Summer Activities guide

Lancaster Festival To Feature Top-Notch Music, Dance, Arts

Updated Mon, Aug 12, 2013 5:06 pm

Central Ohio is gearing up for this year's Lancaster Festival, being held July 18-27 at various locations around town.

Events will get underway with "Festival Fan Fare" on opening night, when the Lancaster Festival Orchestra, conducted by Gary Sheldon, will perform.

Brazilian pianist Francisco Renno will perform Tchaikowsky’s Piano Concerto No. 2 that evening and a community-wide chorus will come together to sing other Festival favorites.

In the market for some artwork? Destination Downtown Lancaster, in conjunction with the Lancaster Festival, will host the celebrated community ArtWalk on Friday, July 19. The public is invited to visit 40 downtown business venues from 6-10 p.m., meet the artists and purchase original works. Pieces will remain on display from July 19-27.

An unforgettable evening is in store on Saturday, July 20 when Michael Bolton takes the Ohio University stage with the Lancaster Festival Orchestra. The multi-Grammy award-winner has sold over 53 million records, with hits like "When a Man Loves a Woman," "How am I Supposed to Live Without You," "Time, Love and Tenderness" and "How Can We be Lovers."

Festivalgoers will get a taste of "ballet and Bruce" early in the week. Dancers from Miami City Ballet join the Festival Orchestra for the The Frog Prince ballet at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 21 at Bloom-Carroll Middle School Auditorium. That concert will be followed a few days later by Tribute Band Night with Bruce in the USA, bringing Bruce Springsteen’s music to the stage in a fun-filled and exciting party atmosphere, on Wednesday, July 24

An especially "delicious" program is on tap for Thursday, July 25 when the Orchestra serves up "Just Desserts," performing music about, well…dessert, including "The Nutcracker Suite" and Bach’s "Coffee Cantata." A dessert reception will follow.

Acclaimed wife-and-husband duo Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison will perform on Friday, July 26 at the Ohio University-Lancaster campus. Willis and Robison are currently touring in support of their latest release, Cheater's Game.

Crystal Bowersox, northwest Ohio native and 2010 American Idol runner-up, will perform with the Lancaster Festival Orchestra on Saturday, July 27 for the Festival’s Grand Finale. It will be the singer's first-ever concert with a symphony orchestra, according to Festival Artistic Director Gary Sheldon.

"The fabulous Lancaster Festival Orchestra will back her up in a variety of songs, including hits from her latest CD, All That For This, and songs of Patsy Cline that Crystal will sing when she stars on Broadway next year," he said. "Her exceptional ability to span styles from folk and blues to rock and country makes her a true standout." 

The award-winning Lancaster Festival Orchestra is recent recipient of the American Prize in Orchestral Recording. The ensemble, featuring 65 musicians from around the world, performs at Ohio University and other venues throughout Lancaster for 10 days every July.

Maestro Sheldon, who has composed orchestrations for Patti Austin, JoDee Messina and Kenny Loggins, has written the new orchestra charts for Bowersox.

Electric violin virtuoso Tracy Silverman will open for Bowersox, performing sizzling jazz with the Festival Orchestra. Formerly first violinist with the groundbreaking Turtle Island String Quartet, Silverman blends virtuosity and technology in a heady, entertaining mix. Silverman will also perform "Bach To The Future" at the Café Concert on Friday, July 26 giving a new, jazzy twist to Bach’s music.

For ticket information, visit or call the Festival office at 1-800-LANFEST.

Slideshow: 2013 Lancaster Festival


Crystal Bowersox

Michael Bolton

Miami City Ballet

Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison

Bruce in The USA