From now until nearly New Year’s Eve, live music performed by local artists will powerfully reflect our love of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwaanza, and the Winter Solstice.
This weekend offers dance, vocal artistry, radio specials, and orchestral concerts to help herald the holidays. The Toledo Symphony will launch its annual concert tour of regional towns large and small, bringing the spirit of the holidays to audiences in churches, schools, and other public venues.
First up will be a 7 p.m. concert Sunday at St. Pius X Church, 3011 Carskaddon Ave. Resident conductor Jeffrey Pollock will lead a program of traditional and contemporary works for the season including Anderson’s Carols for String Orchestra, Stephenson’s Holiday Fanfare Medley No. 1, and Goeller's Petite Carol Suite.
Baritone Derek Kastner will sing the beloved carol “O, Holy Night,” and the concert will wrap up in the traditional symphony way, with Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride.”
More symphony concerts on the near horizon include an appearance at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph Church, 5373 S. Main St., Sylvania. This program will include the church’s St. Gregory Choir performing John Rutter’s “What Sweeter Music,” and Tim Lake narrating Twas the Night Before Christmas. Tickets are $12-$17 in advance at the church office or $14-$19 at the door.
A similar program is planned for a 7:30 p.m. concert Dec. 5 at Grace Lutheran Church, 705 W. State St., Fremont. Instead of choral works, the orchestra will play music by Strausses, father and son, Tchaikovsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov, among other works. Tickets are $5-$10 at the church office and won’t be sold at the door.
A regional concert is set for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at Clyde High School, 1015 Race St, Clyde. Lake will narrate the holiday tale and vocalist Lindsay Sharrer Atkinson will sing Schubert’s version of “Ave Maria.”
Ballet Theatre of Toledo will present its sixth annual Nutcracker in 7 p.m. shows Friday and Saturday and a 2 p.m. curtain Sunday in the Valentine Theatre. A special performance for military families, seniors, and special needs students will begin at 2 p.m. Friday. Wayne Anthony will conduct the Ballet Theatre Orchestra. Tickets and information are available at the Valentine box office, 419-242-2787.
The Toledo Chapter, American Guild of Organists will present a free 4 p.m. recital Sunday in Trinity Episcopal Church, 316 Adams St. In the spotlight will be Nickolas Quardokus, a Bridgman, Mich., organ student at Indiana University who is the 2013 winner of the AGO/Quimby Regional Competition.
The University of Toledo offers plenty of musical opportunities colored by holiday dreams next week. First will be the Opera Ensemble’s second annual Gala, a celebration of arias, ensembles, and choruses from some of the great operas. Singing commences at 7 p.m. Sunday in Doermann Theater of University Hall.
The Jazz Studies Program is promoting its lively celebration of the season in a 7 p.m. concert Dec. 5 in Doermann. Joining CrossCurrents, Vocalstra, GuitArkestra, and Latin Jazz Ensemble will be scat-singing phenom Jon Hendricks.
A golf cart shuttle service will run from Parking Area 13 to Doermann. Tickets are $5-$10 at the door.
The North Coast Concert Band and North Coast Big Band will present a free holiday concert at 3 p.m. Sunday in Port Clinton High School, 820 S. Jefferson St., Port Clinton.
Monday Musicale, a local performer’s club, will present its Christmas program at 1 p.m. Monday in Epworth United Methodist Church, 4855 W. Central Ave. Performers will include organist Anne Doerfler, Gloria Heacock’s String Quartet, and the Moody Flutes. Tea will be poured following the free performance.
Epworth Church will present the Academy Brass Quintet in a free holiday concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Joining the brass group will be the Chancel Choir of the church, to perform music arranged for the Canadian Brass. A carol singalong also is on the program.
At Bowling Green State University, the fall semester will wrap up with three concerts, starting with guest artist Jacqueline Black, cello, performing with BGSU bassoon professor Susan Nelson in an 8 p.m. concert Monday in Bryan Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. On the program will be music by Mozart and contemporary composer Gernot Wolfgang, plus a unique setting of Bach’s Cello Suite No. 2.
The BGSU Percussion Ensemble will perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Kobacker Hall, perhaps a lead-in to World Percussion Night set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, also in Kobacker. These events are free.
The final event at BGSU will be in its Festival Series at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 in Kobacker Hall. The program is a collaborative holiday celebration by the colleges, departments, and schools involved in creative enterprise. On hand to perform will be the BG Philharmonia, choirs, small ensembles, and a special guest. Tickets are $15-$29 at 419-372-2181 or www.bgsu.edu/Festival.
The Christian Festival Choir and Orchestra announces its annual benefit Christmas Concert, this year at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 in Assembly Church of God, 1360 Conant St., Maumee. The concert is free, but donations for Toledo Gospel Rescue Mission are encouraged.
The Perrysburg Symphony Orchestra will perform its holiday concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 in Zoar Lutheran Church, 314 E. Indiana Ave., Perrysburg. Tickets for the concert are $5-$10 at the door.
Blade columnist Keith Burris has written a biography of the late Robert Shaw, American choral conductor and recording artist. It was published this fall on the GIA Publications List and is available at the regular outlets. (See a review in Sunday’s Arts section.)
It’s also being sold at Musical Resources, the choral music specialty retailer at 2020 N. Holland-Sylvania Rd. And in a first-time event for the busy shop, there will be a book signing from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday. Burris will be present to share his memories of the great conductor. The event is free.
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