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Classical 101

Music in Mid-Ohio: McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra

photo of Antoine Clark conducting the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra
Ronald Hoehn

Music in Mid-Ohio presents locally produced concerts on Classical 101, Sunday afternoons at 1 p.m..

Our “live” concert life may be on hiatus right now, but there’s plenty of music to be heard in Central Ohio. I’m taking Music in Mid-Ohio online. Keep checking this blog and Enjoy!

Conductor Antoine Clark did the bravest and the best thing an artist can do. He started his own orchestra. He gives employment to musicians, joy to audiences and he gets to play his own instrument.

If you’re a pianist, you play a piano. A violinist plays the violin. The latter you can carry around, like a flute or a clarinet. A singer carries her instrument within her.

What about a conductor?

You can study technique and scores all you like. But if you don’t have an instrument–an orchestra–you can’t learn; you can’t practice.

Clark, a clarinetist and teacher, is a conductor first. He saw an opportunity at the McConnell Arts Center in Worthington. A few years ago, Antoine introduced MACCO, the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra.

I love their concerts. So do many people. There’s rarely an empty seat. MACCO and Antoine are a big part of the Music in Mid-Ohio family.

In this video, the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra plays George Walker’s Lyric for Strings, written in 1946 in memory of the composer’s grandmother.

This was performed in early February of this year, at the McConnell Arts Center in Worthington.

George Walker (1922-2018) studied at Oberlin and at the Curtis Institute. In 1996, he became the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Antoine Clark continues to mentor younger artists (he’s pretty young himself). He plays clarinet in several ensembles, and holds more than one distinguished teaching post. I suspect MACCO may be his first love.


Christopher Purdy is Classical 101's early morning host, 7-10 a.m. weekdays. He is host and producer of Front Row Center – Classical 101’s weekly celebration of Opera and more – as well as Music in Mid-Ohio, Concerts at Ohio State, and the Columbus Symphony broadcast series. He is the regular pre-concert speaker for Columbus Symphony performances in the Ohio Theater.