Summertime means the chance to sit outside in fresh air and listen to fresh music, played live by bands big and small. Casual settings may include blooming gardens or waterfront views (birds may chime in). Dress is always casual. Chairs and blankets are preferred seating and picnics -- packed or purchased -- make the music sound even sweeter.
As the 2012 outdoor concert season kicks off, news is a lot like our summer weather: plenty of sunshine but some rainstorms as well.
This free, public concert will end a 90-year history of bringing fine music to the region.
The announcement was made in November and the action, which affects similar bands across the country in what the Air National Guard calls a "consolidation," becomes effective Sept. 30, 2013.
Although the popular ensemble -- nicknamed the Triple Nickel for its 555 commission number -- is attached to the 180th unit at its Swanton base, its service area is Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan.
In true military fashion, the band "deploys" its 38 professional, multi-talented musicians into various configurations, from full band to smaller ensembles, each and all capable of playing classical, popular, jazz, and ceremonial music to the latest rock hits.
All of today's members are National Guardsmen and train one weekend per month plus two weeks each summer. Members travel from across the country to participate.
The main purpose of the band has been community relations, but members also deploy with active duty units.
"We are in the people business," said Senior Master Sgt. Philip D. Smith, a trombonist and superintendent of the band. "We are in the business of building support for the military."
The band will perform at 7 p.m. July 6 in the St. Mary's Park Band Shell, Monroe, Mich.
OK, now some good news.
Instead of longtime conductor Sam Szor on the podium, up-and-coming conductors from regional universities will design and lead programs with the Toledo Concert Band. Concert dates are each Sunday in July and Aug. 5 and 12.
Programs will be announced in the Peach Weekender News of Music each week and on the Toledo Symphony Web site.
All performances are free, although parking at the zoo varies in price depending on membership status. The TSO also has arranged TARTA bus service from Westgate, Miracle Mile, plus Maumee, Perrysburg, Sylvania, and Waterville locations. A round-trip ticket is $2.
The Maumee Civic Band, under the direction of Kevin Heidbreder, has commenced its summer series in locations around the suburb.
Upcoming concerts will include a 6 p.m. performance Tuesday, during the patriotic Independence Day eve celebration in downtown Maumee. A pair of 7 p.m. concerts on the grounds of the Maumee Branch Library will be presented July 24 and Aug. 2. And the final appearance is to be at 11 a.m. Aug. 18 during the Maumee Street Fair.
Music lovers outside Toledo can hear the North Coast Concert Band, conducted by Bill Woycitzky, at venues mostly near Lake Erie. The group will perform at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Kelleys Island Pavilion, a 1 p.m. downbeat. On July 14, the Keeper's House in Marblehead will be host for a 2 p.m. concert. And on Aug. 12, to honor veterans of the Vietnam War at a memorial, the band will perform at 3 p.m. in Elmore.
Like nearly all outdoor concerts, these performances are free.
Findlay's Riverside Park is busy all season with free, brown bag concerts at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays performed by bands from the region. Of special interest is Night Jazz, a band led by Jack Taylor from the University of Findlay, a group celebrating its 60th season, with a series of performances planned for July.
The Millstream Singers will join the band for a patriotic program on July 6. UF staff accompanist Kelly Lewis will appear with the group in Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue on July 13. And Taylor will take a solo turn on his saxophone July 20, a program focusing on music from Disney productions.
The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library has reprised its popular noon Wednesday concerts on the North Lawn of its Main building at Michigan and Adams streets. Today's show will feature music for kids of all ages by Just Kiddin' Around.
The series will return July 11 with jazz by the Jason Quick Trio, then present singer/songwriter Dave Carpenter July 18, and continue with Rodney Parker and Liberty Beach for country music. Coming Aug. 1 will be Tony Rios and the Baila Rico dancers.
Brown bags are welcome and food is available from vendors on the scene or in the Library Cafe on the parking lot level of the library.
Sylvania's verdant Olander Park has a perfect spot for a summer concert: the sprawling veranda of the Nederhouse Community Hall on the east side of the big pond. Tonight's concert will present the Toledo Polish-American Band. Concerts are free to residents with proof of residency and $3 for others.
Sunset Serenades will continue July 11 with the Bob Wurst band; on July 18 Eddie Boggs will perform. August events include Jeff McDonald's Swingmania Orchestra, Aug. 1, and Johnny Rodriguez, Aug. 15.
Concerts go on rain or shine.
On the site where Perrysburg's first school once stood, the southwest corner of Lousiana and Indiana avenues now called Commodore Park, the Music at the Market series sponsored by the city is happening at 7 p.m. Thursdays. Jazzman Gene Parker will hold forth this week. Concerts remain to be announced for July and August.
Live music will be part of the July 4 celebration when a Star Spangled Banner Concert begins at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Fort Meigs.
Another long-standing outdoor music tradition is Jazz in the Garden at Toledo Botanical Garden, 5403 Elmer Dr.
Set amid the incredibly lush plantings of the park, local bands and soloists help wind down busy Thursdays, starting July 5 when the Cake Walkin' Jass Band will convene for a 6:30-8:30 p.m. session. Kelly Broadway will sing July 12 and the popular band Ramona Collins is due on July 19.
Songstress Ramona Collins will perform July 26, followed by the Toledo Jazz Orchestra Aug. 2. The band 6th Edition will perform Aug. 9; Jesse Coleman and Jamm are due Aug. 16; Nate Gurley will sing Aug. 23, and Gene Parker will wrap up the eighth month Aug. 30. Lisa Lynn with Jason Quick will be featured in the final concert of this season, Sept. 6.
Patrons should bring their own seating and refreshments. Tickets are $6 for members, $7 for students and seniors, and $8 for adults. Season passes are available from $48-$64. For more information, call 419-536-5566.
Contact Sally Vallongo at: firstname.lastname@example.org.