Summer music festivals make a great destination for travel, whether it's a long trip or just a quick weekend getaway. Almost any combination of two or more concerts within a brief period can constitute a festival in the minds of planners and promoters.
In Ann Arbor, the reborn Victorian residence now bustling as Kerrytown Concert House - a short walk from Zingerman's in the university town's hip northwest neighborhood - has ramped up the musical action this month.
The Ann Arbor Festival of Song, with soprano Jane Schoonmaker Rodgers and pianist Kevin Bylsma, will combine classical vocal repertoire in a free public concert at 8 p.m. July 29, with a promised "no-holds-barred" cabaret night July 30, an 8 p.m., ticketed event.
Rodgers is associate professor of music at Bowling Green State University and performs frequently in this area, the region, and nationally and internationally. Bylsma is a hard-working accompanist for the Toledo Opera and has been active as vocal coach and conductor for Michigan Opera Theatre and other regional companies. Also on the BGSU music faculty, Bylsma is assistant organist for the historic Mariner's Church on Detroit's downtown riverfront.
Tickets for the cabaret evening are $5-$25 at 734-769-2999 or kerrytownconcerthouse.com.
• Also on the festival circuit, Toledo Symphony principal conductor Stefan Sanderling has launched his third summer season as music director of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra during the Chautauqua Institution's 137th season in Chautauqua, N.Y.
Concerts begin at 8:15 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays in the Amphitheatre of the historic western New York center for learning, arts and culture, philosophy, and recreation.
Tonight the maestro will lead the CSO with guest violinist Brian Reagin in an all-Russian program combining the Shostakovich Symphony No. 6 and Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major. Saturday's performance will honor Beethoven, with Symphony No. 5 and Piano Concerto No. 3 with guest artist Peter Rosel.
The North Carolina Dance Theatre will perform at 8:15 Tuesday, and the CSO with Uriel Segal, guest conductor, and pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk in works by Wagner, Mahler, and Liszt.
On July 17 the Chautauqua Opera with the CSO will give a one-time performance of Bellini's opera, Norma, with Joseph Colaneri conducting.
Tickets for evening events are $36, which is a gate pass allowing access to the entire Institution for that night. For a full schedule and more information, visit www.ciweb.org.
• Rick Prater and the Midnight Travelers will perform at Saturday at Sauder Village in Archbold, Ohio, for the 30th annual Fiddle Contest and Summer on the Farm event.
Prater's band will get the fiddle contest going at 12:30 p.m. The band of professional musicians from Ohio and Indiana plays traditional bluegrass.
The contest kicks off at 1 p.m. in Founder's Hall. There are two categories, students and adults, and each contestant will have five minutes to perform a hoedown and a waltz using old-time style and techniques. Judging is based on a point scale for fiddle style and technique, rhythm and timing, difficulty of selection, tone quality, and showmanship and crowd appeal. Contestants must register in advance by calling Dawn at 419-446-2541, ext. 3076, by Friday. Information: 1-800-590-9755 or saudervillage.org.
• The Detroit Symphony Orchestra's annual summer run at Meadowbrook Festival in Rochester Hills, Mich., will begin July 22 and comprise five outdoor concerts in the beautiful wooded setting. Stuart Chafetz will conduct the DSO in a program titled "Oh, What a Night?" at 8 p.m. July 22.
JoAnn Falletta will lead the orchestra and violinist Chloe Hanslip will be guest soloist in an 8 p.m. program of Italian music July 23. "American Celebration" is the title of a concert to be led by Andrew Grams on July 30. He will be joined by pianist Chu-Fang Huang. Grams and Huang will return on July 31 for a program titled "Russian Spectacular." Chafetz will offer a reprise for the finale of the festival on Aug. 1, a program inspired by the movies.
Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.
• As a lively opening act for Meadowbrook, consider metro Detroit's three-day event, Concert of Colors, opening July 16 for its 18th season of celebrating diversity through music on Woodward Avenue in Detroit's Cultural Center.
Opening at the Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., with concerts at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., the Detroit Symphony Orchestra will represent classical music with a program themed on painting or a picture. At 7 p.m. the Mexican folk group Tlen Huicani will perform with folk harp accompaniment. At 9:30 p.m. the Hispanic version of the original Dracula film will be screened. This work was shot with the same set, costumes, and lighting, but an all-Mexican cast.
The Meijer Main Stage of Orchestra Hall and the Comerica Stage, both in the Max M. Fisher Music Center, 3711 Woodward Ave., will be venues for July 17 and 18 events.
Opening on the main stage July 17 will be Native American singer/guitarist Bill Miller, at 4:30 p.m., followed by the Kenge Kenge Kenyan dance group, and then Detroit native Don Was, who will host a variety of stage acts starting at 8:30 p.m.
Sunday's mainstage program begins at 3:45 p.m. July 18 with the DSO and guest conductor Tito Munoz with oud (an instrument resembling a lute) virtuoso Simon Shaheen in the premiere of the artist's Concerto for Oud and Orchestra. A Southwest Detroit Latin Supersession launches at 6:15 p.m. and the festival closes with a flourish when Mavis Staples takes the stage at 8:30 p.m.
The Comerica stage schedule opens with Irish music by the Codgers at 4 p.m., continues with global jazz/funk, reggae, and winds up with Red Baraat's Bhangra and Brass at 8 p.m.
For a complete schedule of concerts and many related activities as well as ticket information call 313-624-0215 or visit concertofcolors.com.
• The Cleveland Orchestra's summer festival at Blossom Music Festival in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, commences this weekend with Stephane Deneve conducting the orchestra in music by Ravel, Debussy, Berlioz, and Stravinsky. Clarinetist Franklin Cohen will join the CO for Debussy's Rhapsody for Clarinet and Orchestra. Music starts at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Tito Munoz will conduct with violinist Giora Schmidt in a 7 p.m. concert Sunday featuring the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, Symphonic Dances by Leonard Bernstein, and Edward Elgar's "Enigma" Variations.
Nicholans McGegan will conduct a program of music by Handel and Vivaldi at 8 p.m. July 17. Violinist Peter Otto will solo in Vivaldi's "Four Seasons." The 7 p.m. concert July 18 will include music by Rossini, Respighi - the Fountains and the Pines of Rome, and Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto with guest Karen Gomyo.
For tickets call ticket office at 800-231-1111.
• The ALMA Dance Company offers a summer schedule of classes in African drumming and dance. Artistic director and Senegalese master drummer Yaya Kabo will teach djembe drumming in a four-lesson series. West African dance basics and development will be taught in a series of classes for all ages. A complete schedule and fee information is available at almadancetoledo.com or 419-810-2800.
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