The joke — Question: "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Answer: "Practice" — is an evergreen on the streets of New York City.
But for the Toledo Symphony, it has the ring of truth.
With a performance calendar packed to the gills during the 2010-2011 season, the venerable orchestra nonetheless is focused on one big, big event: its debut in Carnegie Hall on May 7, 2011.
In truth, almost any group with a big bank account can play in Carnegie Hall. What is special for the TSO is that this debut is invitational.
The Spring for Music Festival selected Toledo's own orchestra from some 65 competing groups to showcase its best in the Big Apple hall where every musical ensemble wants to perform.
In the meantime, the TSO has a full and varied season to offer, as do other local and regional presenters and producers.
A focus on music by American composers is clear in the Classics Series programming by the TSO, with the opening concerts Friday and Saturday and another pair in April emphasizing the rich trove of composition the United States has amassed.
Among soloists coming to enchant TSO audiences in the Peristyle and the Stranahan Theater (Keybank Pops Series) are Doc Severinsen, pianists Markus Groh and Halida Dinova, organist David Higgs, soprano Lisa Vroman, singer Jim Brickman, and cellist Alban Gerhardt.
Collaborative concerts will include the annual performances of The Messiah with the Toledo Choral Society and Bowling Green State University choirs; a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Goshen College Choir, and the Side-by-Side concert featuring the Toledo Youth Orchestra and the TSO.
You can count on academic settings to present both tried and true and unusual and new. At the University of Toledo the Dorothy MacKenzie Price Piano Series gets underway Sept.26 with the return of Pamela Howland in a program honoring Polish composer Fredric Chopin. Also on the schedule are Andrew Cooperstock and Jane Solose. Each guest artist precedes the free Sunday recitals with a free Saturday master class.
At BGSU composer Robert Morris will be special guest in the annual New Music Festival in October, following an appearance by Branford Marsalis to open the Festival Series.
Three versions of the Halloween Spooktacular are scheduled for the fall holiday. One will take place at UT by student and faculty musicians; one will be presented by the TSO in its Mercy Health Partners Family Series; and the newest will feature the TYO with new resident conductor Jeffrey Pollock.
Celebrating 400 years of Monteverdi, the breakthrough Italian composer, will be achieved when Apollo's Fire, the Baroque orchestra from Cleveland, launches the Rosary Cathedral series with a performance of that amazing work.
Harpist and storyteller Patrick Ball will return to the Trinity Episcopal Church performing arts series. Masterworks Chorale will introduce the sing-along approach to Handel's traditional oratorio, Messiah, at the Valentine Theatre, as well as reprising its popular Collage concert featuring other area arts groups.
Classical music calendar
TODAY: Toledo Symphony Blade Chamber Series. Music by Schoenfield and Beethoven. 7 p.m. Toledo Club. Tickets $25-$35.
TODAY: Flutist Nina Assimakopoulos. 3 p.m. Great Gallery, Toledo Museum of Art. Free.
TOMORROW: University of Toledo Jazz Night. 7:30 p.m.. Crystals Lounge, Ramada Hotel, 3526 Secor Rd. $3-$5. (Series continues Oct. 4, 18, 25; Nov. 1, 15, 22, 29)
FRIDAY & SATURDAY: Toledo Symphony Classics Series, 8 p.m. All-American composers. Peristyle. $20-$50.
SEPT. 26: Dorothy MacKenzie Price Piano Series presents Pamela Howland in Remembering Frederic: A Musical Conversation between Chopin and George Sand. 3 p.m. University of Toledo Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall. Free.
SEPT. 26: Toledo Museum of Art presents “Play with the Machine,” live and recorded improvisation by Jackie LeClair and Jill Berkana. 3 p.m. Great Gallery. Free.
SEPT. 29: University of Toledo Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble. 8 p.m. Doermann Theatre. Free.
OCT. 3: Bowling Green State University Wind Symphony, Band, and Choirs. 8 p.m. Kobacker Hall. Free.
OCT. 3: UT Choral Concert. 3 p.m. CPA Recital Hall. Free.
OCT. 3: Toledo Museum of Art presents music for flute, harp, and piano. 3 p.m. Great Gallery. Free.
OCT. 6: Cathedral Concerts presents Apollo's Fire, Baroque orchestra in Monteverdi Requiem. 7:30 p.m. Rosary Cathedral. Tickets $10-$20.
OCT. 7: Bowling Green State University Festival Series presents Branford Marsalis. 8 p.m. Kobacker Hall. Single tickets available Oct. 1.
OCT. 7: University of Toledo Symphony Orchestra. 8 p.m. Doermann. Free.
