Pianist’s concert could be big bucks for one lucky church

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Following two sold-out concerts by pianist George Winston in 2016 and 2018, Livingston County will get another keyboard treat with Fernando Ortega at the Brighton Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, June 15.

The concert, presented by St. Joseph Mercy Livingston, is another partnership between the Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce and 2 Stones Events. And, like their Winston shows, this concert will also feature a food drive (for Bountiful Harvest this time) – but there is a unique twist to the Ortega show.

“He is an amazing Christian arranger and composer,” said Pam McConeghy, president/CEO of the chamber, “so we thought this would be a perfect event to bring together all the churches in Livingston County and offer them an incentive to come out and enjoy this fabulous musician.”

That incentive — a Church Challenge, if you will — could mean big bucks for one of those churches, said Whitney Stone, president of 2 Stones Events.

“The Livingston County church whose members generate the highest ticket sales will receive 10 percent of the net proceeds from this event,” she said, adding that could be several thousand dollars.

The organizers have notified well over 100 local churches of the opportunity, and it’s simple: Any parishioner who purchases tickets can then designate their church and the ticket dollar amount in the BCPA lobby before the show starts. The church with the highest tally wins.


The 900-seat BCPA, with its 8-foot Steinway grand piano, is the perfect setting for Ortega, a winner of a trio of Dove Awards.

“Go to YouTube and type in his name,” said Stone. “You’ll agree — he’s very unique and very impressive.”

Best known for his unique interpretations of traditional hymns and songs like “Give Me Jesus” and “Be Thou My Vision”, Ortega is a master songwriter, crafting passion and personal experience into his work. He brings the influence of Latin music and culture to contemporary Christian music. With classical training and a respect for his family’s Hispanic heritage, Ortega composes his own clear and easily understood creations infused with flavors of country, classical, Celtic, Latin and folk music.

“My records,” he notes, “have always been about how the Gospels find expression in a person’s everyday life — the sorrowful, the mundane, the joyful.”

As an added bonus, for this concert Ortega will be joined by cellist Cara Fox.


EVENT: Concert featuring pianist Fernando Ortega
VENUE: Brighton Center for the Performing Arts, 7878 Brighton Road, Brighton, MI 48116 (on the campus of Brighton High School)
TIME/DATE: Doors open at 6 p.m.; concert starts at 7; Saturday, June 15
FOOD DRIVE: Attendees are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for Bountiful Harvest to help feed those in need here in Livingston County.
CHURCH CHALLENGE: The Livingston County church whose members generate the highest ticket sales will receive 10 percent of the net proceeds from this event.
TICKETS: $20 balcony; $35 main floor (rows J-T); $50 main floor (rows A-G). A limited number of $100 VIP tickets (row H) include a private post-concert meet-and-greet (light appetizers; cash bar) with Fernando Ortega and a signed poster; available online at http://www.brightonperformingarts.com.
PRESENTED BY: St. Joseph Mercy Livingston
PARTNERS: Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce and 2 Stones Events
INFORMATION: For event information, call (810) 599-0491. For sponsorship information, call (810) 227-5086.

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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.