Monday, Jun 25, 2018
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Barbara Hendel


Concert was a joy

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    Toledo Symphony Orchestra conductor Stefan Sanderling.

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    Allan Block, chairman of Block Communications Inc., left, with Sara Jane DeHoff, and Brian Kennedy, Toledo Museum of Art director.

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    From left, Dick Anderson, left, Kathleen Carroll, and Randy Oostra.

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    Ted and Beth Bowman at the Toledo Symphony Orchestra pre-performance reception.

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THE "Ode to Joy: A Community's Celebration of Music" was a spectacular way to honor the Toledo Symphony's 70th anniversary drawing more than 3,000 music lovers on Sunday.

Presented by ProMedica in memory of Ellie B. Seifried, the concert at Huntington Center on Sunday was the largest locally produced musical production in northwest Ohio, said Kathy Carroll, symphony president. The chorus of 1,000-plus high school and college students with support from the Toledo Choral Society joined the symphony, Masterworks Chorale, and four local soloists for an outstanding show, one that left everyone singing as they exited. The Glass City Steel drum band from Toledo School for the Arts played while attendees entered the arena.

An overhead screen gave everyone a birds-eye view of the musicians and singers as they performed. Bob Bell, president emeritus/chief artistic officer, helped behind the scenes, orchestrating the cameras. Bravo to conductor Stephan Sanderling, Masterworks Chorale director Timothy Cloeter, Jessica Aeschliman, chorus coordinator, and all of the performers. Emcee was Tony Geftos of WTVG-TV, Channel 13, and program announcer was Brad Cresswell of WGTE-FM91.

The four voice soloists were Jennifer Cresswell, Katherine Calcamuggio, Shawn Mathey, and Sean Cooper.

The choirs included: Adrian College, Bedford High School, Bowling Green State University, Clay High School, Clyde High School, Defiance High School, Edon High School, Elmwood High School, Evergreen High School, Lourdes University Chorus, Maumee Valley Country Day School, Northwood High School, Oak Harbor High School, Otsego High School, Pettisville High School, St. Francis de Sales High School, St. John's Jesuit High School, St. Ursula Academy, Toledo Choral Society, Toledo School for the Arts, University of Toledo, Wauseon High School, and Whitmer High School.

In the front row were Steve and Ann Stranahan, Marie Vogt, Jon Orser and Deborah Born, Clint Mauk, and Fran and Dick Anderson, symphony board president.

All smiles was Blade columnist Tom Walton, who joined his alma mater, Clay High School, in the chorus.


PRIOR to the concert Owens Corning, which is celebrating 75 years, sponsored a reception at its world headquarters. President and CEO Mike Thaman, on crutches, started his speech with tornado and fire safety exit instructions, should they be needed. Randy Oostra, president and CEO of ProMedica, joked Mr. Thaman was not the best one to talk about safety, given his current condition. Mr. Oostra's wife, Barb Oostra, a member of the Masterworks Chorale, was not present because she was at Huntington with the rest of the chorus, getting ready for the concert. Mr. Oostra will be the next symphony board president. Chuck Stocking was thanked for all of his help behind the scenes.

een were Frank and Lynn Jacobs, Pam Hershberger and Susan Morgan, Luci Gorski and Robert Billstein, Ann Hartman and Frank Snug, Robin and Dick LaValley, Susan and Tom Palmer, Bill and Heather McDonnell, Tim and Barbara Reed, Bob and Sue Savage, Mary Ellen Pisanelli and Lou Tosi, John and Yolanda Szuch, Doug and Sue Neckers, Bill and Pam Davis, Bill Buckley, and Keith and Susan Burwell.

AN ODE to Joy Community Dinner presented by the Toledo Symphony League took place after the concert at the Radisson Hotel at University of Toledo Medical College of Ohio, the former Medical College of Ohio. Chairmen Kim Kearns and Joanie Barrett thought of everything, from Joy! charms to take home for the more than 60 guests. A special thank-you was given to the TSO/Friends of Music founders: Marie Celeste Stranahan, Emma Kountz, and Mary Coffin Canaday. Mrs. Canaday was the first president of the Toledo Symphony League, said current League President Beth Bowman.

The event netted more than $300 even though it was not a fund-raiser.


ALSO after the concert, Allan Block, chairman of Block Communications Inc., hosted an intimate dinner at the Toledo Club.


Contact Blade Society Writer Barbara Hendel at 419-724-6124 or at

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