For the past 60 years, the All Generations Band has participated in the Cleveland Heights Memorial Day celebration. The band had its origins in the Oxford neighborhood, when it originally formed to participate in Oxford Elementary School's annual Father's Night program. Soon, the band joined the annual Memorial Day parade that traveled from Oxford to Denison Park, capped with celebratory ice cream cones at Rukasin's Drug Store on Noble Road. Past leaders include Bob Coppedge and David Adamson.
A & E News
With signs of spring everywhere (finally!), Ensemble Theatre and Dobama Theatre are preparing to mount the final productions of their 2014–15 seasons. These last main stage productions promise to be memorable.
“Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo,” by Rajiv Joseph, runs through May 17 at Ensemble; “Superior Donuts,” by Tracy Letts, runs through May 24 at Dobama.
“Bengal Tiger” is set in the first days of the American invasion of Iraq and highlights the lives of two U.S. Marines and an Iraqi translator, which are forever changed by an encounter with a quick-witted tiger. The tiger, played on Broadway by Robin Williams, haunts the streets of war-torn Baghdad attempting to find meaning, forgiveness and redemption amid the city's ruins. Joseph's groundbreaking American play explores both the power and the perils of human nature.
Tom Hayes—whose website identifies him as “brewer, librarian, playwright”—can now add novelist to that list. This Cleveland Heights resident’s debut novel for young adults, Secret of the Warlock’s Crypt, is a historical thriller that takes place in Northeast Ohio.
Cryptic drawings, maps and strange symbols are what 12-year-old Mike Hilliard discovers when he investigates the long-dead, ruthless millionaire Titus Morley. As these strange symbols and drawings occupy his dreams, Mike rambles through the listless Cleveland Heights summer with Billy Hayworth, a photography intern at the Western Reserve Historical Society, where Mike’s uncle, Robert “Otto” Hilliard, is a historian.
Titus Morley died in a refinery explosion in 1872, after which his treasure trove of rare grimoires (books of magic) and ancient masks disappeared. Could the drawings and maps provide clues?
The Agape National Academy of Music (ANAM) in Monrovia, Liberia, is an after-school music program for children in a country ravaged by civil war and Ebola. ANAM needs money.
When Adam Kukuk, music director at Disciples Christian Church, learned this, he decided to arrange a concert fundraiser to help the school.
Kukuk has organized Sing for Liberia!, an evening of great music and an opportunity to help young musicians. The event will take place on Tuesday, May 19, at 7 p.m., at Disciples Christian Church, 3663 Mayfield Road in Cleveland Heights. All proceeds from this event will go to ANAM.
The church’s award-winning choir, soloists and house band will perform. Guest musicians Brian Thornton, from the Cleveland Orchestra, and Jen Woda, from Opera per Tutti, will also join in the festivities.
In medicine, the noun "syncope" (SINGkuhpee) refers to a fleeting loss of consciousness. In phonetics, it’s when sounds or letters are not pronounced aloud (“probably” becomes “probly”). On view through June 6, Heights Arts’s new exhibition, Syncope, pairs works by Cleveland artists Rachel Beamer and Achala Wali that suggest the moments between loss and what remains.
In Beamer's color photographs, themes of space, surface and memory are explored through compositions that hint at elements not present. Wali’s abstract drawings bring forth buried thoughts and memories of landscapes from her Indian childhood. Using pencil, pen and ink, brushes, and sometimes pastel and acrylics in nontraditional ways, Wali’s work combines color with black-and-white fields to effect subtle moments and passages, or sparks of feeling.
The Communion of Saints drama program presents "Once Upon a Mattress," May 8 and 9, at 7 p.m. The production is a new twist, set to music, on the age-old tale of a boy whose brother finds him the perfect girl. Enter the meddling mother, the Queen, and the Silent King. The Silent King has much to say, silently of course, while the Queen tries to deter anyone from marrying their son, Prince Dauntless. She has devised many tests that each possible wife must complete; the latest one involves a pea placed under a stack of mattresses. All the while, his brother has found his true love and cannot marry until Dauntless does. Come and see the antics of the cast members as they play these fairy-tale roles.
New schools come with new traditions. Urban Oak School—now in its second year in Cleveland Heights, serving preschoolers and kindergarten through third-graders—wants to be an integral part of the Heights community. With this goal in mind, it will launch its first annual Spring Festival on May 9, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the lawn of the Coventry School building at the corner of Euclid Heights Boulevard and Coventry Road. Everyone is welcome to join in a new tradition that celebrates the season and brings the philosophy of Waldorf learning to life.
"Our aim is for the festival to become a Heights family tradition—engaging and delighting all families of our home community," said Amy Marquit Renwald, the school’s co-founder and a Heights High alumna.
It’s not often that you can support Roxboro Elementary and Middle School students in jeans and cowboy boots. But that’s what guests will be wearing on Saturday May 9, at the annual RoxArts Auction & Benefit, held at Coventry’s B-Side Lounge (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd.), 6:30–10 p.m. So grab your boots, throw on a ten-gallon hat, and show your support for the Roxboro schools. You’ll get beer and wine; great food from Mister Brisket, SoHo Kitchen, and Chef Jason Brust; a raffle and silent auction featuring art and jewelry by local artists, sports and arts venue tickets, and other great packages; and more fun than you can shake a stick at.
