Fort Mill Times

New music event launches June 10 on Lake Wylie

Both water and music tend to fill empty spaces quickly, which is exactly what they’ll do Sunday night, and for two more dates this summer.

Organizers of Lake Wylie Music Fest, the free concert by boat held during the summer, announced earlier this year they’d take a break in 2012 and plan for a return in 2013. Into that gap comes Lake Wylie Water Music. Shorefront concerts will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, June 10, July 8 and Aug. 12.

“We want to step in and keep the music crowd entertained,” said organizer Eileen Klimkowski.

Klimkowski will host the events from her home on Mill Creek. Concerts are free and accessible by boat, though Klimkowski also invites guests to bring lawn chairs and watch from the shore. The idea is an old one, she said, but was spurred in recent years by Jan Pendleton, the main organizer behind the Music Fest.

“I’ve had a dream for nine years,” Klimkowski said. “I thought, she has done what I dreamed of doing.”

Heading up music is David Zoernig, parish music minister for All Saints Episcopal in Gastonia. He’s worked on large scale performances for International Day of Peace and Charlotte’s citywide interfaith Thanksgiving services, which includes 2,000 or more people. Zoernig sees the new event as a complement to Lake Wylie Music Fest when it returns, with a “slightly different audience.”

“It’s not specifically a religious music event,” he said. “It’s designed to be a community music event.”

Lake Wylie Water Music has 10 artists on board so far, with flutes, guitars, keyboards, electric basses and even an organ playing folk music, blues, sing-along standards, Broadway tunes and classical music. The all-volunteer event is set for Sunday evenings, with an eye toward 2013 when Lake Wylie Music Fest plans a return to second Saturday night dates during the summer months.

“The schedule played a big part in trying not to compete,” Zoernig said.

Klimkowski hopes to add musicians and volunteers following the first event, and plans to continue the music in coming summers, too.

“The first time we might not be as good as we’re going to be,” she said, “but we sure will try.”