Music Club has its traditional picnic
Sep 11, 2013 | 785 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Music Club 9-11

Cleveland Music Club resumed its meetings of the new club year on Sept. 5, with a picnic at the home of George Olin and Martha Lessig. The program featured a mix of “favorites” chosen by each performer. The Lessigs did an instrumental of “Dizzy Fingers” on the piano and clarinet.
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After taking its customary summer recess, the Cleveland Music club met at the Lessig home on Sept. 5 for the first monthly meeting of the new club year. In a longstanding tradition, the host couple had prepared its spacious deck under tall shade trees for the annual picnic dinner enjoyed by a large group of members prior to the meeting.

President Jean Henderson opened the meeting with greetings to all members and their guests. She thanked George and Martha Lessig for inviting the club back into their home and for all the work they had done in getting ready to accommodate such a large picnic group. Her appreciation also went to Dortha Townsend and Carolyn Lay, who assisted as hostesses.

Henderson welcomed several talented new members to the club. They had decided to join after previously contributing to monthly club meetings as guests.

Brian Lessig, a percussionist, is the son of the host couple. His wife, Andrea, will be making vocal and drama contributions.

Rick Donegan introduced Matt Ingram, a guitarist, Josh Wenger, a tenor, and Wenger’s wife, Christa, who had previously impressed club members by playing her 6-foot tall concert-grand harp. Cameron LaBarr and his wife, Susan, joined as associate members. All were welcomed with whole-hearted applause.

Due to two open positions on the board of directors, Dortha Townsend had agreed to fill the unexpired term of secretary Pat Henley, and Sheridan Randolph will replace Debbie Huebschman as the club’s parliamentarian.

Townsend conducted the roll call, but reading of the May meeting minutes was suspended.

Treasurer Terry Barger gave a detailed financial report that included very positive figures from the Scholarship Benefit Concert held in May.

Elaborating on the Benefit Concert, Henderson expressed her appreciation to all who helped make it a big success. Her special thanks went to Jeannie Saywer for spearheading the event and for working long and hard hours to realize her dream of having the Kantorski-Pope Piano Duo, a Steinway Artist Ensemble, perform for the club’s scholarship fund.

Not only did she procure two highly acclaimed pianists to play in Cleveland, she arranged for them to perform on two Steinway pianos, and transporting two Steinway pianos to the Museum Center was no easy task.

Sawyer added that the concert was financially a great success thanks to the generosity of sponsors whose contributions covered expenses over and above proceeds from ticket sales. She expressed her appreciation not only to the sponsors, but to all club members who had diligently worked on printing the tickets, making sure that all tickets were sold, preparing refreshments and serving them after the concert, handling publicity and taking on many other functions to benefit the scholarship fund.

Henderson turned the program over to Milteen Cartwright who led the group in singing “When They Ring the Golden Bells,” a hymn with lyrics written by Daniel de Marbelle.

Mary Ann Borst and Martha Lessig co-directed a musical potpourri of “Favorites” chosen by the various participants on the program. After being introduced by Borst, each performer explained why the selection was one of his or her “favorites.”

George Olin, alto saxophone, and Martha Lessig, piano, opened with “Melodie,” by the Belgian composer Simon Poulain.

Soprano Sawyer, with piano accompaniment by Margaret Ann Randolph, had chosen a Leonora aria from Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “La Forza Del Destino.”

Rick Donegan, trumpet, with his son, Caleb, guitarist, presented two jazz standards: “Here’s that Rainy Day,” by composer Jimmy Van Heusen, and “Killer Joe,” by Benny Golson.

Robbie Cody and Barger offered a four-handed piano arrangement of the hymn “The Old Rugged Cross.” Lyrics of the hymn were written by George Bennard.

Pat Meagher, soprano, accompanied by Randolph on the piano, sang “All the Things You Are to Me,” with lyrics by Jerome Kern and music by Oscar Hammerstein.

Henderson played a piano solo of “The Man I Love,” a composition by George Gershwin for which his brother, Ira, wrote the lyrics. The program ended with Zez Confrey’s “Dizzy Fingers,” played by Olin on the clarinet and Lessig on the piano.

Borst thanked all performers. She was joined by Henderson, who added parting words and thanks to the host couple, the program directors and all performers who shared their “favorites” with the group.