This is the primary fundraiser for the education programs of RoxArts, a nonprofit organization bringing together parents, teachers and community volunteers dedicated to enhancing the performing and visual arts education at Roxboro schools.
“There are nearly 1,000 students on the Roxboro campus,” explained Rosemary Pierce, auction and benefit co-chair. “Every child is touched by RoxArts and its programs, and it’s been that way for nearly 35 years.”
In celebration of award-winning chef Jonathon Sawyer’s book, Noodle Kids: Around the World in 50 Fun, Healthy, Creative Recipes the Whole Family Can Cook Together book, Mac's Back's-Books on Coventry invites noodle lovers and families to join in a Noodle Kids Ramen Party, promising “oodles of noodles” and family fun.
The special pop-up party will take place on Friday, May 8, 7–9 p.m., at 1854 Coventry Road (upstairs, in the former Burgers N Beer space). At the party, Sawyer—a Cleveland Heights resident—will help parents and their kids construct a ramen bowl, host a Q&A, and sign copies of his book.
Tickets for the event are required and space is limited. A single adult ticket is $30, and includes admission to the party and a copy of Noodle Kids (retail price $24.99). Additional adult tickets and children's tickets are $10 each, and are for party admission only.
Cleveland Chamber Music Society (CCMS) will present Northeast Ohio's first annual Youth Chamber Music Competition concert on Saturday, April 11, at 2 p.m., at the Lyndhurst Community Presbyterian Church (5312 Mayfield Road, just east of Richmond Road).
The concert is free, and offers the public an opportunity to hear chamber music performed by some of the best young artists from across Cuyahoga County, as five ensembles from four local high schools compete for cash prizes in a “battle of the bands.”
The participating schools—Cleveland School of the Arts, St. Joseph Academy, Beachwood High School, and Lyndhurst/South Euclid’s Charles F. Brush High School—are well known for their commitment to music and the arts. Charles F. Brush High School and Beachwood High School are both listed in “The Top 100 in Music Education” by the American Music Conference.
Community arts events are flourishing at Heights Arts this April, with the presentation of a new Cleveland Heights poet laureate, three musical performances, and its popular exhibition talk, Ekphrastacy: Artists Talk + Poets Respond.
On Thursday, April 2, 7 p.m., the community is invited to join an evening of conversation with Daniel Levin, associate professor of photography at Cuyahoga Community College and guest curator of Impermanence, on view at Heights Arts through April 18. Showcasing the works of 11 respected Cleveland photographers, Impermanence celebrates Cleveland’s changing urban landscape through pairs of photographs showing the same view of a site at different historical times. Levin and exhibition photographers will discuss “rephotographic survey,” the concept and process behind Impermanence, as well as the stories behind the creation of their images.
In a twist on the standard curator’s talk, Heights Arts also invites regional poets to respond to the works on view as part of the evening.
The City of Cleveland Heights and Heights Arts will welcome its seventh poet laureate, Meredith Holmes, and thank outgoing Poet Laureate Kathleen Cerveny, in a special ceremony on Monday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. at Cleveland Heights City Hall. The community is invited to attend and hear both poets speak.
Holmes served for one year as the first Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate in 2005, and will serve her second one-year term, 2015–16. Her poems have been published in journals including, most recently, Flyover Country Review and Literary Mama. Her poems have also appeared in several anthologies, including Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems for Bad Times; the Kattywompus Press collection While You Were Sleeping I Dreamt a Poem; Awake at the End, published by Heights Arts and Bottom Dog Press; and the upcoming How Higher Education Feels, edited by Kathleen Quinlan. A book of Holmes’ poems, titled I’m Not From Here, is due out in 2015.
Irwin Weinberger has loved music and art for just about as long as he can remember. Weinberger, who is 60 years old and lives in University Heights, is a well-known Cleveland musician and artist. He plays several instruments—including guitar, ukulele, mandolin and banjo—and he performs as a solo musician and with the Yiddishe Cup Klezmer Band. His artwork has been exhibited at numerous venues around Cleveland.
Weinberger grew up in Euclid. When he was eight years old, his father bought him a harmonica, which he learned how to play. The following year, he started playing clarinet, and when he was in middle school he learned how to play flute and saxophone. Then, in high school, he started playing guitar and singing. “I just kept exploring different instruments,” said Weinberger.
When cellist Alice Janigro and harpist Celia van den Bogert take their bows on Friday, May 1, they will be continuing Heights High’s 86-year Senior Soloist tradition. Janigro will perform Edward Elgar’s contemplative and elegiac Concerto in E minor for Violoncello and Orchestra, and van den Bogert will perform Maurice Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro for Harp and Chamber Orchestra, a work that displays the expressive range of the harp. Music Director Daniel Heim will also conduct the Heights High Symphony in Antonin Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance, Op. 48, No. 8 in G minor.
The program also includes Brett Baker conducting Symphonic Winds in Masamicz Amano’s Concerto Grosso, featuring the Sax Pistols, a chamber ensemble Baker has been working with for three years. Symphonic Winds will also perform Samuel Hazo’s Stella Maris and Chris Bernotas’ Momentum.
