Under the batoned direction of world-renowned conductor Carl Topilow, the members of Cleveland Pops serenade audiences with expressively performed renditions of diverse musical selections. Now in its 16th season, the orchestra will honor the Magnificat 1955 Founders Society on August 20, performing upbeat jazz, swing, and Dixieland songs, then ending with a dramatic retuning of the entire string section. Perfectly timed transitions and heartrending melodic threads attest to the squad's close bond with its cofounder and conductor, a multitalented virtuoso who alternates waves of the baton with behind-the-back riffs on his cherry-red clarinet.
Grape guru and oenophile Marianne Frantz, who holds a diploma from London's Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and who earned an Advanced Sommelier qualification from the Court of Master Sommeliers, founded American Wine School in 2002. She and her school have gone on to shepherd more than 10,000 sippers through classes, tastings, and grape-lookalike contests. Marianne, along with her knowledgeable staff, impart their vino wisdom in classes that range from the basic Wine 101 to the more extensive WSET certification courses. The school's classes and special events have even spilled into seven different states, teaching tongues across the nation to swirl, sniff, and taste the adult beverages and analyze why drinking wine while doing taxes is a bad idea.