For many years, the Oakland Community College Bluegrass Series has been a highlight of our dark, Detroit area winters. Last spring Oakland Community College (OCC) announced it was ending support for all performing arts, effectively ending the concerts.
Tom Laing, who has assisted the College staff with talent selection, was very disappointed. Greg Cahill of Special Consensus has described Tom as, “A great supporter of Bluegrass”, and Tom proved himself as such, springing into action. Tom and wife Barb have collected signatures in support of the series, and started a mailing list of interest people. He also began investigation into other venues in which the series could be presented.
Tom Laing receives thanks and a memento of appreciation from OCC’s Velma Jones at the final OCC bluegrass concert on May 14, 2010.
In a recent communication from Tom, we learn the following concerning the status of the OCC Series and possible alternative locations:
I met July 27th with Chancellor Dr. Timothy Meyer. I was encouraged by the meeting as he is a bluegrass fan and attended one of our concerts last season. It was a completely pleasant visit.
He has invited me to meet with one of their chief accountants to review the past six years’ financial data I developed which shows a positive balance sheet.
Thanks to several members of our bluegrass audience, we are pursuing four other sites as alternates, if necessary. These are located in Royal Oak, Trenton, Taylor, and Waterford.
I will soon survey each of you by email as to which of these locations you would attend if a move from OCC is required.
Thank you for your loyalty and continued support. Stay tuned!!
I suggest everyone support Tom in his efforts. If you want to be added to Tom’s list and keep up to date on his progress on this issue, use my contact link to send me your e-mail address, which I will forward to Tom.