For more than a century, The Music Settlement has continued to grow its programs to anticipate and meet the needs of the Heights and Greater Cleveland communities.
You can help support The Music Settlement by attending its Fascinating Rhythms gala on May 2. Proceeds from the gala also will send promising student musicians to Boston, for five weeks over the summer.
Most of the students participating in the summer program are musicians in J@MS (Jazz @ The Music Settlement), a unique jazz program for young adults ages 12–18. Students in the J@MS program study in a half-day immersion program to achieve their musical goals.
The Music Settlement’s partner in this jazz program is Berklee City Music Network, which has given more than $110,000 in scholarships to students at The Music Settlement to enable them to attend the five-week, Boston-based summer program.
It’s every young ballet student’s dream to perform on a professional stage with the best talent the ballet world has to offer. That dream is becoming a reality for eight local dance students from the Heights area, as they prepare to perform in a Cleveland Ballet production, Classic. Elegant. Timeless., on Friday, April 17, at 7 p.m., at Playhouse Square’s Ohio Theatre.
The young dancers are students of the School of Cleveland Ballet. Gladisa Guadalupe, once a principal dancer for the Cleveland Ballet under Dennis Nahat, and former artistic associate of the Cleveland San Jose Ballet, founded the school in 2001, following the ballet company’s departure in 2000.
The school, formerly the Cleveland School of Dance, was originally located on Lee Road, near Mayfield Road, in Cleveland Heights. As the school grew, it relocated to 23030 Miles Road in Bedford Heights. The school now has 75 students from all over Northeast Ohio, and educates young dancers in classical ballet training and provides intensive instruction in the highly structured and disciplined techniques of ballet.
The power of high-quality music education was evident at Reaching Musical Heights, held on Tuesday, February 24, at Severance Hall. This quadrennial concert of student musicians from the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District was a remarkable celebration of our talented and hardworking students, their music teachers, our schools, and our community.
Dress rehearsal and performance took place on the same day, so when school was closed due to frigid early morning temperatures, the planning committee held an emergency meeting with the music directors and district administrators and quickly rearranged the event. Rehearsals were condensed, transportation was minimized, snacks were provided, changes were communicated to parents of all 559 students and the show went on.
The Beach Boys, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Livingston Taylor and Richard Marx are among the artists who will be performing at Cain Park this summer. And, once again, the park will offer a variety of free events throughout the summer, and will also present the Cain Park Arts Festival the weekend of July 10.
This year’s season will kick off on June 11, with the musical Godspell. This version is co-directed by Ian Wolfgang Hinz and Joanna May-Hunkins. It features such songs as “Day by Day,” “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord” and “Learn Your Lessons.” The show will run through June 28 at the Alma Theater.
The summer concert series will also commence on June 11 with a performance by trumpeter Chris Botti in the Evans Amphitheater. His album Impressions won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album in 2013.
The Nicholson B. White Gallery at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd., announces its spring show, Nature’s Impressions. The show opens with an artists’ reception on Friday, March 6, 5–7 p.m., where participating artists will be in attendance to greet guests and discuss their creative processes. The show runs through May 29.
Featured artists are James Brindle (wood, alabaster), Lori Diemer (photography), Eileen Dorsey (oil landscape) and Leonard Trawick (prints).
Brindle’s woodturnings are both functional and non-functional. The simplicity of his turnings, combined with flowing gracefulness in design, are attempts to expose nature’s inherent beauty of wood, which is further enhanced through various finishing techniques. Brindle has won several ribbons at woodturning competitions and has been published in Woodturning Design magazine.
Over the last year, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Travel + Leisure, Fodor’s and The Wall Street Journal are among the national publications that have sung the praises of the changes transforming Cleveland and its environs. In this spirit, Heights Arts’ new exhibition, Impermanence, explores the nature of change within the city's environment of civic architecture, streets and residences.
Organized by guest curator and photographer Daniel Levin, Impermanence celebrates place, use and time in the Heights, University Circle, Little Italy, Ohio City and downtown Cleveland through pairing photographs that show the same view of a site at different historical times. This “then-and-now” perspective enables the viewer to notice both dramatic and subtle changes that have occurred to some of our iconic community institutions and streetscapes, and to more commonplace subject matter, such as home interiors. The exhibition includes some unexpected images of the Cleveland Museum of Art, Arena District and Coventry neighborhoods, which are sure to trigger a flood of memories in long-term Cleveland residents, and delight newcomers.
On the heels of its critically acclaimed second season, Mamaí Theatre Company is presenting Rockaby, a rarely seen 14-minute play by Samuel Beckett, on Sunday, March 29 at Dobama Theatre on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights.
The March 29 benefit event begins at 7:30 p.m. with a dessert reception, followed by the performance. After the play, host Dee Perry, of WVIZ-TV and WCLV Radio, will moderate a Q&A with Rockaby actor Dorothy Silver and members of Mamaí, and the evening will end with raffle winners collecting fabulous gift baskets donated by Big Fun, Dobama Theatre, fire food and drink, Nighttown and Quintana’s Barber & Dream Spa.
