Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestra

78th Nutcracker marks new alliance between Toledo Ballet and symphony

From TOLEDO BALLET  On Tuesday, September 18, 2018, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra (TSO) and Toledo Ballet announced plans to merge the area’s oldest performing arts institutions forming the Toledo Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA). This year, the two organizations will work closer than ever before in Toledo Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, its 78th annual presentation of Tchaikovsky’s beloved masterpiece, and the first as a newly combined organization. “It was Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker that originally brought together Toledo Ballet and Toledo Symphony,” says Zak Vassar, President & CEO of the Toledo Symphony. “This year, more than others, there’s something symbolic about joining forces with our new siblings at Toledo Ballet. We all want to present one of the best Nutcrackers in our joined history. There’s just such a sense of excitement in the air!” TAPA is a partnership rooted in history, as Toledo Ballet and Toledo Symphony have  collaborated artistically on The Nutcracker since the late 1940s. Toledo Ballet will present The Nutcracker with the full Toledo Symphony in the orchestra pit on December 8-9, 2018. This makes Toledo Ballet’s presentation of The Nutcracker the only local production to include a full orchestra of professional musicians. “This year’s Nutcracker is more exciting than ever because of the merging of Toledo Ballet and Toledo Symphony Orchestra,” says Lisa Mayer-Lang, Artistic Director for Toledo Ballet.” “This historic merger has both organizations, as well as the Toledo community buzzing with excitement. Our dancers are thrilled that they will be dancing again to the live music of the Symphony in a heightened sense of unity.” Toledo Ballet is proud to announce Chris Caputo (Caputo & Associates), Jay Berschback (WTVG13 Weatherman), Pat Bowe (President & CEO, The Andersons), and Zak Vassar (President & CEO, Toledo Symphony Orchestra) as Mother Gingers for this season’s 78th annual production of The Nutcracker. In Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, appearance of Mother Ginger in Act Two brings a light-hearted distraction from the more serious roles in the ballet. Best recognized by her enormous hoop skirt from which her Gingersnap children spill out at the beginning of their dance, Mother Ginger’s antics delight audiences with equal part hilarity and cute-factor from the children. The role of Mother Ginger is a long-standing coveted comic role for Toledo leaders.

Toledo Symphony & youth orchestra to join forces in concert commemorating the end of WWI

From  TOLEDO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA On Friday, November 16 and Saturday, November 17,  at 8 P.M. at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Peristyle Theater, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra (TSO) joins Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO) members on stage in a massive orchestra to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, paying tribute to the courageous men and women who served their country and the rest of the world. “This concert brings together heroic themes and programmatic music about courage and triumph,” says TSO President & CEO, Zak Vassar. “As we celebrate our 100th Veteran’s Day, it’s important to remember the stories of those who fought and defended our nation. I think this music does that in a really beautiful and appropriate way.” The program on Friday and Saturday evening features great American favorites—including Battle Hymn of the Republic, John Williams’ Summon the Heroes, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s Symbolon, and Richard Strauss’ masterpiece, Ein Heldenleben (“A Hero’s Life”). Written in 1898, Ein Heldenleben is one of Richard Strauss’ most monumental tone poems and is among his most autobiographical works. Each movement tells the story of the hero (Strauss) and his struggles with mankind, love, and most importantly, the enemy on the battlefield. Last performed by the TSO in 1999 under the direction of Andrew Massey, this is the first time the orchestra will perform Strauss’ stunning music under Music Director Alain Trudel’s baton. “This is a very important concert that reflects on a very important time in history,” says Alain Trudel, Music Director of the Toledo Symphony. “It’s a big piece, and it’s a piece I love. More than 100 musicians of varying ages will join together on stage to perform Strauss’ famous Ein Heldenleben, one of his great symphonic works.” “What a wonderful opportunity for the TSYO Philharmonic Orchestra members to perform side-by-side with their professional TSO counterparts,” says Joan Weiler, Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras Coordinator. “These types of performances serve a greater educational purpose and it gives these students added confidence to perform with such high caliber musicians.” A Hero’s Life will take place Friday, November 16 and Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 8 PM at the Toledo Museum of Art’s Peristyle Theater. Tickets are available at or by calling the Toledo Symphony Box Office at 419.246.8000.  

Toledo Youth Orchestras to perform at Peristyle

From TOLEDO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA The Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras (TSYO) are composed of the most talented young musicians from various areas of Northwest Ohio and Southern Michigan. The opportunity to perform with a group of musicians who share a similar dedication to musicianship and quality of performance is a great supplemental experience for serious young artists. On February 4, at 2 p.m. at the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle Theater, the Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras will perform their second concert of the season. The performance on Sunday afternoon will feature the TSYO’s Symphonic Orchestra and Concert Strings ensemble, conducted by Patrick Barrett and the Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Wasim Hawary. Winners of the Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras Solo Competition, Erin Gardiner and Cole Habekost, kick off the program with pre-concert music beginning at 1:40 p.m. Ms. Gardiner, a senior at Perrysburg High School, will perform the second movement of Barber’s Violin Concerto and Mr. Habekost, a Toledo School for the Art senior at Waterville, will perform the first movement of Wieniawski’s Concerto No. 2, both accompanied by Clint Fox. The TSYO will perform selections by eminent composers Jean Sibelius, Modest Mussorgsky, William Rand, principal horn player of the Philharmonic Orchestra, and more. On February 10, the TSYO Concert Strings will travel to Columbus, Ohio to perform at the 2018 Ohio Music Education Association Professional Development Conference. Additional upcoming TSYO performances include a Side by Side concert with the Toledo Symphony on March 4, at 4 p.m. at the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle Theater, and a Pops concert on April 30, at 7 p.m. at Maumee High School’s Performing Arts Center. To become a member of the Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras, students must audition to be placed in one of three ensembles, the Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphonic Orchestra, or the Concert Strings ensemble. The Philharmonic and Symphonic Orchestras serve as full orchestral experiences while the Concert Strings ensemble is dedicated to preparing string students for more complex repertoire. The Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestras concert on February 4 at 2 p.m. at the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle Theater is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Joan Weiler, Youth Orchestras Coordinator at or visit