“A Grand Night for Singing” will definitely ensue when Toledo Symphony Orchestra performs some of “My Favorite Things” on May 14 at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall. “The Sound of Music” will fill the auditorium with “Something Wonderful” that will joyfully resonate throughout our community for many beautiful mornings yet to come.
As the familiar song titles referenced in the above paragraph suggest, the voices of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II still resound years after their passing, as their immortal songs continue to thrill audiences yet today. When Darke County Center for the Arts presents Toledo Symphony Orchestra playing “The Music of Rodgers and Hammerstein” next week, they will be closing their very successful 2015-16 Artists Series “Voices” season with some of the most beloved music of all time.
Innovative and influential, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s work initiated the “golden age” of musical theatre in this country beginning with the revolutionary impact of Oklahoma! which introduced new elements and techniques to tell a story of emotional depth and psychological complexity. Each song conveys plot and character, musically advancing the story-line rather than simply providing a diversion. But that’s not the main reason that generations of music lovers revere the song-writing duo; the melodies and the meaningful lyrics of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s songs touch hearts and minds, reaching into the souls of generations of listeners, many of whom fondly remember the very first time that they heard “Climb Every Mountain” or “Edelweiss” or any of the dozens of classics that sprang from the pens of those master craftsmen.
The skilled musicians of Toledo Symphony Orchestra will accompany vocalists Bridgette Gan and Joshua Jeremiah on several of the songs. Soprano Bridgette Gan, an exciting upcoming artist who has appeared on prestigious stages around the country, has been hailed as “outstanding” in the Baltimore Examiner, and praised for her gorgeous singing by The Washington Post. Likewise, Joshua Jeremiah’s baritone voice has been described as splendid, other-worldly, and mellifluous; he has appeared with the New York City Opera, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and his work in the title role of Volpone produced by Wolf Trap Opera received a Grammy nomination for Best Opera.
Grammy-nominated conductor Sara Jobin, known for her passion for American repertoire, will lead the Toledo Symphony Orchestra in this performance. Sara made history in 2004 as the first woman to conduct at the San Francisco Opera, where she has since returned to the podium for 17 performances. Named a Leonard Bernstein Music Scholar by Harvard, Ms. Jobin tends to defy traditional categories. She sang for many years in a gospel choir that was featured in the Will Smith movie The Pursuit of Happyness, conducted Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony for the first time on the same day that she earned her black belt in judo, and has founded the Different Voice Opera Project to combat the proliferation of operas where women are victimized by society.
Share in this celebration of great American music that will live forever as performed by master musicians who love to play. Tickets for “The Music of Rodgers and Hammerstein” are $30 (student tickets half price), and are available by contacting DCCA at 937-547-0908 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on-line at www.centerforarts.net. If any remain by showtime, tickets will also be sold at the door prior to the performance.
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.