Women Rock with the Grand Rapids Symphony

Cast of Women Rock • photo by Dominick Mastrangelo

On July 28, Cannonsburg Ski Area will transform into an outdoor music hall to celebrate the women who crafted the music that has transcended generations to become the bedrock of our culture with Women Rock. The show, described as a “rock show written for symphony orchestra,” is set to stun audiences with awe-inspiring renditions of music by Carole King, Holly Knight, Tina Turner, Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, Pat Benatar, Minnie Riperton, Heart and Carly Simon.

“Women have been responsible for some of the biggest hits in rock, and haven’t gotten due credit for that,” Jami Greenburg, producer of Women Rock, said. “We were inspired to honor women who have written
these incredible songs that have become the fabric of our lives.”

Robert Thompson will guest conduct the Grand Rapids Symphony incorporated with drums, bass and guitars while three vocalists belt out earth-shattering hits as the audience has never heard them before. The three vocalists include Grammy Award Nominee singer/songwriter Cassidy, star of A Night with Janis Joplin Katrina Rose Dideriksen, and Jazz vocalist Shayna Steele. Show producers auditioned more than 200 hundred women as they sought those who could hit the hit the mark while bringing their heart to the material.

Shayna Steele • photo by Dominick Mastrangelo


“We found these three women who are exceptional with their take on the music,” Greenburg shared. “They are great vocalists, but they also brought a unique vocal perspective to the music.”

The producers took great care to focus on the original material and arrange the songs to honor the initial intentions of the woman who wrote the piece.

“‘Love is a Battlefield,’ written by Holly Knight, was originally a ballad,’” Greenburg explained. “So we arranged it as such, and it is so hauntingly beautiful. No one has heard it like this before.”

The program is structured to take the audience on a robust ride through some of rock’s most powerful hits.

The show kick-off with a high-energy rendition of “Take Another Little Piece of My Heart,” by Janis Joplin, diving into the first act with versions of “Dancing in the Street,” by Martha Reeves, “So Far Away,” by Carole King, “Lovin’ You,” by Minnie Rippleton and much more. The first act closes out with all three vocalists stepping on stage to croon, “Natural Woman,” by Aretha Franklin. After an intermission, the second act opens with “I Love Rock n’ Roll,” by Pat Benatar and features iconic songs such as, “I feel the Earth Move Under My Feet,” By Carly Simon and “These Dreams,” by Heart. The show closes out with the vocalists joining forces once again to treat the audience to “Proud Mary,” by Tina Turner.

In between songs, Thompson, Cassidy, Dideriksen and Steele will regal concertgoers with stories on the material and the women behind it.

“A lot of these women [behind this music] faced incredible hardships,” Greenburg shared. “But they are not victims; they empowered themselves. There are rich stories behind these songs.”

Greenburg emphasizes that calling the show “Women Rock,” instead of “Women of Rock,” is meant to carry a message.

“I want women [who come to the show] to feel, ‘Yes! Women rock!,’” she expressed. “I want them to say, ‘Wow, I just heard these songs that have been a part of my life in a whole new, powerful way.’”

So pack your picnic basket, spread your blanket on
the lawn and brace yourself for a once-in-a-lifetime, soul-shaking evening of rock n’ roll. Tickets are available at grsymphony.org or by calling the box office at (616)-454-9451.

Receive Our Monthly Newsletter!

Essential. Entertaining. Enlightening.

We will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.




I'm the publisher.

Leave a Reply