Press Release: 25th Annual Toledo Symphony Orchestra Black History Month Concert

For Immediate Release

Date: February 13, 2015

Contact: For more information, please call Sister Virginia Welsh, or the Office at St Martin de Porres (419) 241-4544

The Toledo Symphony Orchestra (TSO) will perform on February 22, 2015 at St Martin de Porres Catholic Church at 5:00 PM. TSO will receive the St Katharine Drexel Award for their 25 years of commitment to this neighborhood concert and their contributions in the field of music education. This annual concert concludes the Black History Month celebrations at St Martin de Porres Parish.

Ryan Thomas

Damon Grupton

Damon Gupton, conductor and actor, will guest conduct the concert.  A native of Detroit, Michigan, Damon Gupton held the post of Assistant Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony from 2006-2008. Gupton received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Michigan. He studied conducting with David Zinman and Murry Sidlin at the Aspen Music Festival and with Leonard Slatkin at the National Conducting Institute in Washington, D.C.

The concert will feature soloist, Ryan Thomas, a 16-year old member of St Martin de Porres Parish, is last year’s winner of the Toledo Symphony League’s Young Artist Competition. In his young career, Thomas has performed with the Ohio Music Education Association, as well as several collegiate honors ensembles, including the District 1 Honors Band. Thomas has been principal percussionist for three years with the Northwest Regional Orchestra and the honor bands at the University of Akron and Ohio University. He attended Interlochen Arts Camp for the 2014 season. Ryan Thomas will play Fantasy on Japanese Woodprints by Hovhaness.

In addition to the TSO receiving the St. Katharine Drexel Award, Sandra Clark, former member of the orchestra who worked for years with the St. Martin de Porres Symphony Committee on the development of this concert series, will receive a posthumous honor. Sandra Clark was the principal horn player of the orchestra.

Father Martin Donnelly who is celebrating fifty years of his priestly ordination will receive recognition for his role in the starting of this concert series 25 years ago. Rochester Gates, John C. Moore, and Robert Bell were also part of the first planning committee.

Ticket Information

Advanced tickets are $15 and $20 at the door. Student tickets are $10. For more information, please call St. Martin de Porres Parish (419) 241-4544.