Norwalk Reflector: Rick Springfield, Sawyer Brown and Ralphie May to perform in Mansfield

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Rick Springfield, Sawyer Brown and Ralphie May to perform in Mansfield

• Jun 9, 2017 at 12:00 PM

MANSFIELD — The Renaissance Theatre has announced its 2017-18 season lineup.

The organization formally announced the lineup at their Season Preview Party on Tuesday evening to a crowd of more than 800.

Celebrating the 90th anniversary of the historic Renaissance Theatre, the Renaissance President and CEO Michael Miller and Chairman of the Board Rand Smith discussed the quick progress being made to restore and develop the 166 Park Avenue West property acquired earlier this year. Vision for an Imagination District on Park Avenue West was presented along with an artist rendering of the future project.

“We’ve managed to make tremendous progress without incurring any debt. Our donors have been incredibly generous in funding this project and the transformation of the space is moving quickly,” Rand Smith said.

Highlights of the 17-18 Renaissance Season include season opener Rick Springfield on Sept. 15, legendary country band Sawyer Brown on Jan. 6, comedian Ralphie May on Oct. 13, Broadway musicals “A Christmas Story,” “Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Ain’t Misbehavin’”. Series sponsors OhioHealth, Mechanics Bank, Avita Health System, and Richland Bank were all in attendance to celebrate the season and launch the next season.

An original production entitled The Last Act by Michael Thomas, Renaissance Artistic Director, was announced as the first production to take place in the new performance space, “Stage II” at 166 Park Avenue West. A robust list of educational and musical performances was also announced and highlighted by live performances by the Mansfield Youth Theatre troupe and the Renaissance Youth Opera Theatre. The full 17-18 Renaissance season can be perused online at

The Renaissance also announced the appointment of a new Music Director for the Mansfield Symphony, Maestro Octavio Más-Arocas. Following a year-long nationwide search for the orchestra’s next conductor, the pool of one hundred candidates was narrowed to three finalists who each programmed and conducted one concert on the past season. Audience members, musicians, and a search committee weighed in on each candidate and all of that feedback along with the audition and interview process led to the selection of Maestro Más-Arocas.

“Octavio's fresh and creative approach to programming makes the symphony fun for people who haven't heard an orchestra in awhile to enjoy a concert. He believes that the tremendous sound that a symphony orchestra provides should be enjoyed by people of all ages, and he plans concerts that will appeal to all generations! Octavio's energy and enthusiasm are definitely contagious,” shares Steve Taylor, Director of Symphony Operations.

Más-Arocas announced six concerts on the 2017-2018 season from the Mansfield Symphony, with three pops and three masterworks concerts, highlighting local talent and new music. The OhioHealth Symphony Series includes an exciting opening Masterworks concert in September, a Halloween-themed Family Pops concert in October, the annual Holiday Pops concert in December, a collaboration with the Mansfield Symphony Youth Orchestra to perform Gustav Holst’s The Planets in February, a Bach to Rock Pops concert in March, and a concert version of Renaissance Artistic Director Michael Thomas’ original production Sentimental Journey along with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on the May concert.

Tickets to the 17-18 Renaissance Season are on sale now in subscription packages for Renaissance Members. Subscriptions go on sale to the public on June 20, 2017. Single tickets go on sale to members beginning July 5, 2017 and to the public on July 18, 2017. Tickets are available by visiting or calling the Renaissance Box Office at (419) 522-2726 or by visiting

Octavio Más-Arocas is a versatile and dynamic conductor whose achievements demonstrate his talent and musicianship. An award-winner conductor, Mr. Más-Arocas won the Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize at the Aspen Music Festival, the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Award, given by Kurt Masur, is the recipient of the Thelma A. Robinson Award from the Conductors Guild, a Prize Winner of the Third European Conductors Competition, and a winner of the National Youth Orchestra of Spain Conductors Competition. In 2012, Mr. Más-Arocas was selected by the League of American Orchestra to conduct the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in a showcase event during the League’s National Conference in Dallas.

Chosen by Kurt Masur, Mr. Más-Arocas was awarded the prestigious Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship. Consequently, he worked as Maestro Masur’s assistant with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Helsinki Radio Orchestra, and made his German conducting debut with the Leipziger Symphonieorchester. The offer came after Mr. Más-Arocas’ New York debut concert sharing the podium with Maestro Masur and the Manhattan School of Music Symphony.

Mr. Más-Arocas served as Principal Conductor of the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin, and he is currently the Director of Orchestral Studies and Associate Professor of Conducting at the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music. He has held the positions of Director of Orchestral Studies and Opera Conductor at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, Director of Orchestras at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Resident Conductor of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, and Assistant conductor of the National Repertory Orchestra. In 2013, simultaneously to his work with the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Más-Arocas was the Resident Conductor of the Unicamp Symphony Orchestra in Campinas, Brazil, where he also was a Visiting Professor of conducting at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas. Mr. Más-Arocas spends part of his summers and winters in the Grand Traverse area, where he has develop a relationship guest conducting the Traverse City Orchestra and continues his association as guest conductor at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. In addition, last season he worked with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra as cover conductor.

In the last few years Mr. Más-Arocas has conducted orchestra across North and South America and Europe including the Leipziger Symphonieorchester in Germany, the Orquestra Sinfônica da Unicamp in Brazil, the Green Bay, Traverse City, Fort Worth, Spokane, Toledo, Phoenix, Memphis, Kansas City, and San Antonio Symphonies, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Manhattan School of Music Symphony, the orchestras of Viana do Castelo and Artave in Portugal, the Interlochen Philharmonic, the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico Philharmonic, the Rosario Symphony in Argentina, Kharkov Symphony in Ukraine, the National Youth Orchestras of Portugal and Spain, the Pescara Symphony in Italy, the Amsterdam Brass in the Netherlands, and the Ciudad Alcala de Henares Symphony. In addition, Mr. Más-Arocas has served as assistant conductor at the Madrid Royal Opera House.

Mr. Más-Arocas was assistant conductor of the National Repertory Orchestra, which he conducted in subscription, family, and pops concerts. As the Resident Conductor at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival he conducted the Festival, Symphony, and Cumberland Orchestras. Other festival appearances include the Aspen Music Festival, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the Festival Internacional Carlos Gomes in Campinas, Brazil, the Interlochen Music Festival, and the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music.

His ability to work, inspire, and transform young talents has lead him to be a frequent guest conductor with prominent music education organizations and ensembles around the world. He has worked with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, the national youth orchestras of Portugal and Spain, has conducted All-State Honor Orchestras, and has been in residence with university orchestras in Chicago, Portugal, and Brazil. Mr. Más-Arocas has lead tours with the National Youth Orchestra “Templarios” of Portugal and the Interlochen Symphony, and toured Argentina with the Silleda Wind Symphony.

Mr. Más-Arocas is an alumnus of the prestigious American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, where he studied with David Zinman. His main mentors include Kurt Masur, Harold Farberman, and Emily Freeman Brown.

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