5 Types of People Who Would Enjoy the Beyond the Bricks Tour


5 Types of People who would enjoy the Beyond the Bricks Tour

I had the opportunity to take the “Beyond the Bricks” tour presented by the guides for the Society for the Preservation of Music Hall. While the building is under construction with renovations, you have the opportunity to learn to appreciate the fine points of the building like never before. The “Beyond the Bricks’ tour takes you on a 90 minute outdoor tour around Cincinnati Music Hall that will open your eyes to important details that can so be easily overlooked.

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Cirque Mechanics ~ Cincinnati Pops Orchestra March 27-29



I’m so excited about the upcoming Cirque Mechanics event with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. It combines incredible acrobatics and amazing music. I’ve always been intrigued by circus performers. They’ve inspired me to try the trapeze, take an aerial silks class and our family has even taken a family circus class together.

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Cincinnati Pops Presents American Originals

 Cincinnati Pops presents American Originals

I’m really excited about the American Originals concert presented by the Cincinnati Pops at Music Hall. The line up of incredible artists includes one of my personal favorite bands “Over the Rhine” who are a local favorite.  This is truly going to be a historic night with so many talented artists creating a truly unique musical experience.


America’s legendary song-writer Stephen Foster created the first pages of the American Songbook in Cincinnati while working as a book keeper at his brother’s steam-boat shipping company in the mid-1800s. American Originals celebrates the remarkable legacy of Stephen Foster as well as the music of 18th century America that created the foundation of our nation’s musical ethos. These concerts bring together some of the most significant singers in the wave of roots/traditional music that is sweeping across the country, giving their own spin on these classics.


Roseanne Cash

Leading the cast is Rosanne Cash, whose decades-long career has helped define American music. Her latest album,The River and The Thread, is nominated for three Grammy Awards, including Best Americana Album and is being called “The best of her career” (USA Today). “I think Stephen Foster is an enormously important figure in the canon of American music.‘Hard Times’ alone is worth a whole genre!” said Ms. Cash. “I think I draw inspiration from Foster in a very long and slightly convoluted line,but tracing things back to him makes sense to me.”
Also on the concert is American singer-songwriter Joe Henry, a critic’s darling also known for producing Grammy-winning albums for such artists as Hugh Laurie, Elvis Costello, Over the Rhine and more. “I have never before had the opportunity to perform with a full orchestra, and have longed to; and I very much look forward to striking a balance between the broad expanse of such instrumentation and the intimacy of the material,” said Mr. Henry.
 Over the Rhine

Hometown heroes Over the Rhine, the duo comprised of Karin Berquist and Linford Detweiler and named for the Cincinnati neighborhood that houses Music Hall, add wistful vocals and haunting guitar to Foster’s beloved tunes. “Sometimes when sitting at the piano, we try to imagine Stephen Foster having a musical conversation with another more modern musician. We’ve certainly felt echoes of his writing in several of our songs over the years,” the duo said in an interview.


Dom Fleming
Dom Flemons’ (formerly of the Carolina Chocolate Drops) latest album was named one of NPR’s top 10 folk albums of 2014. Mr. Flemons’ music has gained praise for digging deep into the American repertoire, ranging from ragtime, Piedmont blues, spirituals, southern folk music, string band music, jug band music, fife and drum music, and ballads idioms with showmanship and humor, reinterpreting the music to suit 21st century audiences. “Stephen Foster’s music is the bedrock of American popular music. It’s also a complex representation of life in post-Civil War America,” said Mr. Flemons.



A favorite guest of Garrison Keillor (A Prairie Home Companion), The Goat Rodeo Sessions and festivals across the globe, Aoife O’Donovan adds her folk talent to “American Originals.”
Rounding out the cast is The Comet Bluegrass All-Stars. The house band at The Comet, located in Cincinnati’s Northside neighborhood, the All-Stars have a robust following. Performing original music as well as bluegrass standards, the All-Stars have performed with the Pops on several occasions, including at the Closing Ceremonies of the World Choir Games. “
All of these artists lend their talents to new arrangements of Stephen Foster’s most popular tunes.
The songs will showcase the lush sounds of the Pops while re-imagining these classics for the 21st century. The concerts will be recorded live, including participation from the audience, for release on the Orchestra’s Fanfare Cincinnati label in late 2015.

Molly Wellmann Bourbon Tasting and Pre-Concert Entertainment

Cincinnati’s renowned craft cocktail creator and entrepreneur Molly Wellmann has curated a small-batch Kentucky bourbon tasting, exclusively for fans of the Cincinnati Pops.

Prior to the concerts on Friday and Saturday, January 23-24 (doors open at 6:30), guests are invited to Corbett Tower at Music Hall as Ms. Wellmann leads an interactive sampling of premium bourbons from artisanal Kentucky distilleries.
*Tickets for the bourbon tasting, which includes a flight of three bourbons and light appetizers, are available for $20 (does not include concert ticket).
****Pre-concert entertainment begins in the Music Hall lobby one hour prior to all three performances. Hear from three of Cincinnati’s favorite local band: The Ridges (Friday), Young Heirlooms (Saturday) and Hickory Robot (Sunday).

 You do not want to miss out on this once in a lifetime concert event!