In Rockaby, a one-act, one-woman play, directed by Curt Arnold, a woman dressed in an evening gown sits in a wooden rocking chair with no other props or scenery on stage. She sits totally still with the chair seeming to rock of its own accord, creating an eerie atmosphere.
With its close proximity to Severance Hall, the Heights has long been home to many Cleveland Orchestra musicians and concertgoers. Life in the shadow of one of the Big Five orchestras has certainly influenced the study and enjoyment of music in the Heights, and we are fortunate to have an abundance of excellent musicians in our community, ranging from tuxedo-clad professionals to backyard banjo players to pick-up jazz groups.
Two community music-making groups with close ties to the Heights—Choral Arts Cleveland and Suburban Symphony Orchestra—will join forces to celebrate 100 combined years of music making with the complete concert version of Bizet’s opera Carmen on March 15.
The Western Reserve Chorale (WRC), under the direction of David Gilson, will perform the Ohio premiere of composer Karl Jenkins’ new oratorio, The Peacemakers, on Friday, March 20, 7:30 p.m., at the Cedar Hill Baptist Church (12601 Cedar Road, Cleveland Heights). The concert will be repeated on Sunday, March 22, at 4 p.m., at Mary Queen of Peace Church (4423 Pearl Road in Old Brooklyn).
The Peacemakers, composed in 2011, is a collage of melodic and expressive settings of pleas for peace by messengers of peace, representing a range of cultural and religious traditions.
The Disney classic “The Little Mermaid” tells the story of mermaid princess Ariel’s dissatisfaction with life under the sea, and her curiosity about, and adventures in, the human world. The lyrical score features beloved songs such as "Part of Your World" and “Under the Sea.” In March, Heights Youth Theatre (HYT) will present a family-friendly production of The Little Mermaid Jr., directed by Pierre-Jacques Brault, with music directed by Stacy Bolton.
The Little Mermaid Jr. features 60 talented students in grades 1–12, many of whom reside in Cleveland Heights and University Heights.
James O’Donnell, the organist and master of the choristers at Westminster Abbey in London, will perform a solo organ recital at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (2747 Fairmount Blvd., Cleveland Heights) on Friday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m.
Formerly master of music at Westminster Cathedral, O’Donnell was appointed organist and master of the choristers at Westminster Abbey in 2000. In addition to a full schedule of daily choral services, his responsibilities have recently included directing the music for a service in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI in 2010, the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in April 2011, and the recent service to mark the 60th anniversary of the Coronation. The Abbey Choir has toured the Far East, the United States, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Russia, Spain, Hungary and Rome, where, in 2012, it participated in a Papal Mass with the Sistine Chapel Choir at the invitation of the Pope.
What better way to celebrate Black History Month than to spend the evening with one of the country’s pre-eminent Black Americans: Thurgood Marshall. Through Feb. 22, Ensemble Theatre presents “Thurgood,” which the Baltimore Sun called “one of the most frank, informed, and searing discussions on race you will ever see.”
Written by George Stevens Jr., “Thurgood” is a one-man show depicting the life of Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American justice of the Supreme Court, and his role in the historic decision in Brown v. Board of Education that outlawed segregation in public schools.
Bert Stratton, the leader of the klezmer band Yiddishe Cup, will perform "Klezmer Guy," an original prose-and-music show, at Nighttown in Cleveland Heights, on Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m.
Stratton reads comedic prose sketches and plays clarinet, accompanied by Alan Douglass on vocals and piano, and Tamar Gray on vocals. Stratton and Douglass are original members of Yiddishe Cup, and Gray has performed with the group for two years. She is the vocal music teacher at Fairfax Elementary School.
Even in the middle of winter—when neighbors may not see each other for months at a time—Heights Arts is providing plenty of reasons to thwart social hibernation with an enticing calendar of local cultural events.
On Thursday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m., the public is invited to EKPHRASTACY: an evening of conversation with participating artists from the gallery’s Light Show exhibition and reading of ekphrastic poetry. You may ask, “What kind of poetry?” The Greek word ekphrasis roughly translates as “ecstatic speech.” Ekphrastic poetry is a form in which the poet responds in verse to works of visual art.
During the evening, curator Sharon Grossman and artists Claudia Berlinski, Dana Depew, Scott Goss, Nancy Luken, Ben Parsons and Andrew Simmons will share insights on exhibition works, process and vision.
Arts in the Cathedral presents Quink Vocal Ensemble on Friday, Feb. 20, at 7:30 p.m., at Church of the Saviour in Cleveland Heights.
Since its first concerts in 1978, this group of four professional singers consistently ranks among the top a cappella ensembles of the world. The versatile Dutch musicians always strive for authenticity in the way they perform the different styles of music with a repertoire that stretches from the Middle Ages to contemporary music. Extremely well-known in Europe, Quink is gaining recognition in this country through its highly acclaimed U.S. tours and recordings.
With the resurgence in popularity of a cappella singing, this concert promises to delight audiences.
As a few remaining volunteers and staff prepared to bring the twelfth truckload of Heights Youth Theatre (HYT) props, costumes and set pieces to a temporary home, a lightbulb along the back wall of the stage cast dramatic shadows across a barricade of chairs and wooden fragments of castle doors.
