Tuesday Musical executive and artistic director Jarrod Hartzler, who will leave the Akron organization to lead the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education on Sept. 4, said his new position in Columbus is a natural progression.
"Arts education has really been at the core of everything I've done all of my career, including Tuesday Musical,'' he said Friday.
In his six years at the helm of Tuesday Musical Association, he has expanded the classical music presenting organization's educational outreach and community engagement programs through programs including the Escher quartet in residence, which reaches about 2,000 students each year, and Decompression Chamber, which offers live classical music as a way to decompress at unexpected places on busy workdays.
Tuesday Musical's world-class visiting outreach artists, its Composer in Residence program, with composer/pianist Greg Kallor and other new programs including the Myers Foundation New Music Fund, reach more than 5,000 people of all ages every season, said board president Paul Filon.
Hartzler also has brought Tuesday Musical on board as part of a local Kennedy Center Partners in Education team, which offers professional development to classroom teachers through arts integration.
"We are immensely grateful for Jarrod's excellent leadership, especially his vision to expand Tuesday Musical's reach and relevance,'' Filon said in a release.
Now, Hartzler will lead OAAE, a statewide arts service organization that works to assure that the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan.
"It's just making sure that the offerings are as even and fair across the state as possible and that they're of good, high quality,'' Hartzler said of OAAE's mission in advocating for the arts and arts education at the state level.
He has been a board member for OAAE since 2008. At the nonprofit, he'll be working with arts education professional organizations throughout Ohio and will stay in close contact with numerous arts projects in Akron. He envisions working in Columbus two days a week and traveling throughout Ohio the other two or three days.
Hartzler, a Wooster resident who was an arts management fellow with the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in 2008, said the Escher String Quartet is set for its fourth year as the quartet in residence at Tuesday Musical. He envisions their residency continuing as long as possible.
Tuesday Musical's 132nd season also will go on as planned, beginning with Escher violinist Adam Barnett-Hart's appearance with Grammy-winning classical guitarist Jason Vieaux Sept. 24 at E.J. Thomas Hall. Tuesday Musical's board is exploring leadership transition options, Filon said.
What does it take for a world-class orchestra to produce a concert version of one of America's most beloved musicals, "South Pacific," with top-notch talent from one of the country's top musical theater schools?
In the case of the Cleveland Orchestra and Baldwin Wallace University, it takes 32 students arriving back to campus early for eight days of 10-hour rehearsals, including a rehearsal with the orchestra at Severance Hall Friday, followed by a dress rehearsal at Blossom Music Center Saturday before the one-time show Saturday evening.
It's a first-time collaboration between the orchestra and Baldwin Wallace, with the orchestra turning to the school's Broadway-level talent to fulfill its goal of putting on full musicals in concert again at Blossom Music Festival. (The last time that happened was "Girl Crazy" in 1987.)
Broadway music director Andy Einhorn came on board in February, when the festival season was announced and "The Sound of Music" was on the bill for the orchestra-BW collaboration. The show has since changed to Rodgers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific" because the concert-version rights to "The Sound of Music" weren't available.
Three BW students are in starring roles — senior Kailey Boyle as Nellie Forbush, junior Gordia Hayes as Luther Billis and freshman Hanako Walrarth as Liat — and 27 others are in the ensemble. Joining them will be Broadway performer Ryan Silverman as Lt. Joe Cable, Tony Award winner Loretta Ables Sayre as Bloody Mary and operatic baritone Elliot Madore as Emile de Becque.
Half of BW's musical theater students are performing in the show.
"We had rehearsals this morning with the sailors and they are literally spending their lunch hour checking into the dorms,'' director Victoria Bussert, head of the Baldwin Wallace program, said Friday.
On Thursday, Boyle rehearsed with local youngsters Avery Pyo as Ngana and Sun-Hee Smith, daughter of first violinist Chul-In Park, as Jerome. Boyle, who has had numerous starring roles at school and most recently in "Mamma Mia!" at Great Lakes Theater Festival, will now sing opposite a seasoned pro.
"It's thrilling for her to be starring opposite an international opera singer," Bussert said of Boyle in her romantic lead role opposite Madore. "There are so many new experiences for the students on this."
For many of the students, this will be the first time working with a Broadway conductor or singing with an international opera singer and Tony winner. Sayre won a Tony for best supporting actress for her role as Bloody Mary in the 2008 revival of "South Pacific,'' which was her Broadway debut.
One of the most unique opportunities is performing with the 100-piece Cleveland Orchestra, something the students may never experience again, no matter how many musicals are in their professional future. Bussert pointed to her husband Dale Rieling's work as associate conductor for "Sunset Boulevard," which featured a 40-piece orchestra. That size is normally unheard of on Broadway.
The whole cast and orchestra gathering for the first time Friday will be a big moment, Bussert said: "I'm going to bring Kleenex because I can't imagine what that's going to be like."
For tickets to Saturday's performance, which starts at 8 p.m., see www.clevelandorchestra.com.
Arts writer Kerry Clawson may be reached at 330-996-3527 or email@example.com. Follow her at @KerryClawsonABJ or www.facebook.com/kclawsonabj