2017-03-15 / News

Toledo Symphony Marks 28th Year At Founders Hall

About 650 persons attended the Thursday, March 9 performance of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra at the Founders Hall

Jeanette Smith, director of sales and marketing at Sauder Village, said the event marked the 28th year TSO has performed in Archbold.

Felecia Kanney, interim TSO marketing director, said, “Actually, I was just glancing at the files, and saw this was going on in the 1990s. We even have a letter from the 1980s. It’s a longtime great tradition.”

Kanney said Founders Hall “is a really nice place to play, because the orchestra is close to the audience. It makes for a more intimate setting.

“So many of the places we play, the orchestra seems so far away from the audience.

“Our musicians really enjoy going to regional concerts, bringing our music to completely different audiences.”

“In of all the places we perform– Napoleon, Bryan, even as far away as Greenville in Darke County– Archbold has more students in attendance. They get to experience live, classical music.”

Student attendance is funded by patrons, whom Smith said are people who are asked to give “a little extra” to help pay for a student ticket.

“They get roomier seating towards the front and dinner, and in return, they help pay for the students,” Smith said.

Getting There

Kanney said since Archbold is “quite a hike” from Toledo, the production crew gets a large rental truck.

The large instruments, stage equipment, platforms, and even special chairs needed for some instruments are loaded onto the truck.

They drive out to Archbold about mid-day the day of the performance and begin setting up for the show.

For the musicians, charter buses are rented. Since many TSO musicians are from the Ann Arbor, Mich. area, one bus starts there, stops in Toledo, and joins a second for the trip.

“A few drive their own cars, but the majority ride the bus,” she said.

Sara Jobin is the TSO resident conductor. She led the performance.

Jobin made history in 2004 as the first woman to conduct main-stage subscription performances at the San Francisco Opera. Female conductors are becoming more and more common, Kanney said.

“Ten years ago, it was not common at all. Now, there are a lot of female rising stars in conducting. Sara is definitely one of them.”

“Calling” The Performance

In one of the feature selections by Beethoven, two musicians announced the performance, the same as two TV sports announcers calling a game.

“We’ve performed it before, and we thought it would appeal to the Sauder Village audience. There’s a lot of sports fans and it makes the orchestra more relatable,” said Kanney.

“Bob Clemens, one of the announcers, is a cellist, and he has a great voice. We use him in a lot of narrations.

“The other announcer, Keith McWatters, a percussionist, is our orchestra manager who arranges trips and things, and he is funny.”

The TSO visit to Founder’s Hall is a joint project of the Black Swamp Arts Council, Sauder Village, The Farmers & Merchants State Bank, and Parkview Physicians Group.

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