Calvin Knight, HYT's technical director, oversaw those carrying items as they loaded them in the back of a full-sized U-Haul. Stage right, a giant metal letter "E" and multiple guitar cases rested on a plastic bin full of glitter-covered hula hoops.
The group is looking for a new stage to perform its approximately four shows a year. They have been performing at the Frank L. Wiley Middle School for the past 60 years, but, this fall, because of the CH-UH City School District's renovation plans, high school students will have classes at Wiley and use its theater.
The staying power of Johann Sebastian Bach, the addictive properties of coffee, and the rebelliousness of teenage daughters are interwoven in Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra’s latest endeavor, Bach’s Birthday Party, Part II: Family Frolic – A Multi-Generational Music Party.
This musical romp, under the direction of Jeanette Sorrell, Apollo’s Fire’s artistic director, features emerging local musicians from Apollo’s Fire’s apprentice program performing alongside veteran artists, and samples everything the Bach family has to offer, including a semi-staged performance of Bach’s zany “Coffee Cantata.”
Sorrell explained her concept of this piece: “We know from Bach family documents that ‘Lieschen’ was the nickname of one of Bach’s daughters . . . and she was the only of his daughters who got married. Bach indicated ‘Lieschen’ next to the soprano line of the Coffee Cantata. I’ve never seen any musicologists take note of this connection, but it seems clear to me that the role of ‘Lieschen’ was meant for his daughter. In the cantata, Lieschen keeps pestering her father to find her a husband. With an enormous church job and huge performing and composing responsibilities, Bach apparently didn’t have time to find husbands for most of his daughters, but he found one for Lieschen, because she wouldn’t give up. So I think the Coffee Cantata gives us a charming window into one of the important family dramas in the Bach household.”
Inlet Dance Theatre, a regional professional contemporary dance company, will present a weekend of dance activity at Church of the Saviour in January.
On Saturday, Jan. 17, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Inlet company members will present a sacred dance workshop in the Great Hall. The workshop is open to anyone with an interest in sacred dance and how it can be incorporated into a worship setting. No prior dance experience is necessary; however, participants should come to the workshop prepared to move. The cost of the workshop is $20. Register by Jan. 5 via the church website, www.chsaviour.org.
Then, on Sunday, Jan. 18, at 2 p.m., Inlet will present an hour-long, family-friendly performance in the Great Hall, followed by a reception with the dancers in the church parlor.
After a pretty nice fall—but one with not quite enough sunshine to hold us over until next spring—Heights Arts is taking back the light from Jan. 16 to Feb. 28 with the aptly named Light Show, a new exhibition in its gallery at 2175 Lee Road.
Organized by Cleveland Heights artist and founding Heights Arts board member Sharon Grossman, Light Show presents nine contemporary Northeast Ohio artists who work with materials, processes and visual languages that speak to the theme of light. Works include neon sculpture, photography, glass, furniture and jewelry, as well as the more functional translation: lamps.
“As we hunker down in January, surrounded by grey skies and dirty snow, this exhibition helps us find solace in light,” said Grossman.
The year is 1864. The time and place: Christmas Eve in Washington, D.C. It’s the coldest December in memory and the country is still divided and at war. An escaped slave searches for her daughter, the first lady searches for a Christmas tree, a Union officer’s character is challenged by a young Confederate, conspirators plan an assassination, and the president prepares his inaugural address while on a mission to select a Christmas gift for his wife.
A lot happens in “A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration,” which Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel wrote to give the audiences a holiday play that incorporates a range of American themes and culture—a broad tapestry that weaves together many characters, storylines and music.
Heights Arts invites the community to welcome 2015 with its much-loved, annual Tommy’s New Year’s Day pancake breakfast from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan. 1, at Tommy’s restaurant, 1824 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights.
Pancakes, eggs, sausages, and vegetarian options will be served, along with juices, coffee and tea, for the price of $10 for adults, and $5 for children age 12 and younger. Admission tickets will be available at the door beginning at 9:45 a.m. In addition to the all-you-can-eat breakfast, diners have the opportunity to win a variety of gift certificates from local Heights Arts supporters, and purchase a commemorative T-shirt or hand-silkscreened poster from Zygote Press.
Heights Arts has a long, creative relationship with Coventry Village, a quarter-mile stretch of independent businesses that has enlivened its streetscape with benches, street signs and fences by local artists.
Barney Taxel, as a rule, works methodically. Whether he’s adjusting lights in his Midtown studio or traipsing through the snow in Lake View Cemetery, Taxel’s photographic process builds infinitesimally and delicately to an exacting final product. Light, shadow, texture and framing are evaluated and adjusted, working purposefully toward a single, perfect photo.
Taxel’s new book, The Lake View Cemetery: Photographs from Cleveland’s Historic Landmark, is the culmination of more than 10 years worth of photographic construction. Published by University of Akron Press ($62.95, October 2014), the 230-page book pairs Barney’s photography with text by his wife, Laura Taxel, an award-winning journalist and co-author of Cleveland’s West Side Market: 100 Years & Still Cooking, among other books.
