Festival and Verve Pipe concert billed as family entertainment


The Verve Pipe has recorded both adult and children’s albums since the early 1990s. Photo submitted.

Family-friendly music will be offered at the Tecumseh Center for the Arts (TCA) on Saturday, April 16, when pop band The Verve Pipe comes to town.

Known for popular hits such as “Photograph,” “Hero,” “Happiness Is,” and the No. 1 hit, “The Freshmen,” The Verve Pipe created two children’s albums in 2009 and 2013. The TCA will be one stop on the tour of their children’s music beginning at 7:30 p.m. Old National Bank is sponsoring the performance.

A Family Festival will be offered before the concert, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. The Family Festival includes face painting, a bean bag toss, balloons, cookies and popcorn.

Formed in the early 90s, The Verve Pipe is a West Michigan band that played from 1992 to 2001. In 2009 Brian Vander Ark, lead singer for The Verve Pipe, announced that the band would be releasing a children’s album titled “A Family Album.” The band had previously been approached to contribute a song to a compilation children’s album, which had led to them creating an entire album of children’s music. A second children’s album, “Are We There Yet?” followed four years later.

The music on “A Family Album” and “Are We There Yet” includes songs about cereal, sleep time and superheroes, and includes morals and lessons for children about growing up. In 2014, The Verve Pipe also released an adult album, “Overboard,” which actor and musician Jeff Daniels helped to co-write.

Brian Vander Ark said creating a children’s album was an exciting venture after the band had decided to take a break when its rock album was released a few days after 9/11.

“In 2008, we were approached by Meijer, who was doing a CD of children’s music for charity. We wrote five or six songs, and next thing you know, we had enough for a children’s album,” Ark said. “It wasn’t expected, but certainly was a way to get back into the studio and create again, this time in a fun way.”

Ark noted that The Verve Pipe’s journey has been tumultuous, but the adventure has been one he’s enjoyed from the start. “We’ve been fortunate to be together this long. Members have come and gone as the times have changed, but we are now a band of like-minded individuals. We all want to create something fun and artistic, and want our kids to grow up in that world,” Ark said. “We play stages all over the world, doing rock shows and kids shows. We want families to come and enjoy good, old-fashioned four-part harmony big rock, all with a smile on their face.”

Kelly Jo Gilmore, sales and marketing manager for the TCA, says she’s thrilled that The Verve Pipe is coming to the TCA. “I remember them when they were popular, but I have young children now so it’s a chance for them to enjoy some good music,” Gilmore said. “They’re a very energetic band, so everyone will have a fun time listening to them perform.”

Gilmore said the TCA was looking to feature Michigan talent in their show lineup for 2016, and The Verve Pipe was a perfect match for what they wanted to feature.

“We wished to incorporate some children shows and being a youth band from Michigan they were a perfect fit. We’re excited to have them play here at the TCA,” Gilmore said. 

Tickets for The Verve Pipe are $15 to $20 per person depending on seating. Tickets can be purchased online at www.thetca.org, by phone at 423.6617 or in person at the TCA box office.

“The journey has been one that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. I get to play music for a living,” Ark said. “Sometimes for kids, sometimes for grownups, but always, for myself. I’m grateful!”


Tecumseh Herald


110 E. Logan St.
P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286

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