Andru Bemis is best known as a critically–acclaimed American singer–songwriter and acoustic performer on the banjo, guitar, and fiddle. He’s also an itinerant piano tuner, letterpress printer, public transit advocate, sound engineer, and founder of Foundry Hall.
**As of September 1st, 2016, Foundry Hall will no longer be renting the Warren Center office space. We will continue to offer private and group lessons, but locations will depend on circumstances and availability of other space.
Foundry Hall’s community music programs are designed to make music accessible to all people, regardless of age, skill level, or financial status. Foundry Hall offers private and group instruction, workshops, song shares, jam sessions, open mics, and many other opportunities for learning, sharing, and continuing your musical progress on a variety of instruments. Whether you live in the area, or are simply visiting South Haven for a few days, we want to help you in your musical journey. We believe teaching is a great way to learn, and actively encourage intermediate and advanced students to use their skills to mentor others.
**Update! Foundry Hall is no longer renting the office space at the Warren Center offices.
You will be able to find us most reliably online and contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a message on our google voice phone 269-220-0444.
Foundry Hall’s Song Swap and Hymn Sing programs take place at the Robert Warren Center, on the first floor of the River Terrace apartment building. Foundry Hall offers occassional performances in the Warren Center community room as well as on the sunny patio overlooking the Black River. The Warren Center is near the intersection of Williams Street and Dyckman Avenue, by the drawbridge. Park and enter from Williams Street.
Performances at the Warren Center
About Robert Warren
Robert “Bob” Warren was the fourth of five children, born on 8 February 1931 in Battle Creek, Michigan. Graduating from Battle Creek High School in 1949, Robert served in the United States Air Force during the Korean Conflict from 1950 to 1953. After being honorably discharged from the Air Force, Robert attended Western Michigan University and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music in 1958. In 1959, he married Esther M. Lamb, a native of South Haven.
Mr. Warren’s teaching career began in Marcellus, Michigan, as history teacher and band director. He went on to be orchestra director and string instrument instructor at Port Clinton, Ohio for the next five years.
During this period, Robert became one of the first in the United States to incorporate the Suzuki Method in teaching young people how to play string instruments. The Suzuki Method, named after its developer Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, enabled very young musicians to play string instruments before learning to read music. The Warren family hosted Dr. Suzuki and his wife in their ￼Port Clinton home in 1965. The Suzuki Method is widely used in the United States today.
Robert moved his family to South Haven, Michigan in 1966 in order to take a position as orchestra director and string instructor in the South Haven Public Schools. During his teaching and musical career, Mr. Warren also taught courses at the Lake Michigan Community College in Berrien County and at Nazareth College in Kalamazoo. He played string bass in the Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, and Jackson Symphonies. In addition, he played bass in a number of dance bands in Michigan and Ohio.
In 1971, Robert Warren successfully ran as a candidate for the Third Ward City Council seat. Robert was later re-elected and continued to serve the community until his death. During his time in office, Robert served on the Parks and Recreation Committee, the Bicentennial Committee, the Planning Commission, the Community Development Committee, and the Housing Commission. Mr. Warren was instrumental in the creation of a joint recreation program sponsored by the city and the public school system.
Of great concern to Robert Warren were the needs of senior citizens. His desire to see more housing and facilities for seniors was well known to family, friends, and colleagues. As city councilman, he led a drive in the community to acquire more housing for seniors in the South Haven area. These, efforts, however, were cut short by a fatal auto accident on 10 June 1978.
About the Robert Warren Center
Some time after Robert Warren’s death, the City of South Haven proposed the construction of a 49-unit elderly housing project that is now known as River Terrace Apartments. A community senior center was included — in response to a growing need for a facility to serve all of the seniors in the community. On 25 February 1980, the South Haven Housing Commission voted in favor of naming the planned community senior center in honor of Robert Warren for his hard work and dedication in furthering the well being of the senior citizens of this community.
During the early 1990’s, the South Haven Housing Commission started the South Haven Area senior Services (SHASS) organization. SHASS was an independent, 501(c)3 tax-exempt entity, created to serve an increasing number of seniors in the South Haven area. In the ensuing years, SHASS experienced tremendous growth, and now serves all Van Buren County as Van Buren County Senior Services. As a result, Senior Services outgrew their home at the Robert Warren Center, and elected to move to a new location on 76th Street, beginning on 1 March 2014.
From its original construction, through today and for many years into the future, the Robert N. Warren Senior Community Center is dedicated to promote an environment of humor, warmth, understanding, and patience for all seniors, their families, and friends.
For more information about the Robert Warren Senior Community Center, please contact the South Haven Housing Commission office at 220 Broadway, South Haven, MI 49090, or phone (269) 637-5755.
Doug Peterson plays and teaches guitar, piano, accordion, and brass-wind instruments (Tuba, Euphonium, & Trumpet). He also does workshops in theory, composition, and songwriting. Having been classically trained on piano since first grade, he minored in Music Theory and Composition from Western Michigan University, where he also first started playing guitar. Doug has now been teaching private lessons for over sixteen years.
Though his primary influence is classical, Doug performs and writes in several genres: Celtic and folk rock being his two favorites. He has been a part of the Escanaba City Band (a long-standing traditional brass band), Laurie’s Fault (an Irish pub band), and Sweet Geek (an Indie Rock group.) Mostly performing as a solo singer-songwriter, he also has fifteen years’ experience playing as a bard at Renaissance and other festivals. Two years ago, Doug was also featured as a finalist on AMC’s nationally televised talent show, “Showville.” Having completed two albums, one of his Celtic songs, and another of his modern compositions, Doug Peterson has also performed on three other albums with the Celtic band, Laurie’s Fault, and has been featured on the internationally distributed compilation album, “Celtic Dreams”.
Doug believes, first and foremost, that anyone should be able to play and enjoy music. As he is classically trained on piano, Doug tends to emphasize note reading, especially to younger beginning students, He also believes that having a basic sense of notes and theory can be indispensable to anyone. That said, he accepts students of all levels and interests, and will help them learn anything they want in the way they want.
Doug Peterson knows from personal experience that HOW you practice is more important than how much you practice. He likes to challenge his students, making sure they are constantly bettering themselves. Any of his students will tell you that having lessons with Doug is a combination of hard work, and lots of fun and laughter.
Doug teaches Classical, Folk, and Rock, and most enjoys working with beginning and intermediate students
From October 2007 to December 2014, Foundry Hall hosted more than one thousand performances, celebrations, classes, films, and community events at 422 Eagle Street in downtown South Haven. The building– which many came to call “Foundry Hall” on account of our activities there– was purchased in late 2014 by new owners who plan to open an antique mall in the theater. We’re moving on, and our name has moved with us.
Foundry Hall’s headquarters are now in the new office annex at the Robert Warren Center at 540 Williams Street in downtown South Haven. We have lots of educational and community music opportunities happening at this location so come and take a look sometime! Some performances will be held at the Warren Center, but we are out in the community as well. Check out our “locations” tab to see all of the places Foundry Hall can be found.
We will be booking music for a variety of spaces…so keep your eye and ear out for us!
We’re sorry to inform you that we are no longer in our building that we were pleased to have rented for hundreds of wedding receptions and events over the years! It is now an antique mall. The South Haven Center for the Arts has a nice space upstairs amenable to smaller weddings. www.southhavenarts.org Good luck!