Summer Rhapsody Music Featival: An Inaugural Event

By: Jill Baker Last Updated: August 7, 2011

On a beautiful Saturday evening, August 6,2011, Valparaiso Community Festivals & Events (VCFE) hosted The Summer Rhapsody Music Festival for the grand opening to the new Central Park Plaza and Porter Health Amphitheater which is located downtown ValparaisoMiguel E. Rosario-Vega, a music teacher at Valparaiso High School, conducted a 50 piece orchestra which performed 10 different selections from American Musicals.  The Central Park Plaza is the newest of the city's parks and the leading musical venue for Northwest Indiana.

Miguel Rosario-Vega stated, "Surrounded by all of these wonderful musicians, they have made my life a lot easier!" The musicians consisted of a collaborative of different musicians ranging from high school students to grandparents.  Aleksandr Karjaka, a former Valparaiso High School student, flew back home to Valparaiso from New York to perform with his Bass Clarinet in the Inaugural Event.  Aleksandr commented, "It's fantastic that we can bring the arts to this community and provide it for free!"

Mayor Jon Costas gave everyone a warm welcoming before introducing and thanking the numerous people who helped make this park more than just a dream.  He very proudly stated how the city paid for Central Park Plaza in full. Mayor Costas said, "Valparaiso is a great city because it is full of great people!"

Dan McGuire from Valpo Parks stated, "I'm happy everyone came out tonight!  The weather was beautiful and I'm looking forward to a great night!"

Miguel Rosario-Vega was very thankful for everyone who came out, his wife and children for all their support throughout the entire process, and all the musicians for their time and talent they freely shared.  He said, "I want to give a great solute to the mayor for heading up this 'jewel' for the city', and I want to thank God Almighty for this opportunity!  He answered my prayers!"

There will be an Encore Presentation on Sunday August 7, 2011.  Miguel Rosario-Vega and his orchestra will be performing again from 3-4 p.m. and will focus on kid friendly selections.   At 4:30 p.m. will be the opening of the Splash Pad Extravaganza in the center of Central Park Plaza!

For more information about upcoming events at the Central Park Plaza, contact VCFE at

Click here for more photos for this event!