Alain Trudel is the new conductor of the Toledo Symphony.
The Toledo Symphony opens its 75th anniversary season under the direction of conductor Alain Trudel with a concert of chamber music titled simply “Friends of Music.” It is a throwback to the inaugural concert that established the organization 75 years ago.
The symphony began life as an organization called The Friends of Music. The Friends gave their first concert on Sept. 28, 1943, at Macomber Vocational High School with conductor Edgar Schenkman on the podium. That year, 22 musicians delivered a three-concert season.
Current Symphony President and CEO Zak Vassar said, “While the orchestra has grown substantially in size and caliber over the past 75 years, we are wise to remember our humble roots as a string orchestra of amateur musicians that cared for music.”
The hope is that by reflecting on the organization’s past, the members and the audience have the opportunity to pause and appreciate the friendships that have been forged through music, and celebrate the many lives that the symphony has touched during its long history.
From its humble roots, the symphony has grown into one of the county’s most respected regional orchestras, celebrated nationally for its education outreach and commitment to artistic excellence.
Four works that appeared during orchestra’s first season will be part of the celebratory program.
Maurice Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro will feature principal harpist Nancy Lendrim in the solo role.
Ernest Bloch’s Prayer for Cello and Piano will follow featuring principal cellist Martha Reikow and pianist Valrie Kantorski.
Rounding out the program will be two works. Mozart’s Kegelstatt Trio is written for the combination of clarinet, viola, and piano (clarinet Georg Klaas, viola Valentin Ragusitu, and piano Frances Renzi). Brahm’s String Sextet No. 2 will utilizes two violins (Kirk Toth, Merwin Siu), two violas (Tim Zeithamel, Reed Anderson), and two cellos (Reikow, Amy Chang).
Trudel added his own sentiments to the programming.
“I am delighted that ‘Friends of Music,’ the first concert in our 2018-19 season, pays tribute to the first concert of 1943-44 season,” he said. “The 75 years between these two concerts have seen our orchestra grow by leaps and bounds, but I like to think that our roots — in friendship, in music, and in community — are still very much the same.”
The season opener begins at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Toledo Club, 235 14th St. For tickets and more information, call 419-246-8000 or visit toledosymphony.com.
In other news, the symphony board elected Pam Hershberger as its chairman. The first woman to be elected to the role, Hershberger follows Randy Oostra, chairman and CEO of ProMedica, who has held the symphony position since 2014. (Emma Endres-Kountz was the symphony’s founding president in 1951.)
“We have much momentum thanks in large part to the leadership of Randy Oostra over the past four years,” Hershberger said. “I look forward to working with Zak Vassar and the rest of our team to continue to move the orchestra forward to even greater heights.”
■ This weekend, the Toledo School for the Arts holds its annual Flying Pig Arts Fest featuring some of Toledo’s most popular bands, such as Madison Avenue and the Amelia Airhearts. Every group performing will include a TSA teacher, staffer, or alumnus. The event includes food, vendors, and entertainment, and the festivities run from 3:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of the Toledo School for the Arts, 333 14 th St. For tickets, $5 to $50, and more information, call 419-246-8732, ext. 226, or visit ts4arts.org.
■ Toledo-based jazz singer Lori Lefevre returns to It’s Friday! for a free performance with her quartet from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Cloister of the Toledo Museum of Art, 2445 Monroe St. For more informationl, call 419-255-8000 or visit toledomuseum.org.
■ Toledo School for the Arts tuba instructor David Saygers presents a free faculty recital at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Attic Theatre, Toledo School for the Arts, 333 14th St. For more information, call 419-246-8732 or visit ts4arts.org.
■ The Grand Rapids Historical Society “Rhythm on the River Arts Series” continues with week with Ol’ Creek Road performing a blend of bluegrass, gospel, Americana, and 1970s rock beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday in Wright Pavilion, on the towpath between the canal and the Maumee River, in Grand Rapids.
■ Seasoned jazz vocalist Joan Belgrave offers an evening of song titled Hear My Everything beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Kerrytown Concert House, 415 N. Fourth Ave., Ann Arbor. For tickets, $10 to $35, and more information available, call 734-769-2999 or visit kerrytownconcerthouse.com.
■ Tribute band BOSTYX, featuring music of the classic bands Boston and Styx, performs a show at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Ritz Theatre, 30 S. Washington St., Tiffin. Tickets, $20 to $35, available at 419-448-8544 or ritztheatre.org.
■ The Perrysburg Chorale, under the direction of Daniel Catalano, is seeking new members to fill the ranks for its 2018-19 season. The first concert happens twice, Oct. 28 and Nov. 4, and will present Schubert’s Mass in G Major. The chorale is composed of vocalists at all levels from beginners through the experienced; no audition is required. They rehearse from 7 to 9 p.m. Mondays, beginning Sept. 10, at St. Tim’s Episcopal Church, 871 E. Boundary St., Perrysburg. More information at 419-874-9126 or perrysburgchorale.com.
■ The Clyde-Green Springs Alumni Band will hold its annual performance during the pregame and halftime ceremonies Friday evening at the Robert Bishop Stadium, 1015 Race St., Clyde. Advance registration is suggested for alumni wishing to participate. Information is available from Jacob Donofrio, Clyde High School band director, at 419-547-9511, ext. 2066 or email@example.com.
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