Music: Toledo Ballet to stage annual ‘Nutcracker’


Toledo's great granny of all Nutcrackers is set to go up this weekend as the Toledo Ballet readies its 73rd annual production. Shows are 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in Stranahan Theater.

A production started by Marie Bollinger Vogt in the 1940s as selections from the Tchaikovsky ballet today has grown into a huge production with the Toledo Symphony in the orchestra pit, conducted by Adron Ming. Lisa Mayer Lang, head of the Toledo Ballet School, has staged the work, which was choreographed by Gen Horiuchi.

Soloists for this year's performance will be Olga Pavlova and Andrei Jouravlev, with Joe Napoli and other local lights taking the Mother Ginger role in Act II.

Tickets are $24-$54 at the Stranahan, 419-381-8851.

Another Nutcracker is on deck this weekend in Tecumseh, Mich., when the Tecumseh Center for the Arts presents its local production in four shows: 7:30 p.m. today, tomorrow, and Saturday, plus a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday in the historic theater, 400 N. Maumee St., Tecumseh.

Tickets are $12-$14 at the door or in advance at 517-423-6617.

A Community Celebration of Christmas by the Clarence Smith Community Chorus is set to begin at 6 p.m. Saturday in Mount Pilgrim Church, 1401 Hoag St. This long-time choir, led by founder Clarence Smith, Jr., promises a varied and stimulating program balancing spirituals, classical works, and songs of the season.

Joining the chorus will be a gospel group, Ushering; the Cottonwood Jam String Band, and dancers Shawanda Johnson and Tyree Bell. Admission is free, with a freewill offering to be collected.

Also welcome will be nonperishable food items for the Toledo Seagate Food Bank of Northwest Ohio.

The Perrysburg Symphony Orchestra, Robert Mirakian conducting, plans to celebrate the season with a free, public concert at 7 p.m. Friday in Zoar Lutheran Church, 314 E. Indiana Ave., Perrysburg.

Joining this 50-plus year old group will be handbell and vocal choirs from the church, plus harpist Julie Buzzelli. Proceeds from the freewill offering will go to Perrysburg Christians United.

Masterworks Chorale, which also sang its holiday concerts last weekend, will invite singers to come together for a shared performance of the Handel masterpiece Messiah at 4 p.m. Sunday in Olivet Lutheran Church, 5840 Monroe St., Sylvania. Scores will be available for purchase in this splendid sing-along. Admission is free with nonperishable food donations welcome.

Drive north to the Adrian Dominicans Motherhouse on the campus of Siena Heights University and hear the Adrian Symphony in its special holiday program, Handel in Holy Rosary, at 7 p.m. Friday.

John Thomas Dodson, music director, will lead the orchestra, the Adrian College Chamber Choir, and soloists including Leann Schuering, Kristin Eder, Jesse Donner, and Buen Sieverding. Michael Gartz will accompany on the organ. Tickets are $15-$29 at the door.

While enjoying the Wildwood Preserve Metropark Manor House Christmas, don’t miss seasonal music performed by pianist Corey Pappas and violinist Adam Murphy, starting at 7 p.m. Friday.

The River Raisin Performing Arts Centre, a restored movie theater at 114 S. Monroe St., Monroe, will present Christmastime in Ireland at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The Dublin Trinity Band and Dublin City Dancers will be joined onstage by Tony Kenny, George Casey, and Kathy Durkin.

Tickets at $18-$32 are available at 734-242-7722 or at

Cathedral Concerts will herald the season with its Candlelight Christmas Carol Sing at 3 p.m. Sunday in Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral, 2535 Collingwood Blvd. Paul Monachino, series founder, and Luke Rosen, director of the St. John Jesuit High School choir, will share conducting duties.

Also performing will be brass and string ensembles, with a program including music by Willan, Praetorius, Vivaldi, and others. Admission is free but donations will be collected for Catholic Charities programs.

Both of the children’s choirs in the area will perform in separate concerts — sadly, both starting at 4 p.m. Sunday — as part of special church events. The Young Voices of Greater Toledo will join choirs from Monroe Street United Methodist Church, 2613 Monroe St., in a free concert, Choral Vespers for Advent, in the sanctuary.

The Children’s Choir of Northwest Ohio will perform at the same time in Corpus Christi Parish, 2955 Dorr St., under the direction of founder Lisa Alleman. Joining the choir will be Tapestry, the harp guitar duo of Denise and Michael Grupp-Verbon. A freewill offering will be collected.

The Tecumseh Center for the Arts presents its own Big Band with the VocalAires in a Holiday Concert at 4 p.m. Sunday. Popular standards from that wonderful era, all with a holiday theme, are on the program. Tickets are $5 at the door. Information: 517-423-6617 or

Music on the Ohio Northern University campus celebrates the season with a trio of concerts. The first two are in the Freed Center for the Performing Arts on campus.

First is tonight’s 7:30 show, the ONU Jazz Ensemble Winter Concert. Detroit trombonist and Toledo Jazz Orchestra leader Ron Kischuk will be special guest. Joining the band will be Gene Parker and his Student Jazz Combo.

Next will be the ONU Wind Orchestra's second annual It’s Not Quite Christmas Yet, event, this year titled Gaudete, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Works by Maslanka, Gillingham, McBeth, and others are on the program which also will feature the ONU Chamber Singers, Ben Ayling, director.

Finally, the ONU University Singers and Chamber Singers will combine for a holiday performance at 7 p.m. Sunday in the Recital Hall of the Presser Building on campus. Adriane Thompson Bradshaw will be soloist.

Tickets for each event are $5-$15 at the door or in advance at 419-772-1900 or

The African Children’s Choir will be in town to sing at 7:30 p.m. today in Cornerstone Church, 1520 Reynolds Rd., Maumee. This traveling group will sing spirituals, gospel favorites, and more in a free concert. A freewill offering will support the ministry of their Music For Life sponsoring agency.

Waterville Playshop will present Juke Box Saturday Night, a holiday-themed concert by Happenstance, an acappella group, the Napoleon Community Band, a children's chorus, and other performers at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Zion Lutheran Church, 22 North Second St., Waterville.

Admission is free and donations of nonperishable food items are encouraged, to benefit Anthony Wayne Food Ministry.

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