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Holidays Around The World$37 – $40
Holiday Pops Concert
Sunday, December 15, 2019 4:00pm
Sandusky State Theatre
The Holidays are one of the greatest celebrations for people in many countries around the world. From the distant bells of the Ukraine countryside to the powerful drums of the African plains, to the carols sung from the British hillside or the tender tunes that warm the heart of an American home, we celebrate this time of year through the traditions in various parts of the globe.
Join us as we present the musical sounds of caroling, feasting, gift-giving, and the greetings of the season around the world.
Sunday, December 15, 2019 4:00pm at Sandusky State Theatre
Conversation with the Conductor 3:00pm
Carl Topilow, Music Director and Conductor of FSO
Michael Shirtz, Director of FSC
Firelands Symphony Orchestra, Full Orchestra
Firelands Symphony Chorale
Holidays Around The World is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors.
Randolph J. and Estelle M. Dorn Foundation
To Be Announced!
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Finland: The Finnish equivalent to Father Christmas is “Joulupukki” which translates to “Yule Goat” and perhaps has origins in the Nomadic shaman traditions of people dressing up as animals.
Switzerland: In processions known as the “Trychle”, people parade wearing a big cow bell or carrying drums, and wearing masks.
Austria: Santa’s companion, Krampus, is a devilish figure. You may encounter a procession of Krampuses stalking through towns, laden with bells and chains, intimidating onlookers or whipping them with bundles of sticks!
This year Carl Topilow will be celebrating his 12th season as Firelands Symphony Orchestra Music Director and Conductor. His tenure with the orchestra has seen a dramatic improvement in the orchestra’s quality, a significant rise in subscriptions and concert attendance, and the appearance of world class soloists to our stage.
In addition to his work with the FSO, Topilow is founding conductor of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, leads the National Repertory Orchestra, a summer festival in Breckenridge, Colorado. He is Faculty Emeritus at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Topilow has appeared as guest conductor for more than 120 orchestras in 37 states and 12 foreign countries.
Topilow has assisted in the training of talented musicians and conductors for positions in orchestras in the United States and abroad and has supplied numerous young musicians the opportunity to perform as both orchestra members and soloists. His manner of presenting the music through musical illustrations and guides has enhanced the concert experience for audience members.
In addition to his work as conductor, Topilow continues to perform as clarinetist with orchestra as well as with piano in informal recitals.
Topilow’s wife Shirley is the President and CEO of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra. Their daughter Jenny is a violinist with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. Their daughter Emily is a recent graduate of Bowling Green State University, where she is majored in psychology and minored in marketing, and played in the BGSU Symphony Orchestra.
A jazz artist, composer, and conductor, Michael Shirtz is known for his versatility with contemporary and traditional music audiences. As a recording artist and producer, Shirtz performs regularly with his group, the Michael Shirtz Quintet, and has worked with such artists as Dave Brubeck, Elizabeth von Trapp, Melissa Manchester, among others, and currently writes and performs with Maureen McGovern. His passion for introducing jazz and American Music to audiences is evident in his shows AMERICA, Our Way, In Finding Faith and Blue Skies. His work in commercial music has led him to be an advocate for mental health awareness, arts education, and the creative economy.
As a conductor, Shirtz has worked and performed with the Martin Luther King Festival Chorus, Columbus Symphony, African American Composers Festival, Donald Brinegar Singers, the California Philharmonic, Terra Choral Society, and festival choruses in California, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Tennessee. Shirtz has served on the faculty of the Conservatory of Music at Capital University, American Music Academy, Terra State Community College, Tri-C JazzFest & Performing Arts Series, and national workshops, conferences, and repertory theatre productions. Currently, Shirtz is the senior vice president of Entertainment & Programming at Lakeside Chautauqua where he serves as the artistic director for the Chautauqua Choral Festival and choral programs, director of the Firelands Symphony Chorale, conductor of the LIFT Choral Festival, partner with S&S Arts Strategies in Columbus, Ohio, artistic producer of the JAZZ@8 Series, and producer with the Jazz Education Network.
His compositions include selections for choir, jazz groups, orchestra, film, and large-scale works such as“Hymn to the Earth,” the cantata “The Solemn Blessings,” the oratorio “In God’s Light” and the collection Shades of Blue. Shirtz’s music is published by SMP and his text Essence of Influence and articles have been published by The Choral Journal and CSULA Publications. Shirtz holds a Bachelors of Music degree in jazz studies from Capital University and Masters of Music in conducting from California State University, Los Angeles. Shirtz is managed by OCM Productions and resides in Sandusky, Ohio, with his wife Pamela.