North Star Festival

Toledo, Ohio has a rich history as a safe haven along the Underground Railroad, a 19th century network that helped slaves escape to freedom. In this North Star Festival, we highlight our local heritage and celebrate the musical contribution of Black Americans throughout history from the 1850s to 1960s. We carefully curated this festival for you so you can experience the music behind the Black American story - from songs brought over to America during times of slavery to new music that pays tribute to the brave men and women of the Civil Rights Movement. 

North Star Festival Performances 


Lift Ev’ry Voice:

The Musical Legacy of the Underground Railroad

FEBRUARY 15, 2018 │ 9:45 AM and 11:00 AM
TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART PERISTYLE THEATER

The Toledo Symphony Orchestra along with additional community organizations are coming together to explore Toledo’s Underground Railroad history through music: the North Star Festival.  Special friends from our partners at the Lathrop House will be on hand to narrate and make history come to life. This program features a screening of Unspoken by Henry Cole and a sing along of Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing. Although the subject matter of the Underground Railroad is difficult, you will leave the concert feeling enlightened and empowered.

This event is open to schools and homeschools. 

 

A Preschool Storytime

FEBRUARY 22, 2018 │ 10:30-11:30 AM
SANGER BRANCH │ TOLEDO LUCAS COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY 

Enjoy stories, music, and motion! This special Preschool Storytime will have musical guests- members of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. This event is perfect for preschoolers and parents.

This event is free and open to the public.

 

Reaching for Our Stars

FEBRUARY 25, 2018 │ 5:00 PM
St. MARTIN DE PORRES CHURCH

As a prelude to the North Star Festival, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra will perform a neighborhood concert at St. Martin de Porres Church in celebration of Black History Month.

Tickets may be purchased at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church by calling 419-241-4544.

 

Instrument Petting Zoo

FEBRUARY 27, 2018 │ 4:30-5:30 PM
KENT BRANCH │ TOLEDO LUCAS COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY 

See, hear, and play a variety of orchestral instruments. Members of the Toledo Symphony and the Toledo Symphony Youth Quartet will present music inspired by spirituals from the 1850’s to present day.

This event is free and open to the public.

 

A Conversation on Romance and Spirituals

MARCH 1, 2018 │ 6:30-7:15 PM
WEST TOLEDO BRANCH │ TOLEDO LUCAS COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY 

Merwin Siu, Toledo Symphony Artistic Administrator and Principal Second Violinist, will provide insights behind the programming of Romance and Spirituals, the Blade Chamber Series performance on March 11th. Learn about the inspiration for this program and hear the TSO string quartet perform selections for the concert.

This event is free and open to the public.

 

Romance and Spirituals, A Rehearsal

MARCH 11, 2018 │ 1:15-4:30 PM
MAIN LIBRARY │ TOLEDO LUCAS COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY 

Have you ever wondered what musicians do to prepare for a performance? You’re invited to come and enjoy music of the Toledo Symphony in the Wintergarden of the Main Library as it is being refined for the Blade Chamber Series performance. Hear music inspired by the Underground Railroad and experience a behind-the-scenes look as finishing touches are added to the music.

This event is free and open to the public.

 

Romance and Spirituals

MARCH 11, 2018 │ 7:00 PM
MAIN LIBRARY │ TOLEDO LUCAS COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY

From the traditional spiritual Go, Tell It On The Mountain to rhythmic pulse and hip-hop beats of Haitian-American composer Daniel Bernard Roumain's String Quartet No. 5 "Parks"- including movements Klap Ur HandzI made up my mind not to move, and Isorhythmiclastionistic - expect the unexpected from this genre-defying, music without words program performed by small groups of musicians.

Presented in collaboration with Toledo Lucas County Public Library and Lathrop House.

 

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Kathleen Battle

Underground Railroad – A Spiritual Journey

MARCH 16, 2018 │ 7:30 PM
TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART PERISTYLE THEATER

Performed only in cities along the Underground Railroad, Metropolitan Opera star and Ohio native Kathleen Battle, joined by the Clarence Smith Community Chorus and Voices at BGSU, present a program of stories and spirituals inspired by the extraordinary journey to freedom during times of slavery. Don’t miss one of the world’s greatest voices in this special, once-in-a lifetime presentation that celebrates Toledo’s part in freedom.

 

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I Dream

APRIL 6 & 7, 2018 │ 7:30 PM
APRIL 8, 2018 │ 2:00 PM
VALENTINE THEATRE

Toledo Opera is proud to debut I Dream - a modern, rhythm & blues opera recounting the final 36 hours in the remarkable life of American icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I Dream is a production of Toledo Opera.

 

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Classical Ellington

APRIL 20 & 21 │ 8:00 PM
TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART PERISTYLE THEATER

Jazz takes center stage as we explore jazz and its roots in our community. Celebrate the orchestra world of band leader and pioneer Duke Ellington in his version of the Nutcracker and his own tone poem, Harlem. The TSO also presents two other jazz-inspired works: Paul Schoenfield’s magnificent Four Parables, a work the TSO premiered 35 years ago, and the world premiere of Alice Gomez’s Latin Jazz Suite. 

 

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Presented in collaboration with Toledo Lucas County Public Library and Lathrop House.

The Toledo Symphony Orchestra has events all year round. View our upcoming performance schedule now.

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