When someone is asked why they do not plan to attend an upcoming Darke County Center for the Arts presentation, one of two responses usually is heard: Either (1) “I’ve seen them before,” or (2) “I’ve never seen them before” (sometimes also adding, “and neither has anybody I know”). Those answers do not provide adequate explanation for missing a local event that will be outstandingly memorable, as in the case of DCCA’s final concert of the current Artists Series season featuring the Toledo Symphony Orchestra at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall. Let me explain.
Even if you’ve seen the exact same musicians playing the exact same tunes before, each performance is unique, a one-of-a-kind experience that will never be seen again in this world. Now, in all probability, not all of the musicians who will take the stage at Memorial Hall on Saturday, April 29 will have previously performed in Greenville, and the program they will present, “An Evening With George Gershwin” is totally new. But in addition to that reality, the hard-to-quantify but very real connection attained between artist and audience at each performance creates a magical world of its own that only exists for a brief moment of time, although the positive effects of that connection may last for a very long while. So, even though you may have in the past attended a Toledo Symphony concert and maybe even heard them play some Gershwin tunes, you will really be missing something special by skipping this one.
If you’ve never heard the Toledo Symphony play (and perhaps don’t know anyone who has experienced the enthralling sound), you have nothing to fear and everything to gain by bravely embracing a new experience. If you enjoy music of any kind, you are almost assured to have an incredibly pleasurable experience because (a) the songs are timeless, appealing across generations and genres; (b) the musicians, who are really good, just love to play, adding zest and joy to the entire proceedings; and (c) the audience will undoubtedly include neighbors, old acquaintances, and maybe some new friends. But even more enticements exist to attract you to this concert.
The orchestra will be conducted by Sara Jobin, who has been nominated for a Grammy, was the first woman to conduct main stage performances at San Francisco Opera, and is charming, lovely, and fun; she will make you feel right at home whether you are a first-timer or a seasoned concert goer. As an example of the way in which Jobin tends to defy traditional categories, the Harvard College Leonard Bernstein Music Scholar earned her black belt in judo on the same day that she conducted Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony” for the first time.
The piano soloist will be Michael Chertock who, in addition to teaching piano at University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and serving as principal keyboardist with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, has performed with the celebrated Boston Pops Orchestra as well as many other premier organizations. His playing has been labeled zestful, lovely, expressive, and more. And he will be playing Gershwin, which is a most appealing factor.
I can hardly contain my excitement as I contemplate the playlist: selections from Porgy and Bess, plus “I’ve Got Rhythm,” “An American In Paris,” and “RHAPSODY IN BLUE!!!” If you have ever heard “Rhapsody” live, you are undoubtedly aching to hear it again. If you’ve never enjoyed the rapturous experience, this should be on your bucket list. You will smile broadly, feel chills up and down your spine, and want the glorious music to never end—and connect with the pianist, the music, and everyone else in attendance in a memorable moment to treasure forever.
And that’s why, whether you’ve ever seen them before or never seen them before, you should attend DCCA’s presentation of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. Tickets are $30 (half price for students), and may be purchased at DCCA’s office located within Greenville Public Library as well as online at www.CenterForArts.net. Tickets will also be available at the door prior to the performance which begins at 8 p.m.
Marilyn Delk is a director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.