The Imagine Music Series Brings Great Talent Year Round

Imagine it: not having to drive to Chicago to see a great concert. Oh wait, that's actually a real thing here in Northwest Indiana. It's all thanks to Rob Harkel and Brad Koeppen, local citizens who have a great love for music and an even greater love of their community.

The twain dreamed up the idea of the Imagine Music Series and put it into action 6 years ago and have been entertaining folks at the Memorial Opera House ever since. Hard work and dedication from Brad and Rob caught the eyes of musical acts from around the country. They were attracted to the series, the idea of performing in a great city like Valparaiso, as well as the idea of performing in the iconic innards of the Memorial Opera House. Guests of shows find the convenience of the close location refreshing and the performances of the artists that Rob and Brad showcase a sensory treat.

From the beginning the series had lots of support. More than enough people showed up to see the concerts and enjoy the varying styles of music that the talented musicians brought to the stage. Blues, rock, country, contemporary, and other popular genres lure music lovers in with the promise of a fantastic time, and the promise is always kept.

It's incredible that an idea between two good guys who merely wished to share their appreciation for music has become such an important staple in the Northwest Indiana Community.

This year, the lineup for the Imagine Music Series is more than intriguing. You should get tickets to these shows before they are gone!

Will Hoge: Friday, February 6, 2015 at 7:30pm
Will Hoge is an American singer, songwriter, and musician from Nashville, Tennessee. Hoge grew up in Franklin, Tennessee, a rural suburb of Nashville. His sound is heavily influenced by his musician father and uncles and the extensive record collectio his father kept.

It's becoming less and less a secret that Will Hoge is one of the most compelling artists working on the fringes of country msuic. Although probably best known for co-writing "Even if it Breaks Your Heart," a #1 hit for the Eli Young Band, Hoge has built a solid reputation of his own over the past several years thanks to many critically acclaimed albums and a solid live show that brings together elements of country, R&B and raw, Americana-infused rock'n'roll.

"Petty meets Drive-By-Truckers Americana, alt-country rock with shimmering guitar hooks and healthy drum turn-around" - KDGX Radio.

Check out Will Hoge at

Gold Seats - $47.50
Regular Seats - $37.50

Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express: Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 7:30pm
Chuck Prophet is an American singer-songwriter who has been compared to everyone from Ray Davies, to Leonard Cohen, Tom Petty, Randy Newman and Alex Chilton. He has worked with Kelly Willis, Aimee Mann, Warren Zevon and Lucinda Williams and has written songs for or with Alejandro Escovedo, Solomon Burke, Heart, Peter Wolf, and Kim Richey. He has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and Last Call with Carson Daly.

Prophet's last album, like his earlier music, has received universal critical praise. Simon Sweetman of Off the Tracks writes of Prophet's newest album, Night Surger, "A bunch of future classics... but its that sort of career high that might make somone new to Prophet's work wonder if its a compilation, a collection of a decade's worth of best ideas, rather than a dozen new songs..."

"A stunning performance by an artist and band that never fails to excite." - Bristol Post, October 15, 2014

Check out Chuck Prophet at

Gold Seats - $35.00
Regular Seats - $25.00

Roger McGuinn: Friday, May 1, 2015 at 7:30pm
As the front-man of the Byrds, Roger McGuinn and his trademark 12-string Rickenbacker guitar pioneered folk-rock and, by extension, country-rock influencing everyone from contemporaries like the Beatles to acolytes like Tom Petty and R.E.M. in the process. Early in McGuinn's music career he joined with David Crosby, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke and set about crystallizing McGuinn's vision of merging the poetic folk music of Bob Dyland with the miraculous pop sounds heard via the British Invasion. McGuinn was the only member of the group to play on their landmark debut single "Mr. Tambourine Man," but his jangly guitar work quickly became the very definition of the burgeoning folk rock form.

Roger McGuinn returns again to guide the audience through the early history of rock and roll in America. He's quite a tour guide. Don't miss the trip.

