Free outdoor concert series at Secrest Arboretum starts May 28

Free outdoor concert series at Secrest Arboretum starts May 28

A free four-concert series will be held at Secrest Arboretum's John Streeter Garden Amphitheater, 2122 Williams Road, Wooster, on the campus of OARDC. Friends of the Secrest Arboretum is helping sponsor the series, which will begin May 28.


Ohio Regional Music Arts and Cultural Outreach will begin a new collaboration with Friends of the Secrest Arboretum with four free outdoor concerts at the John Streeter Garden Amphitheater at 2122 Williams Road in Wooster.

The concerts will be held May 28, June 25, July 30 and Aug. 20 at the amphitheater on the grounds of Secrest Arboretum on the OARDC campus. All concerts are from 6:30-8:30 p.m., and in the case of rain, they will be held inside the nearby Fisher Auditorium.

Secrest Arboretum curator Jason Veil has wanted to bring music events to the arboretum, and now the opportunity has arisen through the pairing with ORMACO.

"We are excited to partner with the Friends of the Secrest Arboretum to bring top-notch professional music to the beautiful setting in the arboretum," ORMACO executive director Thomas Sigel said. “We want people to commune with nature and enjoy quality concerts in a tranquil environment.”

Music at the arboretum will open May 28 with Cleveland-based vocalist Laura Varcho and her band with tunes from the American Songbook including classic songs from the likes of Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Lerner & Lowe and more. Varcho is a featured artist at the top jazz clubs and has opened for national artists including Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Kim Waters, Kenny Ranking and Boney James. She has headlined concerts at Night Town and Cain Park and performed as a featured vocalist at area jazz festivals.

The series will continue June 25 with Akron-based Joe Leaman and Friends as they bring the sounds of the Caribbean with their steel drums. Leaman is an in-demand percussionist, pianist, composer, arranger and educator throughout the greater Ohio region. The show will feature jazz, classical and pop music, as well as music of the traditional Caribbean canon.

Grammy-nominated folk/Americana artist Steve Free and his band will grace the stage on July 30. An internationally acclaimed, award-winning singer/songwriter, Free draws his music from his Native American (Shawnee/Cherokee) and Appalachian roots.

Idle Twittering: A Flock of Flutes will close out the summer series on Aug. 20. French flutist Louis Fleury (1878-1926) referred to music of the 19th century as “idle twittering.” What’s the antidote? A flock of flutes from Northeastern Ohio will join forces for a performance on flutes of all shapes and sizes with George Pope, Jane Berkner, Kyra Kester and Linda White.

For more information on the series, visit

Friends of the Secrest Arboretum plays a role in funding, volunteering and helping with the further development of Secrest, an arboretum of national and international stature.

ORMACO is a mostly volunteer nonprofit organization based in Homerville with the mission of making music, arts and culture accessible to all and a focus on programs for underserved, disadvantaged and rural populations throughout the region. Underwriting and sponsorship opportunities for the Secrest Arboretum concert series are available. Call 419-853-6016 for more information.

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