Local, visiting harpists to make beautiful music


There is plenty to harp about in the next two weeks, when local and visiting harpists bring their ethereal instruments to life.

Jazz harpist Maeve Gilchrist will return to Toledo and the area for a series of appearances beginning Friday at 7 p.m. in Trinity Episcopal Church, 316 Adams St., where she will perform her original compositions for harp and voice.

Gilchrist, a native of Edinburgh, was born into a musical family and fell in love with the Celtic harp. She studied jazz and more at the Berklee School in Boston, a renowned center for jazz studies. Drawn into the active string scene in Boston, she has made her home there, but tours and records.

Her music, sung in Gilchrist’s dusky alto with her distinctive two-track approach to the harp, is a fusion of her Scottish musical heritage updated with jazz and contemporary styles.

Tickets for Friday’s concert are $12 to $15 at www.trinitytoledo.org.

Gilchrist, who last played in Toledo in 2009, also is scheduled to perform at the sixth annual Harp Gathering, a regional festival May 16-19 at the Heritage Inn at Sauder Village, 22611 State Rt. 2, Archbold.

Her performance, one of three public performances planned, is to be at 11:15 a.m. May 19, following the Harp Gathering Ensemble performance.

Other concerts will feature music by Tapestry, the duo of Denise and Michael Grupp-Verbon, of Toledo, and Frank Voltz, a gospel/jazz harpist from Winston-Salem, N.C., at 7 p.m. May 18, in the Heritage Inn. Performing at 7:30 p.m. May 20 will be Nova Scotia harpist/songwriter Timothy Harper, sharing the program with Kim Robertson and Sharlene Wallace, from Toronto.

For information on tickets for the performances or other events at the Harp Gathering, call 419-478-4177 or visit www.harpgathering.com.

She’s the new girl in high school, but Isabella (Adrienne Price), one of the star players in this year’s Toledo Opera on Wheels production, The Italian Girl, wants to meet her long-time pen-pal, Lenny (Ryan Connelly). And she doesn’t much care about football star Mac’s goal to become prom king. Plus, she’s sorry that Mac (Brandon Coleman) has hurt the feelings of Vera (Danielle Messina), the erstwhile girlfriend he has dumped in his drive to reign at the year’s major teen social event.

Price, Connelly, Coleman, and Messina are this year’s resident artists, graduate students and beyond who have dedicated their time and talent to studying vocal performance.

They bring to life a savvy, funny, and wise version of Giacomo Rossini’s opera buffa classic, L’Italiana in Algeri. Adapted from the original three-hour production by Jennifer Cresswell, artistic director of the Toledo Opera’s big outreach program, the lively production has been rolling around northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan since April, amusing and inspiring grade schoolers — and their faculty and staff — in more than 100 performances since early April.

This year, for the first time, adults can attend one of their shows, at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle, when the Toledo Symphony presents The Italian Girl as the final event in its ProMedica Family Concert Series.

Resident conductor Jeffrey Pollock will lead the Toledo Symphony as the quartet presents this updated version of the Rossini classic.

Tickets are $25 at 419-246-8000 or www.toledosymphony.com, or at the door. Come early for opera-inspired hands-on activities in the lobby of the Peristyle.

One of the final symphony Neighborhood Concerts of this 2012-2013 season is slated for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Blessed John XXIII Church, 24250 Dixie Hwy., south of Perrysburg. Pollock will lead a program of classical works by Strauss, Rossini, Dohnanyi, and Honegger, plus lighter American fare by Williams, Anderson, Hayman, and Hermann. Cellist Roby Myak will solo in Song of the Birds, a work by legendary cellist Pablo Casals. Information: 419-874-6502.

If you missed the big new Metropolitan Opera production of Giulio Cesare, with counter tenor David Daniels in the title role and Natalie Dessay as Cleopatra, there’s a second chance to catch it. An encore screening of this Live in HD capper for a big season is slated for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Rave Cinemas Fallen Timbers and Ann Arbor 20 IMAX, 2100 Carpenter Rd,. Ypsilanti. A summer season of encore productions has just been announced. Watch this column for the schedule soon.

The Toledo Piano Teachers Association will present a public recital by advanced students of its members at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Manor House at Wildwood Preserve Metropark. A salad buffet will be served following the music. Admission is $7.

Hospice of Northwest Ohio Chapter of the Threshold Choir announces a conference dedicated to using vocal music to help ease hospice patients into their final transition. The event is May 17-19 at Grace Methodist Church, 601 E. Boundary St., Perrysburg.

According to the literature, a threshold choir is typically one of female voices who sing at the bedside to bring comfort to patients. Musical styles may include hymns, spirituals, or other choral music, with family members invited to join in making music.

Special guest at this event will be Kate Munger, who founded the Threshold Choir movement in 2001. There are more than 100 chapters in the United States and Canada, with some affiliates overseas. For more information, contact Amey Raihala at hospice, 419-661-4001.

Joel Tse, principal flutist of the Toledo Symphony and faculty instructor at the University of Toledo, presented a wonderfully personal and warmly exacting performance at his recital Sunday in the Toledo Museum of Art Great Gallery. Accompanied most ably by Michael Moore, a UT colleague, Tse performed a Handel sonata — the work which inspired him to start what has become a sterling career as a professional musician — followed by romantic music by Gaubert, Doppler, and Schubert, and the tour de force Chant de Linos by Andre Jolivet.

Tse also announced a flute workshop to take place June 10-15 at UT’s Center for Fine and Performing Arts. Joining Tse and Boyd on the faculty will be Oldman Piedra (percussion) and Norm Damschroder (music theory). Flutists age 12 and up may apply to participate. The workshop will conclude with a recital.

For more information or to register, call 419-530-2448 or www.utoledo.edu/cvpa/ music/summer.html.

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