Festival Series to mark 30th year with new concerts, Grammy winners

The inaugural Rising Stars Concert, a new holiday tradition and a Grammy Award-winning group will help mark the 30th year of the College of Musical Arts’ Festival Series.

All Festival Series concerts are held in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center.

The 2009-10 series kicks off with the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra in the first Rising Stars Concert, at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13. The concert will also feature violinist Elena Urioste (cq) and the Harlem Quartet. The orchestra, comprised of top alumni from the national Sphinx Competition for young Black and Latino string players, will perform a diverse program of well-known works by Mozart and Vivaldi and music by African-American and Latino composers, including Astor Piazzolla.

The renowned percussion group NEXUS (cq) will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8. The first entirely improvised NEXUS concert, in 1971, marked the formation of a group that would touch and entertain people of all levels of musical learning, in all genres of percussion music. Standing out in the contemporary music scene due to of its innovation and diversity, as well as an impressive history of collaborations and commissions, NEXUS’s revival of the 1920s novelty ragtime xylophone and its influential improvisatory ideas set the group apart from ordinary percussionists. The group’s appearance at BGSU will also include a three-day educational residency.

The Holiday Concert, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2, will feature Handel’s beloved oratorio “Messiah” with soloists, the University Choral Society and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. This is the beginning of what will become a Festival Series holiday tradition in the coming years.

Pianist Barry Douglas will present the Lois M. Nitschke Memorial Concert at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010. Douglas enjoys a successful international solo career, which has developed since he won the Gold Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow. Some of his recent orchestral highlights include concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic and Dresden Philharmonic. 

The series will culminate with the Grammy Award-winning group Chanticleer at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 3, 2010. Based in San Francisco, the 12-member, all-male a cappella group is known worldwide as the “orchestra of voices” for its seamless blend of voices ranging from countertenor to bass and its original interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance to jazz and gospel to venturesome new music. The group was named 2008 Ensemble of the Year by “Musical America.”

Traditional series subscriptions are now on sale for all five events, priced at $80, $112 and $145 for adults and $60, $90 and $120 for students. Those prices reflect a 20 percent discount over single ticket prices.

Subscribers can save 12 percent over single ticket prices with the new subscription category, Audience Choice, which allows them to choose five tickets in any combination. Tickets for this option are $88, $117 and $158 for adults, with a $3 handling-fee charge per order. Audience Choice will be available beginning July 15.

Single tickets for individual concerts will be $20, $28 and $36 for adults and $15, $22 and $29 for students.

To order tickets, call the Moore Center box office from noon-6 p.m. weekdays at 2-8171. Subscription order forms are also available at

May 4, 2009