In collaboration with The Music Settlement, area public schools and private teachers, Heights Arts will present two master classes in its gallery at 2175 Lee Road, led by Cleveland Orchestra musicians from the Heights Arts's Close Encounters music series. Master classes are free and the public is invited to watch them.
On Sunday, Jan. 11 at 11 a.m., Tanya Ell will lead a master class in cello. Applications to participate are due by Dec. 1. Amy Lee, associate concertmaster, will conduct a class in violin on Sunday, April 19, with applications being accepted through March 1, 2015.
Students in grades 6–12 are encouraged to apply online via the Heights Arts website.
"Wall Dolls," an exhibit of fabric dolls created by Martha S. Young, will be on view at the Howson Gallery at Judson Park through Jan. 4.
A Cleveland Heights-based fiber artist, Young has a B.A. in art and completed graduate work in art education at San Jose State University. Her work is in the collection of University Hospitals as well as in private collections, and recent exhibitions include "The Artist as Quiltmaker XVI," Firelands Association for the Visual Arts, Oberlin; "Form not Function: Quilt Art at the Carnegie," Carnegie Center for Art & History, New Albany, Indiana; and "Superlatives II: Ohio Quilts 2013,” Zanesville Museum of Art.
City Music Cleveland’s holiday concerts of music from the Old and New worlds will feature singers from La Sagrada Familia Church and other Latino musicians in collaboration with Cleveland State University vocal students to bring Ariel Ramirez’s Misa Criolla to Cleveland audiences for the first time. Based on Argentinean folk melodies and rhythms and featuring an array of instruments rarely heard in the concert hall—including panpipes, many types of drum and percussion, and the charango, a small high-pitched guitar—the Misa Criolla has been popular worldwide since it was composed in 1963.
Although Ramirez’s musical influences were Argentinean, the genesis of the work itself was an encounter he had traveling in Europe in the 1950s. While staying in a convent in Germany where he was teaching music, Ramirez remarked to the nuns on the beauty of the countryside and of a nearby mansion set in the woods. The nuns told him, however, that the house had been part of a concentration camp during the war, and that during this period they had tried to alleviate the suffering of the thousand Jewish prisoners it held by pushing food packages through a gap in the fence.
Hot Djang! made its first appearance at Nighttown in early November. The Cleveland band, which includes two musicians who live in Cleveland Heights, describes its music as “gypsy jazz,” a style developed by guitarist Django Reinhardt in Paris during the 1930s. The show, which was truly entertaining, also included some jazz and swing standards from the American songbook.
Brad Smedley, one of the group’s guitarists, came up with the idea for the band after attending a workshop about Reinhardt's music at Smith College in Massachusetts a few years ago. “I was never more blown away in my life,” Smedley said. “All of the top gypsy-jazz guitarists were there, and I thought I could either work hard and try to learn to play like this, or I could just quit.”
Beginning Dec. 12, four artists will display their perspectives through various media in the winter exhibition at the Nicholson B. White Gallery at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd., Cleveland Heights. The show runs through March 1.
Join the artists—Sarah Clague (ceramics, raku), Tricia Kaman (oil painting), Jean Koznarek (painting, mixed media) and James McNamara (woodblock prints)—at the opening reception Friday, Dec. 12, 5–7 p.m. This is an opportunity to not only view the art, but also discover the viewpoints of the artists, as each of them speaks to the assembled guests about their artistic goals and creative processes. Visitors can also chat with the artists individually during the opening reception.
More than 550 students in two casts from all 10 schools in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District took part in the 2014 all-district musical, "Guys and Dolls." The students entertained near-capacity audiences in the Heights High auditorium in four performances, Nov. 6–9.
The show’s director,Craig McGaughey, was thrilled with the students’ performances. “I am so proud that all four performances were of such high caliber,” he said. “It is one thing to have a great show one night, but to maintain that excellence for all four nights—that is really exciting!”
A benefit concert featuring all female artists will take place at the Grog Shop in Cleveland Heights on Monday, Nov. 10. The show is a fundraiser for the School of Rock, the organization that provides guitar, bass, keyboard, drum and vocal lessons to students of all ages and abilities. The concert was put together by Hear in Colors, a local group that was founded by Cleveland Heights resident Elliot Nash and Nathan Chojnacki. Hear in Colors publishes a national and international music blog and also manages concert booking and promotion.
“Having a healthy outlet for today’s youth is of extreme importance,” said Lauren Aseff, a Cleveland Heights resident who is involved with Hear in Colors. “After talking to people who have worked with School of Rock, we wanted to do something for them.”
Caleb Wright, who’s 23 years old, grew up in a musical family. Back in 1978, his family formed the Wright Family Singers, a 10-person choir that sings gospel and spiritual music. Then, in 1993, his aunt, Toyia Wright-Reynolds, and his uncle, Eric Wright, formed the Wright-Reynolds Project, a group that plays jazz, and rhythm and blues.
Caleb, who lives on Whitethorn Road in Cleveland Heights, is now a member of both groups, which are still performing around the Cleveland area. He grew up in Cleveland Heights and graduated from Heights High in 2009. He also attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. He is thinking about returning to New York and the academy, possibly next spring. Caleb began singing when he was about 16 years old. “Growing up, there was always somebody playing something or singing something or going to see someone else perform,” he said.