OCT. 8: Trinity Performing Arts Series presents the Dueling Divas with Courtney Altenburg and Katherine Stygles. 7 p.m. Trinity Episcopal Church. Tickets $12-$15.
OCT. 9: TSO Keybank Pops Series. Doc Severinsen and San Miguel 5. 8 p.m., Stranahan Theater.
OCT. 10: Choral Union Series of University Musical Society presents Valery Gergiev with Mariinsky Orchestra and pianist Denis Matsuev. 8 p.m. Hill Auditorium.
OCT. 15-16: TSO Classics. Julian Kuerti, Frances Renzi, Samantha Biniker. 8 p.m. Peristyle.
OCT. 16: Young People's Concert, BGSU. 11 a.m. Bryan Hall.
OCT. 16: Toledo Youth Orchestra. 4 p.m. Peristyle.
OCT. 17: Trinity presents Patrick Ball, harpist/singer. 7 p.m. Trinity. $12-$15.
OCT. 21-23: New Music Festival, BGSU, with Robert Morris, guest composer. Concerts, master classes, seminars at Moore Center. Jack Quartet, 8 p.m. Oct. 22, Kobacker.
OCT. 24: TSO Blade Chamber Series. 7 p.m. Toledo Club. $25-$35.
OCT. 26: Toledo Youth Orchestra Spooktacular. Enchantment Theater with Jeffrey Pollock. 3 p.m. Stranahan.
OCT. 27: UMS presents Venice Baroque Orchestra with violinist Robert McDuffie. 8 p.m. Hill Auditorium. Tickets $10-$60.
OCT. 28: Owens Community College presents Tres Vidas, a chamber music theater work. 7:30 p.m. Center for Fine and Performing Arts. $18.
OCT. 30: TSO Health Care REIT Mozart and More Series with Damon Gupton and Garth Simmons. 7:30 p.m. Franciscan Center.
OCT. 27: UT Spooktacular. 7 p.m. Doermann. Free.
OCT. 31: TSO Mercy Health Partners Family Series. Spooktacular. 3 p.m. Peristyle. $20-$25.
NOV. 1: BGSU Guest artist recital. Yehonatan Berick. 8 p.m. Bryan Hall. Free.
NOV. 5: Trinity presents Academy Brass. 7 p.m. Trinity Church. $12-$15.
NOV. 6: UT Price Piano Series presents Andrew Cooperstock. 3 p.m. CPA. Free.
NOV. 8: UT Latin Jazz and Vocalstra. 8 p.m. CPA Recital Hall. $3-$5.
NOV. 13: UT High School Honors Choir. 8 p.m. Doermann. Free.
NOV. 14: Cathedral Concerts presents Schubert's Mass in G Major. Diocesan choir and chamber orchestra, Heidelberg concert choir. 3 p.m. Free.
NOV. 19: Trinity presents Perrysburg Symphony Chorale with Wayne Anthony in music by Vaughan Williams. 7 p.m. $5-$10.
NOV. 19-20: TSO Classics. Stefan Sanderling with Markus Groh. 8 p.m. Peristyle.
NOV. 21: UT Community Chorus. 3 p.m. CPA. Free.
NOV. 21: BGSU Women's Chorus and University Band. 3 p.m. Kobacker. Free.
NOV. 27: TSO Keybank Pops. Jim Brickman and Jeffrey Pollock. 8 p.m. Stranahan.
DEC. 1: BGSU Philharmonia with Emily Freeman Brown. 8 p.m. Kobacker Hall.
DEC. 2: UT Symphony Orchestra. 8 p.m. Doermann. Free.
DEC. 3: BGSU Festival Series presents Empire Brass with Elisabeth von Trapp. 8 p.m. Kobacker. Tickets TBA.
DEC. 4: UT Jazz Holiday Concert. Doermann Theatre.
DEC. 4: Handel's Messiah by TSO, Toledo Choral Society, BGSU Chorale. 8 p.m. Peristyle.
DEC. 5: Handel's Messiah with TSO, TSC. BGSU. 2 p.m. Peristyle.
DEC. 6: TYO with organist David Higgs and soprano Lisa Vroman. 8 p.m. Peristyle.
DEC. 8: UT Symphony Band and Wind Ensemble. 8 p.m. Doermann. Free.
DEC. 11: Masterworks Chorale in Messiah Singalong. 8 p.m. Valentine.
JAN. 7: Toledo Symphony presents Carnegie Hall Kickoff with Stefan Sanderling, Stanley Cowell, Mike Bell. 8 p.m. Peristyle. $20-$50.
JAN. 14: Trinity presents Sono Novo Quartet with Wayne Anthony in Music for Piano and Strings. 7 p.m. $10-$15.
