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Sacred Steel festival offers 2 days of music


Marc Levine will perform Aug. 26 in Ann Arbor's Kerrytown Concert House.


Sacred Steel festival offers 2 days of music

Sacred Steel, a longtime musical tradition in many Church of the Living God denominations, will be in the spotlight locally for two days this month through the efforts of Toledo-based Sacred Strings Records. Del Ray Grace and Kelli Grace, owners of the recording company, are organizing the affair and will perform.

The second annual Sacred Steel Music Festival is set for Aug. 20 and 21 at two locations. A Sacred Steel Jam showcase is set for 5-9 p.m. Aug. 20 at Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, 1401 Hoag St. Open to male and female steel players, the jam is free to the public.

The Sacred Steel Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is set to start at 3 p.m. Aug. 21 in the Dana Center of the Hilton Hotel, 3100 Glendale Ave. Stars of the musical tradition will be on hand to accept honors.

Grace's own group, the Amazing Grace Sacred Strings Praise Band, will also make joyful noise. Headed by Grace with his wife, Kelli, the group also comprises Del Ray Grace, Jr., Eric and Angela Russell, Yolando Russell, Johnell Caver, Tressa Boles, and Latonya Johnson-Crawford.

Enlivened by spirit, steel guitar artists have turned their musical talents to serve their faith since Mother Mary Lewis Tate launched the tradition in 1903, according to Grace. Electric and bass guitar, keyboards, drums, and vocals are typically added to the mix.

For more information, visit the recording company Web site, or call 419-243-0564.

• Kerrytown Concert House will present jazz violinist Maureen Choi and her quartet — including popular Toledo drummer Sean Dobbins — in a single concert at 8 p.m. Aug. 21.

The complete Brahms violin sonatas — in A Major, G Major, and D minor — are on the program planned by violinist Marc Levine, with pianist Ling-Ju Lai at 8 p.m. Aug. 26 in Kerrytown. Tickets for both concerts are $5-$25; reservations are recommended.

Looking ahead, KCH has announced its annual Edgefest, a celebration of experimental music through performance, discussions, workshops, and residencies, to begin Sept. 29 and continue through Oct. 2 at 415 North Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor. This year's theme, “Edged in Brass,” promises brass brilliance along with other instruments.

Among the soloists and ensembles slated to appear are clarinetist Ned Rothenberg performing his Clarinet Quartet with Strings; composer/saxophonist Matt Bauder performing “Day in Pictures” with his ensemble; the Midwest premiere of Amir ElSaffar's “Inanna” by the composer and his Two Rivers Ensemble, and another premiere, this one Jason Hwang's “Burning Bridge” performed by his Edge Ensemble.

For a complete calendar with programs, check the Web site:

• The Toledo Ballet has been awarded a Toledo Community Foundation grant to provide tuition assistance for students in its adaptive dance program. Created during the 2009-2010 season and modeled after a program developed by the Boston Ballet in partnership with the Boston Children's Hospital, the local project received $7,184 for use during the coming season.

“This program is addressing a need in the community,” states Keith Burwell, president of the local foundation. “This grant will allow the ballet to offer children with special needs the opportunity to experience and participate in the performing arts, and we are happy to support their efforts.”

Downs Syndrome children and those with other developmental challenges who demonstrate financial need will be considered for assistance. The Toledo Ballet has announced plans for an expanded series of adaptive dance for its new season, open to dancers 16 years and older.

The TBA has announced dates for its 70th annual production of The Nutcracker, to be staged at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 11 and 2 p.m. Dec. 12 in the Stranahan Theater. An original program, “Museum of Dreams,” inspired by works in the Toledo Museum of Art and choreographed by Michael Lang is to be presented at 7:30 p.m. March 11 and 12 in the Stranahan Theater.

For more information on classes and performances by the TBA, visit its Web site at or call 419-471-0049.

• Rave Motion Pictures will present live simulcasts of 12 Metropolitan Opera productions starting Oct. 9 and continuing to May 14 at its Fallen Timbers Cinema, plus 12 Encore performances of select operas starting Oct. 27 and running to June 1. Screenings will be at 1 p.m.

The season will open with Wagner (Das Rheingold) and conclude with Wagner (Die Walkure). Also planned are Verdi operas Don Carlo and Il Trovatore; Donizetti's Don Pasquale and Lucia di Lammermoor; Boris Godunov by Mussorgsky; La Fanciulla del West by Puccini; Iphegenia in Tauride by Gluck; Nixon in China by John Adams; Le Comte Ory by Rossini, and Capriccio by Strauss.

• The 2010 summer season of the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Festival will conclude on Labor Day weekend with two concerts featuring the Joffrey Ballet at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 4 and 5 at the outdoor pavilion in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

Tito Munoz will conduct works by Peter Tchaikovsky, Louis Gottschalk, and Bohislav Martinu with choreography by Gerald Arpino, George Balanchine, and James Kudelka on both nights. Tickets are $23-$93 at 800-686-1141.

Items for News of Music should be sent to at least two weeks ahead of performance date.

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