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Ugandan choir tour to make stops in area

Orphans’ first performance will be at noon

  • Maddison-Binkley-a-2014-graduate-of-Antho

    Maddison Binkley, a 2014 graduate of Anthony Wayne High School, released her debut album, ‘‍Thorns,’ in March.

  • The-Ugandan-Orphans-Ch

    The Ugandan Orphans Choir will perform at noon Friday at the Main Library downtown.


The Ugandan Orphans Choir will perform at noon Friday at the Main Library downtown.


Friday at the Main LibraryAt noon Friday, the spacious atrium at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library’s Main Branch, 325 Michigan St., will resonate with the joyful sounds of young voices.

The source will be easy to find — the Ugandan Orphans Choir, performing in the McMaster Center on the mezzanine.

The free concert is a must-see way to start August.

Presenting these young singers is a ministry of Childcare Worldwide, which tours their popular show as a way to raise awareness and funds to support poverty-stricken children around the world.

It is one of a large handful of similar choirs which bring irresistible harmonies, rhythms, and storytelling moves to the United States.

The visiting singers hail from the Ssese Islands of Lake Victoria in Uganda.

Other stops on this part of the choir’s big tour will be on Sunday during 8:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. worship services at First United Methodist Church, 113 W. Central Ave., Van Wert; 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Church of Truth Ministries, 745 Gypsum Rd., Port Clinton, and 6 p.m. Aug. 10 in Calvary Temple, 115 E. Washington Row, Sandusky.

Performances are free and contributions to the cause will be accepted at each venue.


Maddison Binkley, a 2014 graduate of Anthony Wayne High School, released her debut album, ‘‍Thorns,’ in March.


Anthony Wayne’s Alumni Association will present Maddison Binkley for a Music in the Park concert at 6 p.m. Sunday in Conrad Park, Michigan Avenue in Waterville.

A 2014 graduate of Anthony Wayne High School, Maddison is a singer/​songwriter who is to attend Ohio State University this fall. Already she has attracted a following during gigs at local venues.

Binkley released her debut album, Thorns, in March.

Admission is free to this family event. Patrons should bring blankets and chairs.

The Toledo Symphony Concert Band will return to the Toledo Zoo Amphitheater for the third in this summer’s Music Under the Stars events, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Robert Mirakian will conduct a program titled Fairest Isles, with works inspired by islands to be featured.

Timothy Lake, Toledo Symphony stage manager and local thespian, will step into the role of announcer.

Music from the British Isles will fill the first half of the program with works by Percy Grainger, the Beatles, and Malcolm Arnold to be performed. Joining the band will be the popular Glass City Steel drum band from Toledo School for the Arts.

The second half will bring Ballet Theatre of Toledo dancers to perform to Alford’s Col. Bogey March from the award-winning film Bridge over the River Kwai. Also planned will be Gustav Holst’s First Suite for Military Band, selections from Elgar’s Enigma Variations, music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and selections from the score for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera.

Jazzman Larry Fuller, who recently performed a great benefit concert here, will be the featured guest on Jazz Spectrum 91, the weekly show hosted by Fritz Byers that’s aired 9 p.m. to midnight Saturdays on FM91, WGTE’s public radio station.

Byers chatted with Fuller during an in-studio session, during which Fuller also performed. A Toledo native, Fuller has performed with Ernestine Anderson, Ray Brown, Jeff Hamilton, and John Pizzarelli.

He’s based in New York City, but travels extensively to perform. His latest recording is due in August. You can find a review of the local concert at

Toledo’s oldest dance company, Toledo Ballet, has announced some big changes for the coming season and beyond. First, after 30 years at Franklin Park Mall, the company will relocate to Market Square, a large strip mall at Nantucket Drive and Monroe Street. The target date for the move is Feb. 1.

“The new space will provide over twice as much square footage as the current studios have,” noted executive director Mari Davies. “In addition, it will allow for an additional studio to be built, for a total of four dance studios.”

While the Toledo Ballet has felt at home at the mall, Davies noted, the new location will allow parents to drop off young dancers at a safe side entrance, thus avoiding mall traffic.

Moreover, the extra space will handle what Davies terms “a virtual explosion” of offerings in the last seven years. “While we continue our 75-year tradition of offering classical ballet as our cornerstone of dance, the diverse skills and talents that Lisa Mayer and Michael Lang have brought to our institution afford us the opportunity to convey this via a new logo.”

A new website sums up the expansion, and provides more complete access to life at Toledo Ballet. Right now, weeklong intensives featuring guest artist/​teachers are wrapping up. On the calendar are dates for the 74th Nutcracker performances on Dec. 13 and 14, plus auditions for the production Sept. 13 and 18 at the studios at Franklin Park Mall.

For more information visit the site, or call 419-471-0049.

A Harris Poll released last week points to the growing awareness among American adults of the benefits of music education. Making music not only guarantees a future filled with beautiful sound, but also shows additional career benefits accruing to regular study and practice of an instrument or vocal training.

More than half of those surveyed said that being involved in a music program provided skills in working toward common goals and striving for excellence. Nearly half cited the influence of practice and instruction in moving them toward creative problem-solving and flexibility in a work situation.

Moreover, 71 percent said music instruction and performance helped them gain capabilities for working in a team.

In that light, the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America is gearing up for its 2015 season of performances at the same time its 2014 orchestra — some 120 talented musicians ages 16-19 — is on tour across the country.

Based in Carnegie Hall, where the resident Weill Music Institute organizes and underwrites this program, the National Youth Orchestra of the United States is open to talented and hard-working instrumentalists who are not full-time music students at a conservatory.

Applications are entirely online, with the only expense a $30 entry fee. All other costs of participating are covered by the Weill institute. Applications will be available online starting Monday; final deadline is Nov. 5. All standard orchestral instruments, including harp, are invited to try out.

Orchestra members spend two weeks in rehearsal and other practice at State University of New York-Purchase. Like the young players, teachers and faculty are drawn from across the country.

This year’s orchestra will perform in Carnegie Hall, tour across the United States, and wind up in Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. This year’s conductor is David Robertson; violinist Gil Shaham is guest soloist.

Next year's National Youth Orchestra will travel to China to perform, as well as at other select venues.

For more information, visit

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