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Published: Wednesday, 3/9/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

Toledo Symphony's family concert to explore science of music

BLADE STAFF

"Music is nothing more than vibrations," says Jeffrey Pollock, resident conductor of the Toledo Symphony. For young audiences at the third Mercy Family Series Concert at 3 p.m. March 20, he has designed a program that will explore how orchestra players generate sounds with good vibrations from string, woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments.

Titled The Science of Sound, the concert in the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle will feature a wide range of classical works designed to highlight basic elements of musical vibrations -- pitch, high and low, loud and soft, and texture and color.

Composers on the program include Richard Wagner, John Williams, Sergei Prokofiev, Claude Debussy, and Dmitri Shostakovich.

Between musical pieces, Pollock and the musicians will demonstrate how various instruments produce sound, and how those sounds can be altered. "Brass instruments will show how they change the character of their sound with mutes," explains Pollock. "Bassoonists put socks in their bells."

For a work by American composer John Cage, two pianos will be on stage. One will be played in regular mode, but a second one will be "prepared" with various bits of hardware attached to strings, yielding very different effects.

There's even a part in the program where audience members will be invited to the stage to perform along with symphony professionals in a piece written by Nathaniel Stookey ("The Composer is Dead") that involves a glass harmonica. Commissioned by Pollock a few years ago, the work will require amateur hands rubbing carefully on glasses of different sizes to produce a distinct sound.

The orchestra partnered with Imagination Station for this concert and experts from the downtown hands-on museum will demonstrate various musical basics in the Peristyle lobby 30 minutes ahead of the concert.

Tickets start at $20 at 419-246-8000 or www.toledosymphony.com.

Busy Pollock will lead the TSO this weekend in its fourth Health Care REIT Mozart and More concert at 7:30 p.m. in the Franciscan Center at Lourdes College. Don't look for the namesake composer, however; he's on a break.

Instead, two symphonies by Haydn (No. 64 and No. 92) are on the program, with principal trumpet Lauraine Carpenter to solo in the Hummel Trumpet Concerto.

Tickets start at $30 at 419-246-8000 or www.toledosymphony.com.

And, for its next Classics Series concert pair, the symphony will welcome cellist Alban Gerhardt in his Peristyle debut, performing the Dvorak Cello Concerto with principal conductor Stefan Sanderling on the podium. Also on the program will be music by John Adams and Jean Sibelius.

Tickets start at $20 from the symphony.

Coming up at the University of Toledo is a concert by the High School Honors Band at 3 p.m. March 20 in Doermann Theatre. Talented instrumentalists from area high schools will perform challenging concert music in this free performance.

Bowling Green State University musicians will perform on and off campus in the coming week. At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, vocal students of Christopher Scholl will perform in another in the Music at the Manor House series. Cosponsored by BGSU and the Metroparks, the concerts take place in the mansion at Wildwood Preserve Metropark on West Central Avenue.

The same night, guest cellist Sonny Thet will perform a free recital at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center.

Flutists are welcome to the Spring Flute Fling, running from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 19 in Bryan Recital Hall. Special guests include Elizabeth Buch, Claudia Anderson, and Christopher Chaffee in this free event organized by BGSU flute professor Nina Assimakopoulous.

Resident conductor Emily Freeman Brown will lead Camerata Campo di Bocce, the BGSU chamber orchestra, in a free recital at 3 p.m. March 20 in the Great Gallery of the Toledo Museum of Art.

The Metropolitan Opera's Live in HD series continues on March 19 with Mary Zimmerman's 2007 production of Donizetti's tragedy, Lucia di Lammermoor, at 1 p.m. at Rave Fallen Timbers. French soprano Natalie Dessay stars in the amazing title role, with tenor Joseph Calleja as her lover, Edgardo. Also singing lead roles will be Ludovic Tezier and Kwangchul Youn. Patrick Summers will conduct.

Tickets start at $20 at the cinema box office. An encore screening of this four-hour production is set for 6:30 p.m. April 6.

Items for News of Music should be sent to svallongo@theblade.com at least two weeks ahead of the performance date.



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