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Music: Free church concert features keyboard artistry

  • renzi1-jpg

    Frances Renzi

  • aarondavidmiller-jpg

    Aaron David Miller

  • fea-JEFFREY-POLLOCK-jpg-1



Frances Renzi


Two of the area's favorite keyboard artists, pianist Frances Renzi and organist Aaron David Miller, are to share top billing on a program at 4 p.m. Feb. 23 in Monroe Street United Methodist Church, 3613 Monroe St.


Aaron David Miller


On their program will be music by Benjamin Britten, Johannes Brahms, Maurice Ravel, J.S. Bach, Cesar Franck, and Frederick Chopin.

Renzi, professor emeritus from the University of Toledo, is a popular soloist and recitalist in the Toledo area and around the country.

Miller, former music director of Monroe Street United Methodist and a popular composer, also will perform Hymn of Promise, a work commissioned in honor of Gladys M. Preis.

Admission is free.

The University of Toledo Opera Ensemble announces its production of Gian Carlo Menotti's comic opera The Old Maid and the Thief at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21 and 22 and at 3 p.m. Feb. 23 in the UT Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.

The libretto, also written by Menotti at age 28, involves the machinations between a young woman and an old crone who both have their hearts set on a man believed to be an escaped convict.

Ensemble director Denise Ritter-Bernardini has set the 1939 work in a fictional major network broadcast booth in the 1930s, complete with singing commercials, sound effects, and narrator.

In the role of Mrs. Todd, the old maid, will be graduate student Molly Bock. Devon Desmond will sing the part of Bob, the drifter and ex-con.

Tickets are $5-$10 at the door or through the UT box office, 419-530-2375 or www.utoledo.edu/​BoxOffice.

Bowling Green State University's Opera Theater also will dig into comedy through its production of Die Fledermaus, Johann Strauss' period opera.

Plots are hatched, jokes are executed, pretenses are maintained, all against the setting of a gala party, until several key players wind up in prison.

Showtimes are 8 p.m. Feb. 21 and 3 p.m. Feb. 23 in the Donnell Theatre of the Wolfe Center for the Arts. For ticket information call 419-372-2181 or visit www.bgsu.edu/​arts.

St. Tim's Discovers, the performance series at St. Timothy Episcopal Church, 871 E. Boundary St., Perrysburg, will continue with a 4 p.m. concert Sunday.

Singers Cheryl Babb, Micah Graber, and Brian White will sing music of William Presser, Alban Berg, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Carlos Gustavino, and Richard Strauss.

Admission is free.




The Toledo Symphony has a program planned nearly every day until the end of February. (Maybe that will help speed us through our very wintry month.)

Friday and Sunday the symphony performs at Ladies in Red, the Toledo Opera Gala, with an 8 p.m. show Friday and a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday, both in the Valentine Theatre.

In between, the KeyBank Pops concert is slated for 8 p.m. Saturday, with music from Oscar-nominated films on the program.

On Wednesday and Thursday next week, resident conductor Jeffrey Pollock will lead four Young People's Concerts in the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle. Planned and delivered to schoolchildren from the region, these popular daytime concerts introduce tomorrow's audiences to live classical music. These concerts are not open to the public.

Then, on Feb. 21 the second annual ProAm concert is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Peristyle. A chance for local amateur musicians to play with seasoned professionals, the concert will be led by Stefan Sanderling. Yours truly will be playing second flute and piccolo with the esteemed Amy Heritage.

The program will open with Tara's Theme from Gone With the Wind, continue with music by Bach, Brahms, Mascagni, and Bizet, then wrap up with selections from George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess, and the finale of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. This event is free.

The symphony will present organist Paul Jacobs in a recital on the museum’s historic Skinner organ at 8 p.m. Feb. 22, a special event for subscribers, but also open to the public. Jacobs, head of the organ department at the Juilliard School, will be making his local debut. (A profile of the Grammy-winning organist will run in The Blade Peach Weekender section next week.)

Tickets for the Paul Jacobs organ recital are $22-$37 at www.toledosymphony.com or 419-246-8000.

During that special event, Toledo Symphony members will be busy in a Neighborhood Series concert with Pollock, a special side-by-side event at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22 in Notre Dame Academy's Ave Maria Performing Arts Center, 3535 W. Sylvania Ave.

Joining the orchestra for several numbers will be the school’s chorus and orchestra. According to Gail Christie from the private religious school, this is a first.

“What is truly unique is that as far as anyone can remember, we will be the only school to have both orchestra and choir perform with the symphony,” she said in an email.

“In addition, our orchestra director, Beth Hummer, also a Notre Dame graduate, will have an original piece, “Ocean,” played by the orchestra.

Tickets for the concert are $10 at the door or in advance at showtix4u.com.

The Firelands Symphony Orchestra will celebrate Valentine's Day with a special program featuring internationally renowned singer and entertainer Marianne Cornetti at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Sandusky State Theater, 107 Columbus Ave., Sandusky.

Music director Carl Topilow will lead the orchestra and the Terra Choral Society in a program of love songs through the ages.

Tickets are $7-$26 at 419-626-1950 or www.firelandssymphony.com.

Send News of Music items to svallongo@theblade.com at least two weeks ahead of the event.

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