Pops concert series closes with nod to Broadway


The Toledo Symphony will shift into overdrive Saturday for its sixth and final KeyBank Pops Concert at 8 p.m. in the Stranahan Theater. Broadway Rocks is the title of the program, to be led by resident conductor Jeffrey Pollock.

Rob Evan, Capathia Jenkins, Doug LaBrecque, and Christiane Noll, renowned singers from the worlds of live theater and classical masterworks, will bring to life songs from current hits and evergreen shows.

Those who attend touring Broadway shows at the Stranahan will no doubt recognize selections from shows which have been presented there: Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Lion King, and, of course, Dreamgirls, which just finished a run.

Tenor Evan, a former University of Georgia varsity athlete, has garnered praise for performances in the original Broadway cast of Jekyll & Hyde, playing the title role for three years. He’s a member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and just released his debut album, “Angels,” with his progressive rock band, Menrva Realm.

Jenkins, a Brooklyn native, is known for rocking nearly every performing form around, from the Broadway hit, Newsies, off-Broadway’s The Hattie McDaniel Story, for which she was nominated for a Drama Desk award, and television, including 30 Rock, The Sopranos, and lots of legal procedurals such as The Practice and Law and Order. Jenkins is equally famous for classical performances with the Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony, and movie soundtracks.

LaBrecque also stands astride the Broadway and Carnegie Hall realms. He portrayed the Phantom and Raoul in the Harold Prince production of Phantom of the Opera, toured nationally with Les Miserables, and has performed with the Boston and New York Pops orchestras. A graduate of the University of Michigan, LaBrecque has performed with Peter Nero and major symphonies in Chicago, Atlanta, and Cleveland, among many others.

Noll starred on Broadway in the Kennedy Center revival of Ragtime, winning the Helen Hayes Award and receiving Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations. She has toured the world with major productions including Miss Saigon and Grease. Her Carnegie Hall debut was with the late Skitch Henderson in his final appearance with the New York Pops. Hers is a familiar star in the light opera realm at the Hollywood Bowl and elsewhere. Noll has several solo recordings including “A Broadway Love Story,” “Live at the West Bank Café,” and “The Ira Gershwin Album.”

Tickets are $24-$64 at www.toledosymphony.com or 419-246-8000.

Back in the Paris of 1163, devoted believers were laying the stones and timbers to create Notre Dame, the most famous cathedral in the world. From its beginning, the great church on the Seine River has contained an organ, the instrument most closely associated with the rituals of Roman Catholic worship.

This year for the first time, organists from around the globe are marking the 850th anniversary of the cathedral and the so-called king of instruments with an equal number of organ recitals around the world.

World Organ Day will be marked in Toledo with a free public recital at 7:30 p.m. Monday in Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral, 2515 Collingwood Blvd. Resident organist and music director Paul Monachino will perform a program highlighted with music by French composers Antoine Calviere, Claude Daquin, and Louis Vierne, all of whom were Notre Dame organists.

Other events inspired by historic anniversaries include the Lourdes University Spring Choral Concert, an annual event taking place at 7 p.m. Sunday in the Franciscan Theatre & Conference Center on campus.

Music director and conductor Karen T. Biscay has planned a program titled Songs for a Sesquicentennial: The Civil War and Cinco de Mayo. Pianist Olga Topuzova-Meade will accompany the group.

The Lourdes University Chorus and its Good Company Ensemble will perform works selected in honor of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

On the program will be original sheet-music renditions of songs published during the war. Also planned are new arrangements of period songs include a version of the Sullivan Ballou “Dear Sarah” letter.

Guitarist Miguel Saucedo will perform with the choirs Mexican folk songs linking events of Cinco de Mayo in 1862 with the Union cause in the Civil War. According to Biscay, the Battle of Puebla, May 5, 1862, helped thwart the plans of Napoleon III to aid the Confederacy. The concert is free.

Monday will see some 60 select area high school musicians in concert at Owens Community College, the culmination of its High School Honors Band Day. Music begins at 7 p.m. in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts Mainstage Theatre. Fred Dais and guest conductors Doug Mead and Tim Hoffman will conduct a program of patriotic American works, excerpts from Broadway shows, and more.

Send items for News of Music to svallongo@theblade.com at least two weeks in advance of the event.