson is excited and passionate about continuing to share her deeply artistic and unique sound with audiences and students everywhere.

Voca Lyrica

VOCA LYRICA is a diverse group of women, ranging in age from high school students to grandmothers, representing a wide variety of life and musical experiences. But in spite of these differences, Voca Lyrica sings with one voice to express those experiences and share a love of music and life.

Founded in 2001 by Artistic Director Virginia Kerwin, Voca Lyrica is committed to sharing the beauty of the choral art with Big Rapids and the western Michigan area, and to supporting music education in the schools and community through concerts, various programming events and our endowment with the Mecosta County Area Foundation.

Voca Lyrica has shared collaborative concerts with the Tyner Chorale, The Michigan State University Women’s Ensemble, the Ohio State University Women’s Choir, The Central Michigan University Women’s Chorus, Trillium, Carillon, the Oakland Singers, and United Voices of Detroit. Members have sung under the direction of Hillary Apfelstadt, Sandra Snow, Allan Gumm, Nina Scott, Dr. Nancy Menk at Carnegie Hall, and most recently, Charlotte Adams at the Sydney Opera House in Syndney, Austrailia.