A Magical Place

Michael Reit (2nd from left) and his Gang of Thieves bandmates, photo credit Julia Luckett

Michael Reit (Jr Session, ’01‐’02, violin; ’03 viola) says Kinhaven “is one of the most magical places in the country.” He lists the breathtaking scenery, the staff, and the pursuit of excellence in music‐making as contributing to the “amazing spiritual and academic experience” that Kinhaven offers.

Michael performing on violin at Kinhaven

Michael performing on violin at Kinhaven

Even at a young age, Michael knew he would be a performer of some sort. He was in musical theater for a little while after high school, unsure if he wanted to pursue the demanding profession of classical violinist. Then he got into rock music and started writing songs with his good friend and guitar player Nick Wood. “I think that experience was the final push that got me onto the stage, but I would definitely attribute my love of creating and playing music with friends to the years I spent playing chamber music during my Kinhaven years,” he says.

Michael plays full time with the Gang of Thieves, a nationally touring rock and roll band he founded with his friend Nick and his cousin, Tobin Salas. He is married to Sarah and has a four‐year‐old daughter, Madrone, and a four‐month‐old son, Makoa.

Besides his own music Michael says he listens to almost everything. “I still enjoy Haydn quartets, Mozart, Tchaikovsky. My personal classical favorite is Beethoven, but I also listen to a lot of funk rock, jazz, blues, progressive metal, and hip hop.”

Michael Reit (2nd from left) and his Gang of Thieves bandmates, photo credit Julia Luckett

Michael Reit (2nd from left) and his Gang of Thieves bandmates, photo credit Julia Luckett

Michael’s favorite Kinhaven tradition was the silence after the last note on Sunday’s final concert. “It is just such a beautiful tradition to leave with the music ringing in our ears,” he says, adding, “I can still hear Jerry Bidlack explaining the tradition to the audience. I think of him and Nancy often, and their spirits continue to spread love and music to my heart.”

“Kinhaven provides an incredible experience to young musicians, and it reflects the love and dedication so many beautiful people have put into it,” Michael says, which is why he continues to support Kinhaven and recommend it to students and parents alike. “It is one of the best summer programs for students in the country, and that ‐‐ coupled with the amazing scenery and talented staff ‐‐ really make something special.”

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