The Grand Haven Musical Fountain Announces New “Create a Song” Feature

Grand Haven, MI (April 4, 2018) – Anyone can choreograph a concert with the new “Create a Song” software from The Grand Haven Musical Fountain. The new feature is now accessible on the front page of the Grand Haven Musical Fountain website.

“The new software is based off of the design of “Light-o-Rama,” a Christmas light show software that is widely used in that industry,” says Musical Fountain Committee Member Ryan Strayhorn. “We mainly adopted the timeline concept and made it our own. The timeline has 10 columns, 9 for lighting and 1 for water. This visual way of programming makes it fast and allows programmers to create incredible effects with both water and lighting.”

History of Grand Haven Musical Fountain

In 2006, the Grand Haven Musical Fountain released its first choreographer software, developed by engineers Brad Boyink and Jim Swarts. At the time, the software allowed both seasoned programmers and new programmers to perfectly synchronize the water and lighting to the music for the fountain. Since the original release of the software 12 years ago, many changes have been made to the fountain including new lighting and new water features, putting the previous software out of date.

Musical Fountain Committee Members Ryan Strayhorn and Terry Stevens, along with students at GVSU and Apex Controls, worked together for almost three years to create a new software that will allow the fountain to be used to its new greatest potential while making it easy for new and seasoned programmers to learn.

“While the new software makes it easier to program the fountain, there will still be a learning curve especially for new programmers. Programmers with experience of light show programming will probably spend 1/2-2 hours per minute of song. People that are new to programming in general could spend 2-3 hours per minute of programming,” says Strayhorn.

How to submit songs for approval:

The Grand Haven Musical Fountain strongly encourages users to submit their desired song to the committee for approval before programming music. Songs are approved or disapproved within 48 hours. Directions for programming a song can be found at  Once submitted, it could take a few weeks for the song to be tested on the fountain and approved.

The first show of the musical fountain kicks off Friday, May 4, 2018. The full schedule and playlist will be announced at a later date.


The Grand Haven Musical Fountain is a synchronized water and light show accompanied with music of all varieties. Each 25-minute show features a variety of well-known music and plays daily at dusk from Memorial Day through Labor Day as well as Fridays and Saturdays in May and September. The fountain is maintained and operated through the support of the City of Grand Haven as well as generous donations by our valued guests.

The feature was designed in 1962 at an estimated cost of $250,000 by local engineer, William Morris Booth II (who is also the patent holder) and longtime Grand Haven and former Mayor, Dr. Bill Creason. The fountain was based on a Przystawic musical fountain show seen in Germany and was the largest musical fountain in the world when it was built; holding the title until 1998 with the installation of the WET Design built Bellagio Fountains at the Bellagio Casino and Resort in Las Vegas, NV.

Each show is programmed by hand and even the simplest of programs used to create shows for this fountain can be very time consuming. In fact, choreographing one three-minute song can take up to 10 hours. The musical fountain shows average 1,500 commands per song, with some reaching as high as 6,000 lighting and or water commands in a single song.  Some of the modern themed shows contain as many as 17,000 water and lighting commands over a 25-minute program. For more information about the musical fountain, please visit The Grand Haven Musical Fountain Official Website. Grand Haven Musical Fountain photos are available for use by the media by clicking here. A video time lapse can also be found by clicking here. Please include a photo and video courtesy for the City of Grand Haven.



Grand Haven Musical Fountain Committee

Jamie Goswick Cooper