When the Toledo Symphony invited Bruce Moss to plan the first concert of Music Under the Stars, the summer series that returns after a year-long hiatus at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in the Toledo Zoo Amphitheatre, decades of experience taught him to take pains with the program.
"The first concert is always very important. People have to hear something they will enjoy. If you don't give audiences something to come back for, they won't come back," Moss said last week.
He had just returned to northwest Ohio from his regular Thursday night gig as music director of the famed Wheaton Municipal Band, in Wheaton, Ill., where he has planned and led concerts for more than 30 years.
But there's another component to programming, said Moss, who also directs band activities at Bowling Green State University: providing enough challenge to the players to keep them on their toes. "It's always a balancing act between keeping performers and audiences happy," he said.
So this weekend's program, "Old, New, Borrowed, and Red, White, and Blue," reflects Moss' process, and covers more bases than a baseball diamond.
"There's a tinge of the patriotic, pieces with red, white, and blue in the title," he said. "Garth Simmons (principal trombone of the Toledo Symphony) will play 'Blue Bells of Scotland.' We'll do a Canadian Brass medley (arranged for the 60-piece band), 'Red, White, and Brass.'"
And, borrowed? "We'll play an old Slavonic Rhapsody by Carl Friedmann," Moss said. Also on loan will be top tunes from Broadway shows.
Lest John Philip Sousa be forgotten, there will be several marches by America's first showman. There will be a Mystery March -- no one's talking right now about that -- and Anne McGinty's "The Red Balloon."
Tapping one more artistic base, Moss has included Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, a nod to the bicentennial of America's second war of independence from England. Do not worry about booming guns, he says. Instead, the audience may get a chance to become "the world's largest cannon."
Admission to Music Under the Stars is free. Parking rates vary with membership status and vehicle size.
As the first conductor brought in to take the podium that was occupied by Sam Szor for nearly two generations, Moss understands the need to respect his predecessor.
Szor will be involved in each concert, Moss added, conducting and simply lending his unique spirit to each performance. "In this transition, I think the audience will see new people and familiar faces."
Longtime announcer Gordon Ward also will be on stage, sharing announcing duties with Moss and other conductors to come.
And, for true stress-free transportation to and from, TARTA offers shuttle bus service from these locations: Centennial Terrace in Sylvania at Centennial Road and Erie Street; the main parking lot at St. Luke's Hospital on Monclova Road in Maumee; The Perrysburg/River Place Shopping Center on U.S. 25; the Miracle Mile Shopping Center; the bus shelter behind Sears at Westgate, and the Kroger store in Waterville.
Fares for bus rides are $1 each way.
A musical residency by popular University of Michigan pianist, scholar, and pedagogue Louis Nagel is on tap starting next week at the Kerrytown Concert House, 415 N. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor. Lectures and performances focusing on music by J.S. Bach and Lizst will fill an entire week beginning July 11 with an 8 p.m. lecture. Performances by Nagel are scheduled for 8 p.m. July 12 and 4 p.m. July 15, in the historic venue. Among works on the program by featured composers will be Liszt's Jeux d'Eau a la villa d'Este and Consolation No. 3. Music by Bach will be announced.
Nagel's talks will cover the history of programming and issues related to musical interpretation. Audience members who reserve tickets early will be able to submit questions for consideration by the speaker. A subsequent lecture is set for July 14 at 4 p.m.
Tickets bring seat reservations and are recommended well in advance. For information on tickets, call 734-769-2999 or visit www.kerrytownconcerthouse.com.
More Met, more of the time, seems to be the byword at Fathom productions, which has taken on presenting encore performances of Metropolitan Opera Live in HD concerts from last season. Screening starts at Franklin Park Cinemas at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays through July. Next week, Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmanwill be presented. On July 18 opera fans can watch Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti, and Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier is set for July 25.
Tickets starting at $12.50 are on sale now at the theater or online at http://bit.ly/NLtDMp.
Sauder Village will hold its Fiddle Contest and Summer on the Farm event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the historic museum in Archbold. Old-time activities will be demonstrated at its 1910 Homestead and other spots around the village. Fiddlers will keep the air lively from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and after the fiddle contest.
Flatland Grass of Whitehouse will start the contest at 1 p.m. for students, seniors, and all the rest of the region's fiddlers. Each contestant will play a hoedown and a waltz, using old-time techniques, in a five-minute slot. Judges will choose winners based on musical basics, showmanship, and crowd appeal.
Admission to the Sauder complex, which includes the original village, pioneer areas, the 1910 Homestead, and special exhibitions, is $8-$15, free with a year's membership. Senior, military, and AAA discounts apply. Information: 800-590-9755 or www.saudervillage.org.
The University of Toledo announces two week-long workshops for high school musicians.
The Summer Band Institute, led by Jason Stumbo, is to run July 9-13, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, at the UT Center for Performing Arts.
Classes in music theory, practice techniques, and composition will be offset with opportunities to play in large and small ensembles. The $200 fee includes breakfast and lunch.
The High School Choir Workshop led by Stephen Hodge will run Aug. 6-9 in the same location. Singing techniques, sight-reading skills, and opportunities to perform are on tap for participants. A choral concert will wrap up the week's activities. Cost is $230, which includes daily lunch.
For more information on either session, call the UT music department, 419-530-2448.
Toledo Opera concluded its first student Opera Camp in years last week, with performances in the Valentine Theatre and Sauder Village. While this year served as a pilot program from which opera leaders learned enough to plan for subsequent camps in years to come, a surprise benefit for several participants this year came as scholarships for study at the famed Interlochen Center for the Arts and its summer camp.
Katie Trumbull, a seventh grader at Toledo Christian Junior High this fall, will attend the intermediate division at Interlochen this summer for three weeks. Harrison Heard, a junior-to-be at Maumee Valley Country Day School, will spend six weeks in the northern Michigan landmark this summer. Sean Cooper, a faculty member of the Toledo camp and director of vocal study and operetta at Interlochen, helped bring the opportunities to pass.
Oops! In an item about Ballet Theatre of Toledo's upcoming season, the composer of Peter and the Wolf was incorrect. The music for this story was written by Sergei Prokofieff.
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