Song festival includes daily concerts


Art Song Festival at the University of Toledo is in full swing through Sunday. Each day is packed with activities planned by founder and UT faculty member, Denise Ritter-Bernardini, to help budding singers learn about classical music and the best ways to perform it.

Participants study voice production, diction, stage movement, the great variety of songs created over centuries, and ways to combine them in appealing programs.

Faculty comprises performers and educators from around the country and abroad, including Michael Sylvester, Sam Savage, Andrew Walker Schultze, Karen Lykes, Nancy Crego, Timothy Cheek, Nigel Foster, Michael Boyd, and Clara Cheng.

Public performances are part of the experience, so each day winds up with a concert in the Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Today’s 7:30 p.m. concert features soprano Jessica Victoria Bachicha, who is capturing headlines wherever she sings for her clear voice and mature interpretive gifts.

Her program is titled Within Spanish Borders: Diverse Treasures of Language and Song.

Born blind, Bachicha, a native of Albuquerque, made her debut in a school talent show when she was in second grade. She studied with Leslie Umphries, then earned a degree in vocal performance and foreign languages at the University of New Mexico. She earned a master’s degree in vocal performance at the New England Conservatory, where she won scholarships and awards.

Bachicha then studied at Leeds University in England and in Rome, where she sang for His Holiness John Paul II in a private audience. She won the Art Song Competition in last year’s UT festival.

Tomorrow’s 7:30 p.m. concert, An Evening of Songs by American Composers, will include music by Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, Dominick Argento, and Lee Hoiby. Festival participants will perform.

Music by German and Italian composers including Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Hugo Wolf, and Reynaldo Hahn is scheduled for the Saturday concert at 7:30 p.m. .

The final event, slated for 5 p.m. Sunday, will involve all attendees of the festival and will feature faculty pianist Michael Boyd.

Tickets for each concert are $10 in advance at the UT PAC office or at the door.


The North Coast Concert Band has launched its busy summer performance schedule, with outdoor concerts featuring traditional marches, arrangements of popular show and movie tunes, and light classics.

Founded in 1983 by Frank Menichettti (1917-1993), one of the region’s most renowned band conductors, the group started out at Fremont Ross High School, accepting players from the western Lake Erie region. Today, it comprises some 70 players who practice regularly at Bellevue High School.

Current director William Woycitzky, of Elmore, is assisted by Will Kish, of Norwalk. The band’s next concert will begin at 7 p.m. Sunday in Birchard Park, Fremont. Admission to concerts is free.


The Detroit Symphony Orchestra will perform its annual celebration of musical America in four concerts at Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Mich., starting Wednesday and continuing through July 6. All concerts begin at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $15-27 at the gate.


A benefit concert for longtime Toledo musician and educator Sue Sgro has been announced for 3 p.m. July 14 at the Church of St. Andrew United Methodist, 3620 Heatherdowns Blvd.

Sgro, who has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music, has been undergoing treatment for cancer since the spring, although she continues to teach when possible.

Organized by friends and colleagues of Sgro, the concert will be free to the public, with a collection taken to assist with expenses. Performers will include Strings of Choice, the Moody Flutes, and organ, piano, violin, flute, and oboe soloists.

For more information and how to contribute, contact Karen Biscay at 419-824-3772 or


Singers are invited to join the 2013 Assumption Choir, which is to perform during the Aug. 14 Vigil Mass of the Assumption at the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation, 315 Clay St., Carey, Ohio. A brass quintet also will play in the annuel event.

Jack Gerding, director of the basilica’s music ministries, says amateur and professional singers are welcome to participate.

Rehearsals will be held from 4-5 p.m. in the air-conditioned original Shrine Church (next to the Shrine gift shop) on July 28, Aug. 4, and Aug. 11. For more information, contact Gerding at or 419-396-7107.


Young Northwest Ohio musicians ages 8 to 18 who want to audition for National Public Radio’s showcase program, From the Top, to do a taping Sept. 28 at Bowling Green State University, have one day left to complete the application and submit it.

Applications can be downloaded at

Accomplished young classical musicians from northwest Ohio are encouraged to apply.

The live recording Sept. 28 will lead off the college’s 2013-14 Festival Series. Pianist

Christopher O’Riley is host of the popular program, which is aired Sundays WGTE-FM.


Yes, that was Riccardo Muti, the dignified music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, wearing a bright red Blackhawks jersey (No. 19), and leading the famed ensemble through “Chelsea Dagger,” the goal song used by the latest Stanley Cup winners.

No wonder the Blackhawks beat out Boston’s Bruins to claim the trophy again.

With words and music by John Lawler, the CSO arrangement, performed in beautiful Orchestra Hall on Michigan Avenue, signified the widespread support this Original Six hockey team claims in its hometown.

To see it for yourself, use this link: (

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