In 1991, Walt joined the original Midsummer’s Music ensemble for the inaugural concerts that played at the homes of Diane and Peter Trenchard in Sister Bay and Adele Carley-Hake and Carl Hake in Sturgeon Bay. From those two performances, the Midsummer’s Music season has expanded over 28 year to nearly 40 concerts.
Walt reflected on his accomplishment by saying, “For 28 summers, I have been able to enjoy wonderful music making in Door County thanks to the great job Jim and Jean Berkenstock and all the Midsummer’s staff have done over the years.” He continued by noting how short the season was, with concerts only in early June in 1991, and then increasing into late June, strawberry season, cherry season, and now including Labor Day. Walt also credits the audiences for their generous hospitality and support.
The cello is present in nearly every piece of music Midsummer’s performs, and, because of this, Artistic Director Jim Berkenstock recently referred to Walt as “our Iron Cellist,” in a comparison to Lou Gehrig’s moniker for playing every game for the New York Yankees from 1923 – 1937. Among the musicians, Walt is known for his sense of humor and the occasional prank. “Walt is an original …. He keeps us loose during an otherwise intense and exhausting season. When you work as hard as our group does, there have to be ways to make it seem like play, and Walt understands that,” stated Berkenstock.
Midsummer’s Music is currently on break until concerts resume on August 26, and Walt will be playing in every piece of the eight concerts that lead up to Labor Day. Tickets can be ordered online at midsummersmusic.com or by phone at 920-854-7088.