Saturday, Apr 21, 2018
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Concerts showcase local musical talent

Two Palm Sunday concerts show that grassroots-level music-making is flourishing in Toledo.

The Toledo Piano Teachers Association celebrates its 85th anniversary with a recital by University of Toledo professor Michael Boyd at 2 p.m. in the main branch of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.

Singers representing choirs from across the Toledo area come together for a 7 p.m. performance of the Berlioz Te Deum and a world premiere by composer Aaron David Miller in Monroe Street United Methodist Church.

The Palm Sunday choral concert series in Monroe Street United Methodist began in 1999 with a performance of Beethoven's Mass in C Major.

That event and the ensuing series were organized by Bernard and Rita Sanchez and Lou and Cindy D'Amato who, in the wake of Toledo Symphony's 1998 disbanding of the Symphony Chorale, sought a regular venue for the performance of works for large chorus and orchestra.

Mr. Sanchez, a University of Toledo emeritus professor, has directed the four seasons. Sunday may mark the first performance of the Berlioz work in Toledo.

The Toledo Pianoforte Teachers' Association, as it was originally known, held its inaugural recital on April 3, 1917, when concert pianist Arthur Shattuck performed in the Scott High School auditorium. There began a remarkable run of Toledo recitals that included performances by the greatest keyboard artists of the 20th century, including Percy Grainger, Dame Myra Hess, Wanda Landowska, Alfred Cortot, Walter Gieseking, and Josef Lhevinne.

If the guest recitalists of recent years have not reached the international stature of earlier performers, that change has more to do with the economics of the music business than any weakening of the association's focus.

And international stars tell only a small part of the association's story. Far more impressive are the myriad ways in which these teachers have contributed to Toledo's musical life through master classes, pedagogy presentations, recitals, and the instruction of tens of thousands of musicians across four generations.

Michael Boyd will perform music of Moussorgsky, Gershwin, and Mozart at 2 p.m. Sunday in the McMaster Family Center of the main branch of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, 325 North Michigan Ave. Bernard Sanchez will conduct chorus and orchestra in the fourth annual Palm Sunday Concert at 7 p.m. in the Monroe Street United Methodist Church, 3613 Monroe St. Both events are free, but tickets are required for the evening program. Ticket information is available at 419-473-1167.

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