The Barker Series@Central
The Barker Music Festival began on October 16, 1977 and in 2014 will celebrate its 37th year. This series of concerts was named in honor of Dr. Cyril Barker, who served as Minister of Music at Central Reformed Church from 1961 until his retirement in 1975. Dr. Barker was born in England, grew up in Canada, and received his professional degrees from the Royal Conservatory of Toronto and the University of Michigan. In 1962, he inaugurated an annual concert series at Central that became the precursor to the current Barker Music Festival.
Primary funding for the Barker Festival is derived from a trust established by the estate of Benjamin and Ethel Buikema, long time members of Central Reformed Church. Concerts are presented without admission costs, although free-will offerings are collected to aid in support of the church’s commitment to spiritual renewal and expressions of God’s grace by providing quality music and related programming to enhance worship, education, and outreach.