Skip to the content

Midland Center for the Arts Celebrates 50th Anniversary, Just as It Began

It was May 1, 1971 and the Midland Symphony Orchestra and Choirs of the Center were joined together for the dedication concert of Midland Center for the Arts featuring “Prelude to Die Meistersinger” by Richard Wagner, “Adagio for Strings” by Samuel Barber, and “The Promise of Living” by Aaron Copland. And 50 years later, to commemorate this dedication performance, Midland Center for the Arts will reflect on its history just as it began. The 50th Anniversary Celebration with the Midland Symphony Orchestra takes place Saturday, May 14, 2022 – replicating the performance of these opening works from the dedication performance.

“As we look back upon the last 50 years, and begin to look towards the next 50, we are thrilled to once again present this beloved lineup of repertoire to commemorate a transformative five decades in our community’s artistic history,” described Dr. Matt Travis, Senior Director of Artistic Planning. “And while we look back, we also look forward to our future that represents a wide variety of orchestral works and diverse perspectives,” added Dr. Travis. The concert will feature Broadway star and Tony Award-nominee, Joshua Henry, singing a selection of musical numbers that have graced the Center’s stage over the course of time.

Joshua Henry can currently be seen opposite Jason Mamoa in SEE Season 1 and 2 for Apple TV, and this week, co-hosting the Tony Award Nomination announcement event on behalf of The Broadway League. Most recently, Joshua appeared on Broadway as 'Dr. Pomatter' in Waitress, and prior to that, astounded audiences in The Wrong Man at MCC Theatre. Joshua starred on Broadway as the iconic 'Billy Bigelow' in the revival of Carousel for which he received a coveted Tony and Grammy nomination. And before that, Joshua starred as 'Aaron Burr' in the cultural phenomenon, Hamilton, in Los Angeles. Joshua has also starred on Broadway as 'Noble Sissle' in George C. Wolfe’s Tony-nominated musical Shuffle Along, and was Tony-nominated for his star turn as ‘Flick’ in the musical Violet. He received Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Award nominations for his thrilling, show-stopping performance. He was previously nominated for a Tony Award for his leading role in Susan Stroman’s The Scottsboro Boys. Other Broadway credits include leading roles in Porgy & Bess and Green Day’s American Idiot. Film credits include the recent release of Tick, Tick...Boom on Netflix.

The concert will also feature more than 50 members of the community from the Choirs at the Center, and reflect on the Center’s history with memories and testimonials from many volunteers and community champions. “We invite the community to join us as we celebrate this milestone anniversary! Whether you have been by our side since the very beginning, or are a new patron or volunteer in our community, join us, your participation is what makes us so unique,” explained Dr. Travis.

The Midland Symphony Orchestra programs are made possible in part through the generosity of Sarah & Dan Opperman, and this performance is sponsored by Tri-Star Trust. Tickets for the 50th Anniversary Celebration are available online at or by calling the Ticket Office at 989-631-8250.

About the author

Josh Holliday

Josh Holliday

Josh Holliday is the former Director of Communications at Midland Center for the Arts. Telling the stories of artists, innovators and modern day explorers!

For more information or high-resolution photos, contact Alex at