JAN. 14-15: TSO Classics. Ravel and the Sea with Mei Ann Chen and Halida Dinova. 8 p.m. Peristyle.
JAN. 16: UMS presents soprano Renee Fleming. 8 p.m. Hill. $10-$65.
JAN. 22: TSO Health Care REIT Mozart with soprano Carol Dusdieker. 7:30 p.m. Franciscan.
JAN. 23: TSO Mercy Family Series. Lemony Snicket. 3 p.m. Peristyle.
JAN. 29: TSO Keybank Pops. Magical Music of Disney. 8 p.m. Stranahan.
JAN. 30: Cathedral Concerts presents A Journey Through the Life of African Americans with Margaret Barron, soprano. 3 p.m. Free.
JAN. 31: UT Jazz Lab Band. 8 p.m. Crystals Lounge. $3-$5. (Also, Feb. 14, 21, 28; March 14, 28; April 11, 25).
FEB. 1: UMS presents Cleveland Orchestra with Franz Welser Most and pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard. 8 p.m. Hill. $10-$75.
FEB. 4: UMS presents Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg and New Century Chamber Orchestra. 8 p.m. Rackham Auditorium. $24-$48.
FEB. 4-5: TSO Classics. Beethoven 9th with Sanderling and Goshen College Choir. 8 p.m. Peristyle.
FEB. 5: BGSU Festival Series presents pianist Robert Levin. 8 p.m. Kobacker Hall. Tickets TBA.
FEB. 6: BGSU Philharmonia with Freeman Brown and contest winners. 8 p.m. Kobacker.
FEB. 7: UT Art Tatum Memorial Jazz Scholarship Concert. 8 p.m. CPA.
FEB. 13: TYO Concert. 4 p.m. Peristyle.
FEB. 20: TSO Chamber Series. 7 p.m. Toledo Club.
FEB. 20: UT Winter Choral Concert. 3 p.m. Doermann. Free.
FEB. 25-26: TSO Classics. Saint-Saens Organ Symphony. Campestrini, Toth, Ragusitu. 8 p.m. Peristyle.
FEB. 26: BGSU Festival Series presents selections from Porgy and Bess by BGSU Philharmonia and soloists. 8 p.m. Kobacker. Tickets TBA.
MARCH 3: UT Symphony Orchestra. 8 p.m. Doermann. Free.
MARCH 4: UT Symphonic Band and Winds. 8 p.m. Doermann. Free.
MAR. 5: TSO Keybank Pops. Music of Led Zeppelin with Randy Jackson and Brent Havens. 8 p.m. Stranahan.
MARCH 6: Cathedral Concerts presents Toledo Symphony and Stefan Sanderling, Bruckner Symphony No. 4. 4 p.m. Tickets $10-$35.
MARCH 11: Owens presents Celtic Blaze with Stephanie Cadman. 8 p.m. CFPA. $23.
MARCH 20: TSO Mercy Family Series. Science of Sound. 3 p.m. Peristyle.
MARCH 12: TSO Health Care REIT Mozart with Pollock and Lauraine Carpenter. 7:30 p.m. Franciscan.
MARCH 19: TYO Harry Potter Meets the Toledo Symphony with Tim Lake, Merwin Siu, Kimberly Bryden. 7 p.m. Maumee Performing Arts Center.
MARCH 18-19: TSO Classics. Sanderling and cellist Alban Gerhardt. 8 p.m. Peristyle.
MARCH 19: UMS presents Detroit Symphony Orchestra with Leonard Slatkin and Choral Union in Mahler Symphony No. 8. 8 p.m. Hill. $10-$75.
MARCH 20: UT High School Honors Band. Doermann. Free.
MARCH 21: UT Jazz Lab Band and Vocalstra. 8 p.m. CPA.
MARCH 24: UMS presents Bach Collegium Japan in Bach B minor Mass. 8 p.m. Hill. $10-$65.
MARCH 26: Cathedral Concerts presents Masterworks Chorale with Donna Tozer Wipfli. 8 p.m. Tickets $12-$25.
APRIL 2: UT Price Piano Series presents Jane Solose. 3 p.m. CPA. Free.
APRIL 2: TSO Health Care REIT Mozart series with Steven Byess and Damon Coleman. 7:30 p.m. Franciscan.
APRIL 4-8: UT Festival of New Music. Doermann and CPA halls. Free.
APRIL 8: BGSU A Cappella Choir and Collegiate Chorale. 8 p.m. Kobacker.
APRIL 8: Trinity presents Perrysburg Symphony Chorale in “Folk Songs Around the World.” 7 p.m. Trinity. $5-$10.
APRIL 8-9: TSO Classics. Tito Munoz and violinist Mark O'Connor. 8 p.m. Peristyle.
