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Published: Thursday, 4/17/2014

Symphony success

Members of Masterworks Chorale were among those who performed ‘Ode to Joy’ with the Toledo Symphony. Orchestra. Members of Masterworks Chorale were among those who performed ‘Ode to Joy’ with the Toledo Symphony. Orchestra.

The Toledo Symphony Orchestra’s musicians and staff deserve a thunderous round of applause for the orchestra’s breathtaking recent performance at Huntington Center. The April 6 event attracted 3,000 concertgoers who heard more than 1,000 singers from 30 choirs accompany the symphony.

Declared Toledo Symphony Day by Mayor D. Michael Collins, the 70th anniversary celebration removed stuffy stereotypes and showed that classical music can and should be enjoyed by everyone. There was cathedral silence as the music wafted through the arena. Watching the performers on large screens created an intimacy that symphony patrons often don’t experience.

Transforming a hockey arena and popular-music venue into a top-notch concert hall was a risky enterprise. It took courage and perseverance to pull off.

“Overall, we consider it a huge success,” TSO president Kathy Carroll told The Blade’s editorial page. “For a very small staff like we have at the symphony, we were able to pull off something new — an arena performance — and engage so many people from around the region. It was stunning and fascinating.”

The TSO should be applauded for exploring modern frontiers — digital streaming, social-media interaction, and a new venue — to bring music to the masses. “Ode to Joy: A Community’s Celebration of Music” was the largest locally produced musical production in the history of northwest Ohio. We can’t wait to hear more.


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