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Navy ensemble is coming to Perrysburg

Free concert on Labor Day is part of War of 1812 bicentennial observation


Navy Lt. Patrick Sweeten, center, leads a joint concert between the Navy Band Great Lakes Wind Ensemble and Marine Corps Band New Orleans held at Commodore Square last August.

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The Navy Band Great Lakes Wind Ensemble, a busy group of military musicians, will pause on their midwestern rounds for a free concert at 1 p.m. Sept. 2, Labor Day, in downtown Perrysburg. The concert is part of the ongoing bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812 in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.

This event in Commodore Park, at Louisiana and Indiana avenues, will offer a view down the main drag to a statue of the commodore himself, Oliver Hazard Perry. His come-from-behind naval battle on Lake Erie in 1813 finally sealed the United States as winner of a long military campaign.

The Navy ensemble, founded in 1911, at one time led by John Philip Sousa, and dubbed America’s Band by President Woodrow Wilson, performs about 500 concerts each year in nine midwestern states.

Baritone Sean Cooper and soprano Jennifer Goode Cooper will perform in Bowling Green State University’s Faculty Artist Series at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Bryan Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. The Coopers are on the BGSU College of Musical Arts faculty, where they are active in the opera program. Both have performed with the Toledo Opera. Their recital is free.

There is a lot of activity on the local choral scene:

● The Toledo Choral Society will launch its 2013-2014 season with the first of its regular Monday rehearsals, 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Sylvania First United Methodist Church, 7000 Erie St., Sylvania.

Director Richard Napierala II and his board of directors are aiming for a full-throated group of 120 singers, and new singers are encouraged to try out. A brief audition for voice placement will be offered each newcomer, before rehearsal or after.

This year, additional rehearsals will be held on Saturday mornings, at a time and place to be announced, for those unable to attend on Mondays or who want extra practice.

The choral group, Toledo’s oldest choir, will perform with the Toledo Symphony and BGSU choirs in the annual Messiah concert, 2 p.m. on Dec. 8 in the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle. A spring concert also will be presented.

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● The Children’s Choir of Northwest Ohio is gearing up for its seventh season. Led by Lisa Alleman and based at Community of Christ Lutheran Church, 6517 Finzel Rd., Whitehouse, it comprises Jubilate and Bel Canto choirs. The groups perform at the home church and around the community, sometimes joining other local performers.

Auditions will be Sept. 9, 11, and 16, from 5-7 p.m. all days. Tuition is $350 to $420, depending on the choir. The season will begin Sept. 21-22 with music camps and then will continue with Monday night rehearsals.

● A drop-in choir of sorts will assemble at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 112 East Wayne St., Maumee, to read through new choral music for church singers. Organist and director Dennis Blubaugh, whose Musical Resources company stocks thousands of titles, will lead the singing. The event is open to interested parties and is free. A lunch will be served following, for $5, and is still open by reservation with Dennis Johns at

Toledo Ballet is holding open auditions for its 73rd production of the Nutcracker (Dec. 14-15) and for its original production of From Heart to Quill (April 4-5) on Sept. 7 and 12 in its studios at Westfield Franklin Park Mall.

The schedule is as follows for students not studying at Toledo Ballet School: Sept. 7, 3 p.m. (ages 11-12); 4 p.m. (ages 9-10), and 5 p.m. (ages 7-8), for Nutcracker.

Tryouts for both productions and the company are set for Sept. 12, 5:45-7:30 p.m.

There is a $20 audition fee. For more information contact Mari Davies at 419-471-0049 or

Last week at Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, 1401 Hoag St., brought the first Toledo visit by Detroit gospel singer Dorinda Clark Cole’s Singers and Musicians Arts Conference, now in its 15th year. Clark Cole, one of the Clark Sisters raised by Dr. Mattie Moss-Clark, has been evangelizing and organizing since the 1950s and ’60s.

Four days of singing, dancing, sharing, talking, and learning were highlighted by the presentation of the first award to a local artist.

The recipient was Stefan Sanderling, principal conductor and artistic adviser to the Toledo Symphony. Syreeta Thompson, director of music education for the conference, said Sanderling had been selected for his many contributions to the local music scene. The presentation followed several hours of spirit-filled testimony and music by rising stars in the gospel world.

For Sanderling, who has been with the symphony for 11 years, the honor and the service came as a revelation.

Accepting the honor humbly, he began, “We Germans tend to be more reserved,” then added, “I thought I had loosened up living here. I thought I had rhythm and music.”

Turning to the packed sanctuary, he continued with an expansive smile, “You have taught me; you have educated me.”

Sanderling promised to return to the next conference and was profuse with his thanks for the recognition.

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