The Ottumwa Courier

November 2, 2012

A lot of night music

Et Cetera

Ottumwa Courier

OTTUMWA — My friend and I were thankful to receive a ride home following a concert Saturday night after our driver became under the weather, and we told her to go home.

Our driver mentioned how great the concert was and other things going on this past weekend and throughout the month in Ottumwa. For those who say there isn’t much, well, think again.

The evening out Saturday included a wonderful dinner at Indian Hills Community College — with take-home homemade bread and beautiful centerpieces of pumpkins and gourds. The night got better, too, listening to the Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra. What a great group of performers, led by Dr. Eric McIntyre. The highlight, of course, was the superb pianist Rene Lecuona playing Liszt’s “Totentanz.” Like me, you might say, so what is that? Well, if you heard the music, you would realize you have heard the music many times but didn’t know the title.

It was all part of the program, “A Little Nightmare Music,” which began with “Witch’s Ride from Hansel and Gretel” and ended with Offenbach’s rousing “Orpheus in the Underworld Overture.”

McIntyre succinctly gave insight into the pieces, which helped the likes of people like me. It was a rapt audience, and I’d like to say an enthralled one. I was home by 9:15 p.m. So don’t think you have to spend hours sitting listening. As my friends say, you want to end the program with the audience wanting more.

I’m sure the Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra’s recent concert was just as grand. I am sorry to have missed it. As I missed Bill Bowman’s magic show, also Saturday night, at Bridge View Center

But thanks to my friends at South Ottumwa Savings Bank, I was transported back to the 1960s on Oct. 26 when I heard the Liverpool Legends perform on stage at Bridge View.

Oh, those British Beatles lads were marvelous. I could feel the energy from all those great Beatles tunes. What was so wonderful was seeing how each of them amazingly look like the original Fab Four — Paul, John, George and Ringo. And of course, they sounded like them. Each tune was magical. The full-house audience was encouraged to stand and rock or dance to many tunes, and I even saw an oldster like me dancing in the aisle.

A great, great concert, one I certainly would want to see again.

The Legends have performed in Branson, Mo., and are on the road now. “Ringo” said he was headed back to Branson after the show. It was such fun talking to him and “Paul” at a party hosted by my friend. I was taken aback to find out “Ringo” was 60, a couple others in their 40s and one 50 years old. I tell ya’, they looked young on stage. Just amazing.

What a wonderful, wonderful evening. Thank you to the bank and other sponsors for providing our corner of the state with such great entertainment. And thanks to Larry Gawronski for booking them!

Also on Saturday, I went to the arts and craft show at Bridge View, and it was wonderful with many exhibitors with great handmade items to sell. I found many holiday gifts to purchase.

According to reports, Halloween activities at the American Gothic House in Eldon and at Pioneer Ridge were also popular for children on Saturday.

So here’s a gigantic thank you to everyone who performs and offers such a wide venue of activities for us to share.

You want something to do? Just stay here in Ottumwa and be highly entertained.