Music by Nature scheduled to return this summer

Arts / Article

The city of Akron is set to come alive with music this summer. There is a free concert every day of the week somewhere in town. Outside the city limits, especially in the Cuyahoga Valley, the musical scene is shaping up as well. The Conservancy for the Cuyahoga Valley partners with the National Park Service to bring four different concert series to both indoor and outdoor venues through the Cuyahoga Valley. One series – Music by Nature – is scheduled to begin on Sunday, June 1 at Happy Days Lodge.

Three concerts are lined up – with the first one to be performed by the Iron Toys.

The Iron Toys is a group of four men who altogether play more than 20 instruments among them. Essentially a saxophone/woodwind quartet (which was founded in 2004 by Tom Reed, Rich Shanklin, George Shernit and Howie Smith), the combo performs a diverse repertoire blending classical, jazz and avant-garde styles. The members are all practicing professional musicians in the northeast Ohio area.

Cool jazz is only one of the musical tastes to be satisfied by the concert series. On Sunday, July 20 the group Singers Companye is returning by popular demand.

Singers Companye is a chamber choir of choral directors, music teachers and singers from northeast Ohio. Artistic director Samuel Gordon founded the ensemble in 2000 in order to provide singers with the opportunity to perform great choral works for chamber choir from virtually every era of musical composition. The group has been described as bringing everything from folk music through movie theme songs, stunning love songs, works of the Beatles, and the like. The chorale is also known for being responsive to the emotional words and nuances of the music in ways that explore the subtleties of the merger of music and lyrics.

Singers Companye. Photo from the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Last in the list of the Music by Nature series is a performance on Sunday, August 3 by the Cuyahoga Valley Chamber Players. The group is a string ensemble (comprised of flute, clarinet and harp played by Jane Berkner, Amital Vardi and Jody Guinn). The pieces on the bill for this group are: “A Night Piece” by Arthur Foote, the Clarinet Quintet by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and the quite lovely Introduction and Allegro by Maurice Ravel.

Cuyahoga Valley Chamber Players. Photo from Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley Chamber Players. Photo from Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park

The Music by Nature series pretty much covers it all – jazz, classical, pop, rock, historical music and the like – and in a great summer setting. Attendees are invited to come early to the grounds, bring along food and games and enjoy the outdoors before the concert begins.

Music by Nature will begin its 2014 summer series by featuring a performance by Iron Toys at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 1 at Happy Days Lodge, 500 West Streetsboro Rd., Peninsula; 333-657-2909 ext 100; Tickets are $20; $17 for members of the conservancy.