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News of Music: Symphony to wrap up Simple Gifts concerts

OBJECTThe final concert in the Toledo Symphony’s Simple Gifts concert series is set for 3:30 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Goll Homestead near Archbold, Ohio. The culmination of a partnership between the symphony and the Black Swamp Conservancy, this concert will include music old and new inspired by man’s relationship to the natural world.

Conductor Elim Chan will lead symphony players. On the program will be Aaron Copland’s Simple Gifts, a selection from Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, Calvin Custer’s arrangement of The American Frontier, and Douglas Moore’s Farm Journal.

Also to be performed is a preview of Evan Chambers’ new work, Four Sacred Places, commissioned by the Toledo Symphony with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Each part of this work was inspired by places in northwest Ohio that have been set aside,” said Chambers, who works and studies at the University of Michigan. “None are utterly pristine wilderness, but instead signify our attempts to save and restore some of native beauty and living ecology of the region.”

Maestra Chan, a native of Hong Kong, has degrees in music from Smith College and the University of Michigan. She is music director of the Michigan Pops Orchestra and the University of Michigan Campus Philharmonia.

Goll Homestead is near Goll Woods State Nature Preserve, one of the last remaining stretches of native forest in northwest Ohio. Guided 30-minute walking tours will step off at 2 and 2:30 p.m. Also, the historic barn on the homestead will be open for tours from 2:15 to 3:15 p.m.

Parking is very limited at the site, but Sauder Village will allow concertgoers to park in its lots, then board a free shuttle bus for the five-minute ride to the Goll Woods area.

Admission to the concert is free but tickets must be reserved in advance at the Toledo Symphony, 419-246-8000, Sauder Village at 419-446-2541, or the Black Swamp Conservancy, 419-872-5263.

Bowling Green State University’s fall term is under way and staff and student musicians are busy sharing their gifts in the community.

Violinist and professor Penny Thompson Kruse is to perform a recital at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Performing with Kruse will be pianist Solungga Fang-Tzu and violist Matthew Daline.

Admisson is free. The concert will be live streamed.

Gesu Church, 2049 Parkside Blvd., will present one of its Gift of Music concerts at 5 p.m. Sept. 7. In the spotlight will be Old State Line, a local band specializing in Americana, folk, and country music.

The concert will be on the front lawn of the church, unless weather is bad, in which case the event will move inside the church. Patrons should take seating or blankets and snacks.

The concert is free.

Members of the Toledo Chapter, American Guild of Organists, will sponsor their first guest artist recital of the season at 4 p.m. Sept. 7 in Rosary Cathedral, 2535 Collingwood Blvd. Coming to town to show off his chops will be the Rev. Cyprian G. Constantine, a Benedictine monk and priest of St. Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, Pa.

Father Cyprian has master’s and doctoral degrees in organ from the University of Colorado. Besides serving as principal organist at the Archabbey, he also is academic dean of St. Vincent College in Latrobe, and maintains a busy performing career around the country.

Admission is free.

Monday, Monday, what better way to get through the first day of the work week than to swing with University of Toledo jazz students and their teachers at UT Jazz Night. Held nearly every Monday in Crystal’s Lounge, the cushy hideaway in the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center, 3536 Secor Rd., the evening offers ensemble playing by up-and-coming improv experts.

Joining the game is CrossCurrents, the faculty jazz group. Members include jazz program director Gunnar Mossblad, Jay Rinsen Weik, and Norm Damschroder; sometimes the great Jon Hendricks shows up to scat sing, too.

Music starts up Sept. 8 and rolls on nearly every Monday during the school term. Admission is $3-$5.

Speaking of jazz, Upfront Entertainment, promoter John Patterson’s biz, will present the Maumee River Jazz Festival at the Docks from 1-10 p.m. Sept. 6.

Amidst the rippling water, cruising watercraft, and strolling diners, players including flutist Alexander Zonjic, saxman Nelson Rangell, trumpeter Rick Braun, and The Jamm group will keep the air filled with riffs and runs.

The free event will be staged outside Forrester’s restaurant, which is coming on strong as a downtown presenter of live jazz.

The Toledo Choral Society wants YOU! — if you want to join a choir of enthusiastic singers, that is. The community group will launch its 95th season Sept. 8, with 7:30-9:30 p.m. rehearsals each Monday at Sylvania First United Methodist Church, 7000 Erie St., Sylvania.

Richard Napierala is conductor.

He will lead the choir in the annual performance of Messiah with the Toledo Symphony Dec. 7, plus a Christmas concert with date to be announced. Also on the choral schedule will be a performance of Haydn’s The Creation with the University of Findlay Concert Chorale on April 12 and “Elements,” the annual spring concert, set for June 7.

Auditions are not required, although some singing for voice placement will be offered for new members.

For more information, visit

If it’s September, can Nutcracker season be far away? Not at all, local presenters say.

Toledo Ballet, which annually presents one of the longest-lived ongoing productions of The Nutcracker, will hold auditions Sept. 13 and 18 at its Franklin Park Mall studios. Performance dates are Dec. 12-14 at the Stranahan Theater.

Dancers from the Toledo Ballet company and community are invited to try out. The ballet is charging $15 per dancer for its Nutcracker auditions.

On Sept. 13, audition times are arranged by proficiency level, with dance students age 7 invited to try out 2-2:30 p.m.; 8-year-olds scheduled for 2:45-3:15 p.m. From 3:30-4:15 p.m. dancers age 9-10 may audition and dancers age 11-12 will be seen from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

On Sept. 18, a Toledo Ballet company class audition is scheduled from 5:45 to 7 p.m. with dancers 13 years and up taken from 7-9 p.m. For more information, call Toledo Ballet at 419-471-4900.

Ballet Theatre of Toledo will hold auditions twice: on Sept. 20 for the local production (Nov. 28-30 at the Valentine Theatre) and on Sept. 14 for a Dec. 6 appearance at Niswonger Center for Performing Arts, Van Wert.

The Sept. 20 tryouts will start at 1:30 p.m. for Intermediate II and boys, continue at 2 p.m. for Advanced, Intermediate 1 and Elementary 2 at 2:30 p.m., and Elementary 1 and Primary at 3 p.m.

Dancers should arrive 30 minutes ahead of tryout time for warm-up. A fee of $55 is charged per dancer; the fee is refunded if the dancer is not cast in a role.

The Sept. 14 auditions will be at the performing arts center, where ages 9-11 are scheduled for 2-2:45 p.m.; ages 12-14 from 3-3:45 p.m., and dancers 15-18 from 4-4:45 p.m. All dancers should arrive 15 minutes early to warm up.

For more information, call 419-861-0895.

Send News of Music items to at least two weeks ahead of the event.

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