[ in the press ]
Brainerd Daily Dispatch
By Jennifer Stockinger
When the Lakes Area Music Festival began in 2009, founding director Scott Lykins had no clue how successful it would become in the Brainerd Lakes area.
Going into its fifth season, the festival which started with five students from the Eastman School of Music in New York performing, now has 80 musicians. They are either professional musicians or music students from conservatories from around the country, such as Eastman or the Julliard School.
Lykins, a Nisswa native, said he is excited at how well the music festival has gone. “We started these concerts for fun,” Lykins said recently while rehearsing for the upcoming music festival which opens at 3 p.m. Sunday at Tornstrom Auditorium. “We really didn’t know what to expect, but after seeing how enthusiastic our audience was that first year and seeing how the audience has grown over the years… We started out with no clear vision, and seeing how it has grown has been really exciting.”
John Taylor Ward, who went to school at Eastman with Lykins, is the assistant artistic director of the festival. Ward said the goal of the festival is to make Brainerd a regional and/or national classical music destination in the summer. MORE