Brandon Spring, a 2008 Cleveland Heights High School graduate, has had a longtime love affair with film. As a finalist, out of 200 Greater Cleveland students, in the 2008 Scenarios USA scriptwriting contest, Spring knew that writing, directing and filmmaking were in his future. Six years later, Spring is literally minutes away from Hollywood and pursuing his dream.
Spring earned an associate degree in business from Cuyahoga Community College, and now attends Biola University in La Mirada, Calif., where he studies and works in cinema and media arts production. As a writer and director, Spring has created several short films over the years, and is currently taking on his biggest film project yet, “Two Pink Lines,” a film that will explore love and romance between a husband and wife living in a futuristic utopian society.
It’s rare to find the terms nice and hit men in the same sentence, but that is how Dobama Theatre describes the central characters in its upcoming production of “The Norwegians.” In fact, Dobama describes them as “really, really” nice hit men!
The play, by C. Denby Swanson, is about two not-so-nice women who hire the Norwegian underworld figures to whack their former boyfriends. The women—Olive, a sweet Texas belle, and Betty, a hard-living broad from Kentucky—are unprepared for the long and cold Minnesota winter. They are also surprised to find themselves falling in love with the two “funny, kind, sweet . . . and homicidal” would-be thugs. This “Fargo-esque” dark comedy would make the Coen brothers smile.
Playwright Swanson is a graduate of Smith College, the National Theatre Institute, and the University of Texas Michener Center for Writers, where she was a fellow in playwriting and screenwriting. Her work has been commissioned by the Guthrie Theater, Macalester College, and The Drilling Company, and featured in the Southern Playwrights Festival and the Women Playwrights Project. She won a 2008 Susan Smith Blackburn Special Prize for her short play “The Potato Feast,” which was also nominated for a 2008 New York Innovative Theater Award. She is a former artistic director of Austin Script Works and on the faculty at Southwestern University.
Heights Arts is accepting nominations for the 2015–17 Office of Poet Laureate. The purpose of the Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate—initially established by Heights Arts with the approval of the City of Cleveland Heights in 2005—is to celebrate and elevate the art form of creative writing for the benefit of the community’s residents.
Artist, poet, grant-maker and Cleveland Arts Prize-recipient Kathleen Cerveny currently serves as Cleveland Heights's sixth poet laureate. The next poet laureate will serve for a two-year period, beginning April 2015, and concluding at the end of March 2017. Poets must be residents of Cleveland Heights through the full two-year term of service if selected for the office.
CityMusic Cleveland, a Cleveland Heights-based chamber orchestra, launches its 2014–15 season this month. It will feature performances of both classic orchestral and contemporary works, with soloists including saxophonist Timothy McAllister, whom the composer John Adams called “the best in the world,” and violinist Adele Anthony, winner of the Nielsen Competition.
CityMusic will perform two concerts, on Oct. 19 and Dec. 4, in the Heights. For a full list of performance dates, times and venues throughout Greater Cleveland, visit www.citymusiccleveland.org. All concerts are free, and free-will offerings are appreciated.
The season begins Oct. 15 through 19, when CityMusic performs the Cleveland premiere of Dorman’s “Saxophone Concerto,” along with works by Mozart, Haydn and Dvořák. The latter composer’s “Wind Serenade” will feature members of the orchestra’s woodwind and brass sections as soloists. On Sunday, Oct. 19, at 4 p.m., the concert will be performed in University Heights at Church of the Gesu, 2470 Miramar Blvd.
Heights Arts has announced the 2014–15 lineup for its “Close Encounters” chamber music series, held in a distinctive array of locations in Cleveland Heights, Midtown, and downtown Cleveland.
The four Sunday afternoon concerts present classical music performed by arguably the world’s most renowned local musicians—members of the Cleveland Orchestra. Isabel Trautwein, a Cleveland Orchestra violinist and “Close Encounters” artistic director, engages her colleagues and other professional musicians to design their own programs, ranging this year from baroque to bluegrass. Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate and Cleveland Arts Prize recipient Kathleen Cerveny will recite poems created in response to select musical offerings during the series.
The second annual Heights Music Hop will take place on Saturday, Oct. 11. The free event will once again be held along Lee Road, between Silsby and Yorkshire roads. This year’s hop will feature about 30 artists and bands, up from 20 that participated last year, and 16 Lee Road businesses will serve as music venues, also representing an increase in participation over last year.
“We are very excited by the growth of this event,” said Greg Bonanno, chair of the FutureHeights Music Hop Committee, which is organizing the festival. “There has been a tremendous amount of interest and support from merchants, sponsors and the community.”
Local author Lois Jeavons grew up in Shaker Heights during an era one often thinks about while driving down the tree-lined roads of our local communities. Having lived much of her life in Northeast Ohio, she has insight into a period of history in which this region experienced some of its lowest lows and highest highs.
A graduate of Hathaway Brown, Jeavons left the Heights for Smith College, where she studied English and creative writing under Mary Ellen Chase, a well-known New England author.