APRIL 10: UT Community Chorus. 3 p.m. CPA. Free.
APRIL 10: TYO Side-by-Side with TSO. 4 p.m. Peristyle.
APRIL 16: TSO Keybank Pops. Three Phantoms in Concert with Kevin Gray, Mark Jacoby, Craig Schulman and Pollock. 8 p.m. Stranahan.
APRIL 17: TSO Chamber, 7 p.m. Toledo Club.
APRIL 17: UT Spring Choral Concert. 3 p.m. CPA. Free.
APRIL 19: UT Collegium Musicum. 8 p.m. CPA. Free.
APRIL 21: UT Symphony. 8 p.m. Doermann. Free.
APRIL 22: UT Opera workshop. 8 p.m. CPA. Free.
APRIL 22: UT Band and Winds. Doermann. Free.
APRIL 23: UMS presents Thomas Quasthoff and friends in Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes. 8 p.m. Hill. $10-$50.
APRIL 29-30: TSO Classics. Preview of Carnegie Hall program. Sanderling. 8 p.m. Peristyle.
MAY 7: TSO makes New York City debut in Spring For Music Festival. Sanderling. 8 p.m. Carnegie Hall.
MAY 13: Cathedral Concerts presents organist Adam Brakel, 7:30 p.m. Free.
MAY 13: Trinity presents Anthony/Brown Piano Duo in Third Farewell Concert. 7 p.m. Trinity. $12-$15.
MAY 13: TYO Pops. 3 p.m. Stranahan. Free.
MAY 15: TSO Mercy Family Series. Spring for Music. 3 p.m. Peristyle.
MAY 21: TSO Keybank Pops. Dancing With the Symphony with Michael Krajewski. 8 p.m. Stranahan.
Classical music, dance & opera venues and presenters
Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, 220 East Huron St., Ann Arbor. www.a2so.com.
Ballet Theatre of Toledo, 1124 Corporate Drive, Holland. 419-861-0895. www.ballettheatreoftoledo.org.
Bowling Green State University Moore Musical Arts Center, Ridge Street. Festival Series Box Office: 419-372-8171. www.bgsu.edu.
Cassandra Ballet, 3157 West Sylvania Ave., 419-475-0458. www.cassandra ballet.com.
Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway, Detroit. 313-961-3500. www.motopera.org.
Epworth United Methodist Church, 3077 Valley View Drive, Ottawa Hills. www.epworth.com.
First Presbyterian Church of Maumee, 200 East Broadway, Maumee.
Franciscan Theatre & Conference Center, Lourdes College, Sylvania. 419-824-3999. www.franciscancenter.org.
Hill Auditorium, 825 North University Ave., Ann Arbor.
Lydia Mendelssohn Theater. Michigan League, 911 North University Ave., Ann Arbor.
Masterworks Chorale. Ticket information: 419-246-8000. www.masterworkschorale.us.
Maumee Performing Arts Center, 1124 Saco St. at Maumee High School.
Michigan Opera Theatre, 1526 Broadway, Detroit. 313-961-3500. www.motopera.org.
Michigan Theater, 603 East Liberty St., Ann Arbor. 734-668-TIME.
Orchestra Hall at Max Fisher Center, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit. www.detroit symphony.com.
Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral, 2535 Collingwood Blvd. Tickets: 419-246-8000, 419-244-9575.
Owens Community College Center for Fine and Performing Arts, 30335 Oregon Rd., Perrysburg. 567-261-2787.
Power Center for the Arts, 121 Fletcher St., Ann Arbor.
Rackham Auditorium, 915 East Washington St., Ann Arbor.
River Raisin Center for the Arts, 114 South Main St., Monroe, Mich. 734-242-7722. www.riverraisincentre.org.
St. Francis of Assisi Church, 2250 East Stadium Blvd. Ann Arbor.
Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd. Box Office: 419-381-8851. www.stranahantheater.com.
Toledo Ballet, Westfield Franklin Park, 5001 Monroe St. 419-472-0049. www.toledoballet.net.
Toledo Opera, 425 Jefferson Ave., 419-255-7464. www.toledoopera.org.
Toledo Symphony, 1838 Parkwood Ave. 419-246-8000 or www.toledo symphony.com.
Trinity Episcopal Church, Adams and St. Clair streets. 419-243-1231. www.trinitytoledo.org.
University Musical Society, Ann Arbor, Mich. Box office/information: 734-764-2538. www.ums.org.
University of Toledo Center for the Performing Arts Recital Hall. West Towerview Boulevard and West Rocket Drive. Parking, Lot 12. www.utoledo.edu.
Valentine Theatre, 410 Adams St., 419-242-2787. www.valentinetheatre.com.
Contact Sally Vallongo at: