The power of friendship: that's the secret of success for the Lakes Area Music Festival, now back in Brainerd for its eighth season. Co-founders Scott Lykins and Taylor Ward met as friends at the Eastman School of Music. They invited musician friends to discover Minnesota's beautiful vacation country. Those friends invited still more friends until suddenly Brainerd had a summer orchestra.
Meanwhile in the community, friends of classical music started sharing by word-of-mouth that a new festival was presenting three weeks of symphony, opera, and chamber music, and all for free.
I talked to Lykins and Ward about their ever-expanding community of friends who make this year's festival bigger, better, and more audience-friendly than ever.