Thereafter, her life took a more traditional path of doting mother and supportive wife. But her love of writing never waned and, in later years, she attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she reconnected with the novel she had started years before and began to flesh it out.
Quire Cleveland presents its first Cleveland Heights concert at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd., on Friday, Sept. 26, at 7:30 p.m. The program, “The Flower of Flanders: Masterpieces of Renaissance Polyphony,” features the greatest composers of the 15th and 16th centuries. Like the art of Michelangelo and Leonardo, this music has a timeless appeal, with its glorious melodies and the way the different voices weave around each other, like a fascinating conversation.
Composers such as Josquin (“The Prince of Music”) Desprez, Guillaume DuFay, Giaches de Wert and Roland de Lassus may not be household names today, but they were revered in their time by kings and popes alike.
The Grant Deming Artists, a collective of artists who reside in the Grant Deming’s Forest Hill Historic District of Cleveland Heights, will exhibit their work this September at Loganberry Books: Annex Gallery in Larchmere. The exhibition opens on Wednesday, Sept. 3, with a 6–8 p.m. reception, and will be on view through Sept. 28.
Grant Deming Artists, formed in September 2013, is united by the purpose of connecting art with the public, intentionally focusing on local venues and resonating with fellow community members. Currently, artists in the collective work in watercolor, acrylics, mixed media, photography, textiles and jewelry.
Alan M. Gates, former rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, recently renamed the South Wing Gallery in honor of Nicholson B. White, who led St. Paul’s from 1983 to 2002.
White, who served on the original gallery committee and exhibited his photographs there in 1992, was instrumental in creating an art gallery at St. Paul’s in 1990. He had envisioned the gallery as a gift to the community, for public use. It is therefore fitting that the gallery is now called the Nicholson B. White Gallery.
White enlisted the help of Cleveland architect William H. Collins, a St. Paul’s parishioner, to design what White described as “a gallery and rotunda, a magnificent space, which would be in perfect proportion with the original church.”
The Western Reserve Chorale’s (WRC) 2014–15 season will feature an Ohio premiere and Act II of its popular program “For Love of Shakespeare.”
For its December concert, WRC, under the direction of David Gilson, will share music of the holiday season, featuring the “Christmas Cantata” by English composer Geoffrey Bush, along with traditional favorites.
In March, the group will present the Ohio premiere of Karl Jenkins's “The Peacemakers,” a multi-movement work composed in 2011 for choir, youth choir and orchestra.
Dedicated “to the memory of all those who lost their lives during armed conflict,” the work is set to music texts by Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., the Dalai Lama, Albert Schweitzer, Anne Frank and others.
Roots of American Music, the Cleveland Heights-based nonprofit, held a benefit on Demington Drive on Aug. 9. The organization takes local musicians into schools throughout Northeast Ohio and teaches the students about music and other subjects, using the music. The benefit featured some great musicians, including longtime Cleveland musician Charlie Mosbrook (pictured) and the Godot Quartet.
The first Heights’ Got Talent contest took place on Sunday, Aug. 18, at the Evans Amphitheater at Cain Park. It was a huge success, and all of the 16 finalists who took part in the show were, indeed, very talented.
The competition was sponsored by Motorcars, the Cleveland Heights-based Toyota and Honda dealer, and Trevor Gile, the general manager of Motorcars Honda and the son of Motorcars owner Chuck Gile, came up with the idea last September. The contest was based on “America’s Got Talent,” and performers wishing to take part in the show had to live in Northeast Ohio and had to submit videos to Motorcars. More than 50 artists entered the contest, and their videos were posted on a website, where the initial round of voting took place. The top 16 vote-getters made it to the finals.
Dobama’s 2014–15 season will mark its first as the region’s newest Equity theater, which means that the industry considers it to be a fully professional theater.
Actors’ Equity Association, the labor union that represents more than 49,000 actors and stage managers in the United States, was founded in 1913. Like other labor unions, Actors’ Equity negotiates wages and working conditions and provides a wide range of benefits for its members.
Justly proud of its Equity status, Dobama is offering an exciting and diverse selection of plays, opening with “Belleville” by Amy Herzog on Friday, Sept. 5.
The Yiddishe Cup Klezmer Band will perform at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 7, on the lawn in front of the Grasselli Library at John Carroll University in University Heights.
Guest vocalist Shawn Fink will sing "Joe and Paul's," a humorous Yiddish/English song about a men's clothing store in Brooklyn, N.Y., circa 1948. The band will also play "Warrensville and Center Road," a Yiddishe Cup original about TJ Maxx, Bob Evans and Target.
The concert, part of the University Heights Summer Concert Series, is free. Bring a blanket or chair to sit on. In case of rain, the show will move inside to the Dolan Science Center. For more information, contact University Heights City Hall at 216-932-7800.
In choosing plays for its upcoming seasons, Ensemble Theatre makes its selections based on a theme. The 2014–15 season is no exception and the theme is the “Cult of Personality.” Past themes have included “All You Need Is Love” (2013–14) and “Discover the Human Element” (2012–13). If thought-provoking drama about strong characters appeals to you, a subscription to Ensemble’s upcoming season may be just the ticket.