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Kudos to Towne and Country Players for 41 great seasons

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:19 PM

You remember the old saying, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink."

That's the situation facing a group of people in Norwalk. Mayor Sue Lesch has established the performing arts task force, which is facing a two-fold question can you bring the arts to town, and if you do, will people come?

The arts are struggling to find a niche in Norwalk. A number of different groups and individuals are trying their best, and are always looking for new opportunities.

One group that's had the most success in bringing the arts to Norwalk has been the Towne and Country Players, who are opening their 42nd season with plans to go back to the group's roots of entertainment and education by holding performances in different venues.

The Towne & Country Theatre was home to the group for many years, but it sold the Uptown landmark in November 2006. That has forced the group to become a traveling act, with performances scheduled for the Ernsthausen Performing Arts Center at Norwalk High School and the Clyde High School Performing Arts Center.

Scheduled to perform are the Bowling Green State University men's glee club Nov. 11 and the Miami Men's Glee Club Dec. 16 in Norwalk and the Cedarville University "Sing and Swing!" next February in Clyde.

Director Ronn Koerper also will announce more concerts at the December Christmas event in Norwalk.

"We want to present high-energy concerts and shows that will both entertain and fill the music void in our nine-county area," said Dr. Rand Laycock, concert committee member and music professor at Baldwin-Wallace College.

It takes plenty of time, money and effort to organize events like these. The Towne and Country Players have proven over the years they can host some top-notch acts and performers. But it's getting tougher every day.

Koerper said the arts are flat all over the country, noting the Cleveland Symphony one of the top five symphonies in the country is millions of dollars in debt.

Congratulations for a job well done over the years to Koerper and his board members Mark Widman, Nola Calhoun, Glenn Armstrong and James Cardman, president Gregory McDonald and all of the group's members.

And good luck to Lesch and her group in their attempt to preserve the arts in this area.

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