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Bluffton University’s Gospel Choir will present a concert featuring personal favorites of the conductor, Crystal Sellers Battle, associate professor of music. Soloists will include community members who are in the choir, Kathy Grady of Findlay, and Marta Michalska-Uras, originally from the Czech Republic. Sellers Battle will also be featured as a soloist on one of the pieces.
The Fostoria Community Band will perform a spring concert with pieces including “The Legend of Danny Boy,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “An American Portrait,” “The Fairest of the Fair,” “John Williams Blockbuster” and “Chorale and Shaker Dance.” The band is under the direction of Craig McKenzie and is made up of approximately 40 members from the Fostoria area, ranging in age from high school students to senior citizens. Refreshments will be served during a short intermission, donations will be accepted to support the band, and the facility is handicap-accessible.
In preparation for Easter, the University of Findlay Concert-Chorale will present Lenten choral music, including Gabriel Faure’s “Requiem” and “Messe Basse,” on Sunday, April 2, at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 2330 S. Main St., Findlay.
Gabriel Faure was a French Romantic composer, organist, pianist and teacher whose works influenced many 20th century composers. “Requiem” is his best-known choral work. The piece will be performed with Melissa Harvey, soprano; Lance Ashmore, baritone soloist; chamber orchestra; and organ. Choral activities director SeaHwa Jung will serve as concert director.
Admission will be free but tickets are required. Tickets are available at the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts, www.marathoncenterarts.org or at 419-423-2787; or can be picked up at the door.
The Findlay High School Alumni Association will present the 19th annual Alumni Musical Showcase at 7 p.m. Monday, April 3, in the school’s R.L. Heminger Auditorium, 1200 Broad Ave.
Performers include the Findlay First Edition Show Choir (FFE), Voices in Perfection Freshman Show Choir (VIP), and the Hancock County Children’s Choir; Celia Stockton and Steve Huffman will be featured vocalists; Kevin Manley and Krista Bigger will sing a duet; and Bev Roby will accompany on keys. Roger Powell is the FHS alumni director and emcee for the event.
Stockton graduated Findlay High in 1978 and directs the Hancock County Children’s Choir, a musical ensemble for treble voices based in Greater Hancock County but open to all grades 2-5 children in the surrounding area. She is also the show choir director at St. Wendelin Catholic School, Fostoria, and teaches private voice and piano lessons at Stockton Studio of Performing Arts. Her career has led to several acting roles, including the voice of the Smurfette character for licensed theme park attractions based on “The Smurfs.”
Huffman, a 1969 Findlay High alumnus, is a founding member of The Ambassadors, a local gospel quartet. Active in the performing arts during high school, he’s continued his musical pursuits by performing in several University of Findlay and Findlay Light Opera Company productions and by serving on boards of the Light Opera Company and the Curtain Raiser Society for the Performing Arts at UF.
Manley is in his 25th year of teaching with Findlay City Schools, where he directs three concert choirs along with FFE. During his 11 years as FFE director, the group was the FAME New York and FAME Chicago Grand Champion, as well as 25 other Grand Championships and multiple caption awards for Best Vocals, Best Choreography, and Best Instrumental Combo.
Bigger, a 2001 FHS graduate, serves as the assistant choir director at Findlay High School and directs VIP, which she choreographs with Ashley Carey. Performing and directing choral music professionally for 15 years, Bigger served as director of choirs at North Royalton High School, where she expanded the program from two choirs to seven choirs, spearheaded the development of its competitive show choir program and served as the vocal music director of its theater productions.
While Roby did not graduate from Findlay, she feels like the city is her home. She plays keyboard with the local big band, Night Jazz, and accompanies the men’s ensemble Good News from St. Andrew’s along with the Hancock County Children’s Choir for its second season. She has taught language arts and music at elementary and middle schools and has served as organist and music director at area churches.
General admission tickets for the event are $7 and can be purchased by calling the Findlay High School Alumni office at 419-420-7007, mailing a check to FHS Alumni Association, c/o Roger Powell, 1200 Broad Ave., Findlay, OH 45840; by picking them up at the Instrument Care Center, 319 S. Main St., Findlay. They are also available at the door.
Proceeds from the event go to the Findlay High School Alumni scholarship fund.