"... did far more than most to change the musical language of rock." - Modern Gazette, June 12, 2013

Check out Roger McGuinn at

Gold Seats - $47.50
Regular Seats - $37.50

Bottle Rockets: Saturday June 6, 2015 at 7:30pm

The Bottle Rockets are an American rock band formed in 1992. Considered to be leaders in the '90's alt-country/roots rock revival along with peers Uncle Tupelo, the Bottle Rockets are contemporary storytellers from Middle America. Their songs with strong social commentary reflects influences of Woody Guthrie, Neil Young, and The Replacements. As noted in the N.Y. Times by William Hogeland, the Bottle Rockets' song writing has been likened to Woody Guthrie's folk style in spirit, smarts, and satire. The band's lyrics encapsulate the common experiences of the everyman, and are set to rousing and searing rock 'n' roll.

"A combustible combination of the Replacements and Buck Owens." - Esquire

"If Uncle Tupelo is the Beatles of the alt-country movement, the Bottle Rockets are certainly the Rolling Stones." - Spartanburg Herald-Journal

Check out Bottle Rockets at 

Gold Seats - $35.00
Regular Seats - $25.00

Over the Rhine: Saturday, Septembe 19, 2015 at 7:30pm
Over the Rhine is an American, Ohio-based folk music band, the core of which is the husband and wife team of piano/guitarist/bassist Linford Detweiler and vocalist/guitarist Karin Bergquist. The band's namesake and place of origin is the Cincinnati, Ohio neighborhood Over-the-Rhine. They have shared the stage with Bob Dylan, John Prime, Adrian Belew, Squeez, Ani DeFranco, My Morning Jacket, and The Lone Bellow.

Over the Rhine are masters at creating intimacy at their shows. This is especially true when they share intimate personal stories about their songs. Their voices are so soothing and NPR-ready, one wouldn't be surprised to see the audience curing up into balls of contentment on the floor.

"... a gorgeously soothing balm to transport the soul." - Spinning Plates.

Check out Over the Rhine at 

Gold Seats- $45.00
Regular Seats - $35.00

Willie Nile: Saturday, November 7, 2015 at 7:30pm
This will be Willie Nile's 4th time performing in the Imagine Music Concert Series, but only his second with his New York City band. Willie has become a fan favorite at the Memorial Opera House and has adopted Valpo as his second "hometown."

Willie is an American singer-songwriter. In 1980, he released his self-titled debut album which according to one critic remains "one of the most thrilling post-Byrds folk-rock albums of all time." Although his career has been interrupted several times by various problems, he has always returned to recording and performing in the US and Europe, reestablishing himself as an extremely gifted singer-songwriter and performer. In 2013, he released his latest album, American Ride, which was universally acclaimed by music critics and the public general. We anticipate that Willie will follow up American Ride with a new album sometime before his appearance in the Series.

"Nile's been on his own, releasing high-quality, adventurous albums filled with sharp, surprisingly mature song writing and playing, surfacing now and again, and most importantly, never losing the spark that made him stand out so noticeable in his early days. I'd say this new set is more of the same, but that doesn't sound like a compliment and its meant to. He rocks, he sings, he plays guitar, and he writes songs as if he's got something to say: that's one more than a trifecta, and its better than most performers in 2014 have to offer by far. And maybe you should find out for yourself." - Rolling Stone Magazine

"Nile delivers one of his finest and most passionate projects with American Ride. The disc pools his widescreen urban Springsteen influences with a Petty-ish knack for melody and wonderfully catchy choruses." - American Songwriter Magazine

Check out Willie Nile at 

Gold Seats - $40.00
Regular Seats - $30.00

Hope you can take part of the 2015 Imagine Music Concert Series at the Memorial Opera House!

Season series tickets available exclusively through November 22, 2014- Box: $280 Gold: $250 | Regular: $190

Contact Rob Harkel ( | 219-241-0444) or Brad Koeppen (  | 219-477-7146) for season series tickets. Tickets for individuals hows will be available through the Memorial Opera House ( | 219-548-9137) after December 1, 2014.