For those of you who didn't make it this year to the Firelands Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concert, be comforted by these words: There will be another one next year. Thousands of local residents and out-of-town guests filled the chairs at the Sandusky State Theatre this past Sunday night for an evening of music that delivered a delightful greeting to the season.
Guest vocalist Lynn Wintersteller, a Sandusky native and professional performer with an impressive resume, wowed the audience with her versatile vocals, stunning stage presence, and unadulterated talent. Lynn sang a brilliant song titled, "Christmas in my Hometown," which was written by Dan May especially for Sandusky. Wintersteller's stellar performance was complimented with a heartwarming slideshow of photographs taken by her late father, Alden Wintersteller. Mr. Wintersteller's poignant snapshots of various spots in Sandusky flowed across a screen above the stage while Lynn sang a rendition of "There's a Place Called Home," a moving tune about the magic of one's hometown. Obviously inspired by her love for her father, Lynn highlighted the importance of family and the community with her emotional performance.
Carl Topilow, the symphony's conductor, charmed the audience by playing a couple of clarinet solos while leading the orchestra. Adding some humor, Carl brought 6 spirited children up on stage, all possessing an unconventional instrument, to contribute to the evening's music.
The remarkable Firelands Symphony Orchestra flawlessly delivered note after note of celebrated holiday classics, including selections from the "Nutcracker Ballet," "Greensleeves," and "Dance of the Tumblers from The Snow Maiden." This grand group of strings, percussion, horns, woodwinds, and a harp certainly stirred in me and my family a holly, jolly, festive feeling. Yes, it was a splendid night of music.
As a new resident of the Sandusky area (I'm from southern California and just moved here in July), I was pleased to see the arts shine so brightly in my new community.