Citified music in a rural setting. Sounds great.
It’s not exactly taking art to rural places for people who can’t get to the big city music halls. No one really lives all that close to where some of the musical performances are being held.
It seems more about getting people out and about, luring them into the out of doors to see the land where they live and to enjoy the atmosphere before bad weather comes rolling in.
Summertime is music time in the Akron area. Who can complain about that?
Certainly not the National Park Service, for it is big into the music scene throughout the year in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, but goes to the limits during summer months with its Music and the Arts in the Valley programs.
There’s the “Music in the Meadow” series, an annual community band festival; contra dance, “Tunes Along the Trail” (the Erie-Ohio towpath corridor); and, last but certainly not least, “Music by Nature” series.
“Music by Nature” is one of the most popular of the venues. Maybe that’s because it’s a short series of just two groups – local music organizations Sounds of Sousa on Sunday, July 9, and the Solaris Wind Quintet, on Sunday, August 5 of this year – or just maybe it’s because it can be an evening-long outing beginning with a picnic on the grounds followed by the concert and ending with a complimentary dessert and social hour. All of this set in the renovated and charming Happy Days Lodge, which makes for an intimate and pleasant venue for performers and audience alike.
I suspect the likely answer is the quality of the musical groups presented.
With the Sounds of Sousa, you get an authentic John Philip Sousa-style concert by conductor Marcus Neiman and his Sounds of Sousa Band.
These concerts are fast-paced, feature outstanding soloists and always end with a rousing finale of Sousa’s most famous composition, “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”
With the Solaris Wind Quintet, you get innovative, unique and sublime classical and contemporary classic music performed by highly-trained musicians who just happen to have scads of personality to go with their musical talents.
For samples of the Solaris Wind Quintet music, click here.
Sounds of Sousa Band, Happy Days Lodge, 500 W. Streetsboro Rd. (State Route 303), plays Sunday, July 8, at 6:30 p.m. Solaris Wind Quintet plays Sunday, August 5, at 6:30 p.m. 330-657-2909, ext 100. www.nps.gov/cuva/planyourvisit/cultural-arts.htm. Admission is $20.