Community involvement is the focus tomorrow night when regional soloists, members of three area high school choirs, and the Toledo Symphony team up to present a Pops Series evening of Rodgers & Hammerstein at the Stranahan Theater.
"So often we bring in artists from New York or Europe, and that breadth is important. But every orchestra also has to work within, engage, and give to its community. Local involvement is an essential ingredient for success," said Chelsea Tipton II, Toledo Symphony's resident conductor,
The son of music educators, Tipton learned at an early age that involvement stirs excitement and that excitement, in turn, leads to discovery. He wants to pass that experience on to the next generation.
"When I was in high school, the sorts of interactions I had with professionals were very important for me. Attending concerts, and especially participating in joint concerts provided great opportunities to expand my appreciation," he said.
Since his June, 2003 appointment, Tipton has energetically reached out to area music students, often going to local high schools to conduct or teach.
Featured tomorrow in music from Carousel, Oklahoma!, and The King and I will be choirs from Ottawa Hills, Toledo Christian, and Perrysburg high schools. The students were initially prepared by their school directors. Last week, Tipton began working with them at their respective schools.
"The trick is to get broad community involvement while maintaining the highest artistic standards. Last year we featured the GLASSMEN [Drum & Bugle Corps] at the Peristyle. That was a big success. We want to do something like that every year," said Tipton.
The wholesome and invariably youthful music of Rodgers & Hammerstein was a natural choice for a concert focusing on community, said Tipton.
"This music is attainable and tuneful. Everyone knows it. It lends itself to this kind of project," he said.
Featured professional soloists include soprano Emily Benner, mezzo-soprano Fenlon Lamb, tenor John Franklin Hopkins, and baritone Jeffrey Wisniewski, all of whom have long-standing connections to northwest Ohio.
Chelsea Tipton II leads soloists, members of three area high school choirs, and the Toledo Symphony in an evening of Rodgers & Hammerstein at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Stranahan Theater. Tickets range from $20 to $50. Information: 419-246-8000.
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