Cincinnati Pops Presents American Originals January 23-25
Friday January 23 8pm
Saturday January 24 8pm
Sunday January 25 2pm


*Tickets start at $25
Tickets are available by phone at (513) 381-3300, on the Internet at www.cincinnatipops.org,
or in person at: CSO Box Office at Music Hall, 1241 Elm Street, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Disclosure: I was given media tickets for review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

Bringing Kids to the Symphony ~ Cincinnati Pops Lollipops Family Series

I’m a huge fan of the arts and we are very fortunate to live in a city that has a wealth of performance arts. Sometimes it can be a challenge to try to get younger audiences interested in the performing arts but the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra (Lollipops Family Concert Series) has a show with kids in mind.

We attended the Superheroes! themed concert and had a great time.


Cincinnati Pops Orchestra (Lollipops Family Concert Series) Superheroes



Prior to the show, there were lots of hands on activities for kids to enjoy.


Cincinnati Pops Orchestra (Lollipops Family Concert Series) Superheroes


Cincinnati Pops Orchestra (Lollipops Family Concert Series) Superheroes



Cincinnati Pops Orchestra (Lollipops Family Concert Series) Superheroes


Kids could also try playing several different types of instruments.


Cincinnati Pops Orchestra (Lollipops Family Concert Series) Superheroes



Cincinnati Pops Orchestra (Lollipops Family Concert Series) Superheroes


Each child in attendance was also given a bag with activities and crayons.  Kids were also encouraged to represent their favorite superhero.


Cincinnati Pops Orchestra (Lollipops Family Concert Series) Superheroes



Music Hall, where the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra concerts are held, is also a beautiful work of art inside and out.

Cincinnati Pops Orchestra (Lollipops Family Concert Series) Superheroes



Cincinnati Pops Orchestra (Lollipops Family Concert Series) Superheroes


Cincinnati Pops Orchestra (Lollipops Family Concert Series) Superheroes


Cincinnati Pops Orchestra (Lollipops Family Concert Series) Superheroes



My son enjoyed recognizing songs from some of his favorite superhero movies and multitasked during the concert by drawing a superhero as he listened to the music.  The Lollipops concerts are only an hour long which works very well with short attention spans.


Cincinnati Pops Orchestra (Lollipops Family Concert Series) Superheroes


The concert had a special visit from Captain America and a few children were even selected to do a superhero parade during the show.



Cincinnati Pops Orchestra (Lollipops Family Concert Series) Superheroes

The concert was a great taste of the symphony in a style that really appealed to the whole family. I’m looking forward to checking out more Lollipop concerts in the future.


You can learn more about upcoming Cincinnati Pops Lollipops Family Concerts from their website. 


Disclosure: I was given tickets for review purposes. All opinions are my own.


Cincinnati Music Hall is located at 1241 Elm St, Cincinnati, OH 45202.



Meet an Opera Singer



My former highschool classmate, Jaclyn Kleier, is living her dream by singing professionally for the Cincinnati Opera. I asked her a few questions to learn more about what it’s like to be an opera singer.

Cincinnati opera singer

How long have you been singing for the Cincinnati Opera?

My first season with Cincinnati Opera was in 2000. At the time I was the youngest singer they had ever hired. That began my career as a professional singer. This season marks my tenth with Cincinnati Opera (I took 3 seasons off to sing on cruise ships).

How did you get started?

I have been singing since I was young. My mother was music minister for two Catholic churches and I sang in the adult choir rather than the children’s choir because my voice was maturing much faster. I went on to take private lessons and eventually won the Kentucky All-State High School singing competition my senior year. Several colleges approached me about music scholarships after I won.

What challenges did you have to overcome to live your dream?

The expression “starving artist” is not a myth. It is real both figuratively and literally. Traveling all over the country for auditions, paying for vocal coaching and music, and singing as many resume building roles as possible for free, all the while sacrificing time that could be spent working a job that pays money, often makes for a very down-and-out existence as a young professional singer.

What are your favorite parts about your job?

The costumes and wigs!

Cincinnati opera singer


Cincinnati opera singer

Cincinnati opera singer

What are some misconceptions about the opera?

That it’s only for the wealthy or affluent class. We have patrons from all walks of life. In fact, once a year we hold a community open dress rehearsal in which many inner city schools and youth programs come to see their first opera.

Do you have any tips for learning a foreign language?

No. I don’t know how I did it myself. I had to take 4 semesters each of French, German, and Italian as part of my undergrad degree as well as Lyric Diction. It just took lots of studying and repetition to get it down. I’m not fluent in any of the languages now, but I am able to sit down and translate my music and pronounce each word of the language precisely.

Why should someone check the opera out?

Because it’s not just people standing on stage screaming. The music is beautiful and often ignites a huge emotional response to its listeners. Seeing the opera in person rather than just listening to it on a CD or something allows you to put the story together.


What advice would you give to someone who dreams of a career that involves singing?

Work hard and learn to take rejection as an opportunity to grow as an artist. Also, have a backup plan…a singer’s career is often very short. There is lots of competition out there!

I got to watch Jaclyn perform in the community performance of “Aida” and was really impressed by the amazing singers, elaborate costumes and stage set.

Cincinnati opera singer

Cincinnati opera singer


Check out the Cincinnati Opera’s website for more information on upcoming operas.


Have you been to an opera before? I would  love to hear about your experience.