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Ensemble to kick off Cathedral Concerts series

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    Audra McDonald , holding her award for best actress in a musical for her role in 'The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess' at the 66th annual Tony Awards on June 10, 2012, in New York, will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday in Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor.



Jason Stumbo will conduct the University of Toledo Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble and the university choral group Da Capo in UT's Doermann Theater at 3 p.m. Sept. 22.


A journey into the musical past is in store when Toledo’s Catholic Diocese launches the latest Cathedral Concerts series at Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral, 2535 Collingwood Blvd., at 3 p.m. Sept. 22.


Audra McDonald , holding her award for best actress in a musical for her role in 'The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess' at the 66th annual Tony Awards on June 10, 2012, in New York, will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday in Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor.


Making its local debut will be the Alba Consort, a New York City-based ensemble of specialists in medieval European music. Playing instruments originating in the Middle Ages, the foursome plans a program of Spanish music from the period known as La Convivencia, 700 to 1400 AD.

This was a period of relative harmony in the Iberian peninsula when Christians, Jews, and Muslims lived side by side, particularly in the region of Toledo, Spain.

Members of Alba — Spanish for “dawn” — are Margo Gezairlian Grib, mezzo-soprano and viellist; Haig Manoukian, oudist; Rex Benincasa, percussionist, and Christopher Morongiello, lutenist.

Since Grib formed the group in 2008, Alba has performed in New York and Long Island. Their first recording, “Voyage across the Mediterranean,” was recorded live at Church of the Heavenly Rest in New York City. The consort will participate in an upcoming musical documentary of ancient Andalusia filmed on location in Spain.

In Toledo, set amidst the architectural and artistic splendor of Rosary — its design is considered a fine example of the 15th century Spanish architectural style called Plateresque — Alba’s music, performed on acoustic instruments but miked, should summon a powerful evocation of a remarkable period in history.

This concert has support from the Ohio Arts Council and the family of Joseph Lawton. Although the concert is free, a voluntary $10 donation will be accepted at the door.

For more information call 419-244-9575 or visit

The University of Toledo plans a major collaborative concert to launch its fall semester of performance. At 3 p.m. Sept. 22, the UT Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble plus the university choral group Da Capo plan a program titled Life, Love & Sorrow in the recently renovated Doermann Theater.

On the program, to be conducted by Jason Stumbo, will be works by major European composers, Brahms, Mahler, Wagner, among them.

A version of Brahms’ beloved Liebeslieder Waltzes arranged for orchestra is planned. Of note will be selections from the composer’s Serenade No. 2 in A major, dedicated to Clara Schumann, the celebrated pianist, wife of Robert Schumann, and Brahms’ lifelong friend.

Faculty choral professor Stephen Hodge will lead Da Capo in two works by Haydn, Harmony in Marriage and Eloquence.

UT’s Wind Ensemble is set to play Wagner’s Trauersinfonie, and Mahler’s Um Mitternacht, for low voice and chamber winds. Soloist will be UT graduate student Molly Bock. The program is free.

This weekend is a busy one, starting Friday at Bowling Green State University with a free guest artist recital by pianist Nathan Hess at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Hess is on the faculty of Ithaca College in New York, where he teaches and performs. He maintains a busy outside performance schedule as recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral soloist, and clinician.

●Collaboration, a vocal ensemble directed by Mark Hetrick, performs at 3 p.m. Sunday in Hope Lutheran Church, 2201 Secor Rd. On the program will be show tunes, ballads, vocal jazz, sacred works, and novelty numbers. Admission is free.

● The University Musical Society in Ann Arbor will present Broadway star Audra McDonald in a 4 p.m. concert Sunday in Hill Auditorium. McDonald will be backed by pianist Andy Einhorn and the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, Kenneth Kiesler, conductor, in a program of favorites from Broadway and standard songs by American composers.

A panel discussion on the work of George and Ira Gershwin is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday in the Rackham Building, just behind Hill, fourth floor. Special guest will be Marc Gershwin.

For tickets and information, visit or call 734-764-2538.

● The Toledo Symphony’s first Blade Chamber Series concert will start at 7 p.m. Sunday in the Toledo Club. Music by LeClair and Beethoven is on the program. For tickets and information, call 419-246-8000 or visit

● Faculty from the Toledo School for the Arts will show off their talents in a free public recital at 7 p.m. Monday in the school’s Attic Theatre. The school is just north of the Toledo Club on 14th Street downtown.

Ballet Theatre of Toledo will audition dancers for its new production of The Nutcracker on Saturday at its studios, 1124 Corporate Dr., Holland. Production dates are Nov. 23-24 at Sandusky’s State Theatre and Nov. 29-Dec. 1 at Toledo’s Valentine Theatre. Dancers who do not study at Ballet Theatre of Toledo will be auditioned from 1:30-3 p.m., starting with ages 13 to 18 years, then 9 to 12 years.

Dancers should arrive 30 minutes early and bring a headshot. A performance fee of $55 will be charged, though refunded if the dancer is not cast in a role. Information: 419-861-0895.

Chiarascuro, a new men’s community chorus at Siena Heights University, Adrian, is looking for singers during open rehearsals, 6:30-8:30 Monday nights in September. Rehearsals are in the Verheyden Performing Arts Center, Room 115, on campus. Information: call 517-265-8621 or email

Send News of Music items to at least two weeks in advance of the event.

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