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CityMusic Cleveland presents Holiday program
by Eugenia Strauss

CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra announces its annual Holiday Concert program. The free, opening concert is scheduled for Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m. at Fairmount Presbyterian Church, 2757 Fairmount Blvd., Cleveland Heights. The orchestra will be led by Stefan Willich, a German conductor making his American debut.

Rebecca Schweigert Mayhew, oboist and one of CityMusic’s founding musicians, will perform Mozart’s "Oboe Concerto in C." To welcome the holiday season, Mt. Zion Choir and CityMusic Cleveland (CMC) will present a medley of holiday favorites written or arranged by African-America composers.

Stefan Willich is both a renowned conductor and world-renowned cardiologist-epidemiologist. As founder and conductor of the World Doctor’s Orchestra, he has led an orchestra of 125 physician-musicians from more than 20 nations in medical-aid benefit concerts throughout the world. Willich was appointed president of the Berlin Academy of Music in 2011.

Rebecca Schweigert Mayhew is the principal oboist with CityMusic Cleveland (CMC), and is on the faculty of both Cleveland Institute of Music and Cleveland State University.

The Mt. Zion Congregational Church United Church of Christ is one of the oldest African American Congregations in Cleveland.  Fulfilling the vision of excellence of Rev. Paul Hobson Sadler Sr., pastor of Mt. Zion, and under the direction of Mrs. “Al” Crump Madison and Mr. Drene Ivey, the Mt. Zion Church Choir has garnered an excellent musical reputation, and has performed at Playhouse Square with the Duffy Liturgical Dance Company and at Severance Hall with the Cleveland Orchestra.

The holiday program includes: Mozart's "Overture to The Marriage of Figaro" and "Oboe Concerto in C, K314;" Mendelssohn's "Symphony No. 4 (Italian)"; and Mt. Zion Choir Spirituals.

Now in its ninth season, CMC is a professional chamber orchestra that seeks to develop audiences by presenting free concerts in neighborhood venues. CMC draws in a diverse group that includes new concertgoers, committed arts supporters, the mildly curious and even the reluctant. CMC presents four sets of concerts for a total of 20–25 concerts per year; annual attendance is 14,000–16,000.

CityMusic Cleveland will perform its holiday concert at other venues in Greater Cleveland, Dec. 13–16. For information, visit www.citymusiccleveland.org. No tickets are required, and early arrival is recommended. There is no charge for the concert, but a free-will offering is appreciated.