The Toledo Symphony’s long-running annual Neighborhood Concert at St. Martin de Porres Church will begin at 5 p.m. Sunday in the historic center city church, 1119 West Bancroft St.
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“Each year, we try to focus on a theme that reflects black culture and tradition,” said Sister Virginia Welsh, pastoral leader of St. Martin de Porres and head of the Padua Center at St. Anthony of Padua Church. “This year, we chose the theme From Broadway to Bancroft.”
Under the baton of resident conductor Jeffrey Pollock, the symphony will perform music by and about African-American composers and artists. The program will open with “Danse Negre,” and proceed to James Johnson’s classic gospel work, “Lift Ev'ry Voice.”
There will be selections from Jerome Kern’s watershed musical, Showboat; Fats Waller’s Ain’t Misbehavin’, George Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess, and Charlie Smalls’ The Wiz.
Vocal soloists will be Errin Brooks and Kisma Jordan. Brooks has performed in Toledo Opera productions and Jordan has sung for the Toledo Symphony.
Part of this annual concert is the presentation of the Katharine Drexel Award for public service in education. This year’s honorees are K. LaVerne Redden and Willie Ward.
Redden, a social activist, may be best known recently for her role as Harriet Tubman in dramatizations at the Lathrop House, the historic Underground Railroad site in Sylvania. Ward, a product of Toledo Public Schools, now is principal of the Martin Luther King Academy for Boys.
Tickets for the concert are $15 in advance at 419-241-4544 or $20 at the door. Student tickets for K-12 are $10.
The University of Toledo’s Art Tatum Memorial Jazz Scholarship Concert this year will present pianist Dan Haerle at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the UT Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall.
A longtime faculty member in jazz studies at the University of Texas College of Music, Haerle has recorded many Jamey Aebersold play-alongs, published jazz studies textbooks, and performed with artists including Dave Liebman and Pat Metheney.
Tickets are $5-$10 at the door and support the fund, which helps undergraduate music majors of color.
Haerle also will present a free master class at 2 p.m. Tuesday in the Recital Hall.
At Lourdes University, community collaboration to mark this milestone month will pay off in a music, theater, and dance production from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Franciscan Center on the Sylvania campus.
The Toledo Choral Society, conducted by Richard Napierala, will sing, as will the Lourdes University Chorus and Good Company Ensemble, led by Karen T. Biscay. The Toledo Youth Choir will perform under the direction of Antoinette Goodloe.
There will be praise dancing by Keira Williams and presentations by participants in the Lourdes Civil Rights Movement course. Poet Annette McClair will read from her works.
The program is free.
The Owens Community College Band will start its annual Winter Pops Concert at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts Theater.
“We have been planning this concert since November as a tribute to honor firefighters, first responders, and EMTs in Lucas and Wood counties,” writes conductor William “Fred” Dais.
“The recent events in Toledo have really made it important to us,” continues Dais, adding, “Capt. Mark Padley of the Allen-Clay Joint Fire District has been working with me to involve firefighters in the program. There will be an Honor Guard to post the colors.”
Also featured will be trumpet soloists and a guest conductor who doubles as a volunteer firefighter.
On the program will be marches, LeRoy Anderson’s A Trumpeter’s Lullaby, selections from My Fair Lady and The King and I plus a big band tribute.
Admission is free with a reception to follow. For more information, call 567-661-7081.
The Toledo School for the Arts will bring back its popular benefit cabaret, Songs for Our Sister, at 4 p.m. Sunday in the Toledo Club, 235 14th St. Think of it as a cabaret pro-am (like the Toledo Symphony’s concert tomorrow night), with local jazz vocalists pairing up with promising students. This year’s program will be rich in duets and trios.
Sharing their impressive talent and experience will be popular local chanteuses Lori Lefevre, Kim Buehler, and Ramona Collins. Collins founded the six-year benefit tradition to help support the Mary Ann Russo Jazz Memorial Scholarship, which helps pay for private lessons and trips to summer specialty music camps.
“It's always been about the students,” says Collins, adding, “giving them the support they need to follow their musical dreams.”
Tickets for the show are $20 at 419-246-8732.
Collegiate opera productions are under way this weekend.
At UT, the Opera Ensemble will perform Gian Carlo Menotti’s period comedy, The Old Maid and the Thief, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday in the UT Center for Performing Arts Recital Hall. 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 presents Johann Strauss’ class-conscious comedy, Die Fledermaus, at 8 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday in the Donnell Theatre, Wolfe Center for the Arts. For ticket information call 419-372-8171 or visit www.bgsu.edu/arts.
Also at BGSU will be a free performance by jazz saxophonist David Bixler at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Bryan Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. The BGSU Wind Symphony and Concert Band will perform two concerts next week: a regular concert at 8 p.m. Feb. 27 in Kobacker Hall, and a special production titled “Pairings,” with music old and new in combination, at 8 p.m. Feb. 28, also in Kobacker. Carol Hayward and Kenneth Thompson, BGSU faculty, will share conducting duties for these free concerts.
Stay tuned for: The Toledo Symphony’s innovative Brahms Project, a pair of Classics Series concerts Feb. 28 and March 1, 8 p.m. in the Peristyle, when superstar pianist Kirill Gerstein will perform both Brahms Piano Concertos —– one per night. Piano Concerto No. 1 will anchor the Feb. 28 program, which also includes Schubert's Symphony No. 759 (“Unfinished”) and Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Haydn.
On March 1, the Brahms second concerto is scheduled, along with the composer’s Academic Festival overture. The only repeat will be the Schubert. Tickets are $22-$60 at 419-246-8000 or www.toledosymphony.com.
The Children’s Choir of Northwest Ohio will sing at 4 p.m. March 2 in Epworth United Methodist Church, 4855 W. Central Ave. Lisa Alleman, founder, will conduct the Jubilate Choir (grades 3-5) and the Bel Canto Choir (grades 5-10) in a varied program. The concert is free. For more information, call 419-377-7710 or visit www.ccofnwo.org.
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