For anyone looking to experience music in a unique way, the Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis has just the thing.
Music in the Chapel, a series that started in the fall of 2018, will resume this April after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initial goal of the series was to showcase the unique beauty of the chapel to a different audience, said Amanda Luke, who runs community events at Lakewood. It is an opportunity for those who don’t have family or friends buried at Lakewood to go inside and take a look.
“We really wanted a way to let the community know that they could come, they were welcome, we have opportunities and things for them to do.” Luke said.
The Music in the Chapel series will begin on April 3 featuring David Huckfelt and Annie Humphrey. Huckfelt is a singer, lyricist, activist and founding frontman of the Minneapolis indie-folk band The Pines. Humphrey is a singer, songwriter and visual artist born and raised on the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota.
Each month a musical act will perform in the chapel through December. Advanced ticket prices will range from around $15-30. Other artists featured in the series include the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus Chamber Singers, Heartfelt, Robert Robinson and Siama’s Congo Roots.
All of the musicians featured in the series are local. Their sets will all be unplugged, but not necessarily acoustic, Luke said. The music will lean toward the folk genre, but will also include jazz and vocal performances. There’s sure to be something for every music fan.
The chapel, designed by Minneapolis architect Harry Wild Jones, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is one of the only examples of Byzantine architecture in the country, Luke said. It was modeled after the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, according to a Lakewood webpage.
The chapel space was specifically built to naturally amplify the acoustics of the performers, Luke said. Experiencing music in the chapel is a way for attendees to connect, explore history and learn a little more about Lakewood, she added.
Anyone can experience music in the beautiful chapel adorned in mosaic art. Lakewood is a non-denomination cemetery, Luke said. One of her favorite features of the space is the 40-foot-high chapel dome.
“It does have a lot of religious symbolism, of course, but it’s really just a stunning space for anyone to go into,” Luke said. “It’s a beautiful, welcoming, historic space.”
The chapel seats 160 people and Luke recommends purchasing tickets early. Historically, the Music in the Chapel series has sold out. To purchase tickets, visit lakewoodcemetery.org/events-calendar/music-in-the-chapel.
Attendees must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before entering the chapel. Masks must be worn inside the building at all times.
In 2021, the cemetery celebrated its 150th anniversary. Lakewood is only 13 years younger than the state of Minnesota. Because of COVID-19, the organization decided to add a few more months to its celebration.
Other events at Lakewood can be found at its events page, lakewoodcemetery.org/events-calendar.