Ionia music store shows to raise funds for the construction of the free fair

IONIA – A pair of performances at a downtown music store will benefit a historic building at the Ionia Free Fair.

Heartbeat Music of Ionia is hosting a concert from 5-8 p.m. on Thursday, May 5. The fundraising concert for the Ionia Free Fair Floral Building takes place outside Heartbeat Music of Ionia, 341 W. Main St., in downtown Ionia. It is part of Ionia’s first Thursday on the Bricks.

A recital featuring the students of Heartbeat Music of Ionia is scheduled from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, May 13 at the Main Street store.

Heartbeat Music of Ionia will donate proceeds from both events to support the Free Fair Floral Building, which houses the Ancient Village at the southern end of the fairgrounds.

The Ionia Free Fair Association requested a $100,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) to upgrade the historic Floral Building.

The May 5 concert will feature the band Three Husbands on the Loose, which includes Heartbeat Music of Ionia teacher David McCord.

Sally Harris and her daughter, Sarah Brown, own Heartbeat Music of Ionia. Harris started playing music at age 8 and Brown at age 2. Together they play 55 different instruments.

“Our hearts are deep in Ionia – we’ve lived here all our lives,” Harris said. “Our hearts are deep in the music. We want to make sure that Ionia is offered music.

After:Heartbeat Music of Ionia offers lessons

After:Ionia Free Fair Association will apply for a grant to modernize the Floral Building

Six generations of the Harris family have submitted nominations for the Floral Building, which houses photography, art and flower projects during the annual free fair in July. Harris, her mother, and Brown have played music at the Floral Building in the past.

“We have great interest in this building,” Harris said.

Heartbeat Music of Ionia has been in its current location for two years, providing vocal and instrumental lessons and music services to the community. Harris said the youngest student was 4 and the oldest was 92.

Harris expects 200 people to attend the May 13 recital.

“Kids have something they can look back on and carry on for a lifetime…It’s worth making music into your life,” Harris said.

Heartbeat Music of Ionia can be reached by calling 616-841-6035 or by visiting his Facebook page.

— Contact journalist Evan Sasiela at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @SalsaEvan.

Alice P. Darby