Welcome to The Beat's annual Rewind, a look back at the previous year's worth of The Beats as well as the arts and entertainment community as a whole. As per usual, year in review includes a couple of awards, some good quotes and a bit of what happened.

Welcome to The Beat's annual Rewind, a look back at the previous year's worth of The Beats as well as the arts and entertainment community as a whole. As per usual, year in review includes a couple of awards, some good quotes and a bit of what happened.


Best Concert

We've had a variety of winners (singer-songwriters, modern rockers, musical theatre) in this category (which excludes shows by local arts organizations in the interest of not having to choose between them). This year, we were underwhelmed by our recollections.

Absent a clear and obvious choice, we defaulted to a series of shows tied to what we've deemed the biggest local arts news story of the year - the opening of the Lincoln Theatre. Hosting main stage entertainment for the first time since the 1960s, the East Long Street theatre underwent a $13.5-million renovation. It is operated by CAPA on behalf of the Lincoln Theatre Association.

We didn't make all four of the official grand re-opening shows, but Maurice Hines and the Harlem Gospel Choir did the new hall right. Additionally, there were "first" shows at the Lincoln for a host of resident organizations and presenters. Good stuff - earning the entire batch our Best Concert award for 2009.


News department

A certain high-profile politician made the phrase -- "It's the economy, stupid" -- part of popular culture. The Beat would like to counter with this assessment of the current state of affairs: "It's the stupid economy."

Many of the arts stories were again dominated by financial issues, not the least of which was the re-emergence of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra from a period of financial and organizational distress (which is not to suggest all distress is past - stupid economy).

The CSO officially began its classical season in January, held its Picnic With the Pops concerts after a summer off, and hired a new executive director, Roland Valliere, in July. Valliere told The Beat he hopes to "move from an organization that's been both successful and had struggles to one on the leading edge."

Our story also featured great insight from longtime associate conductor Peter Stafford Wilson, who was selected to lead the orchestra in its first concert following its hiatus. "It's a real honor. I'm flattered. I knew there were going to be changes made, and I made it clear I was happy to help but also to support the orchestra in the background. There's something to be said for family, for my presence in the community and history with the orchestra."

Phoenix Theatre for Children also had a busy year, being the central organization involved in rescuing from closure the Columbus Performing Arts Center, a would-be victim of the city of Columbus' budget crunch.

Phoenix also merged with Contemporary American Theatre Company late in the year, with Phoenix's Steven C. Anderson named artistic director of the resultant organization and former CATCO artistic director Geoffrey Nelson assuming an emeritus artistic position.

Anniversaries, Comings & Goings: the Brass Band of Columbus marked its 25th anniversary with an April concert; PromoWest Productions also celebrated its 25th anniversary; ProMusica Chamber Orchestra celebrated its 30th anniversary in May; CATCO closed its 25th season, and Gallery Players its 60th; the Columbus Gay Men's Chorus and the Columbus Women's Chorus both marked their 20th anniversary; PromoWest re-christened the A&R Bar adjacent to the Lifestyle Communities Pavilion; Whiskey Dick's closed unexpectedly; and the Goodale Park Music Series, formerly the Short North Sunday Jazz series, was reborn.


Best Quote

"It's easy to learn - there are lots of versions on YouTube." - CCM artist Brandon Heath on his hit song Give Me Your Eyes.


More quotes

Thanks to everyone who spent time with us in person, on the phone or across the Internet during 2009. Several, though, who wowed us, who said lots of interesting things and who just came across as really genuine. Highlights included: Jimmy Webb, Shuler Hensley (Young Frankenstein), Carrie Newcomer, Taylor Swift, Oscar Hernandez (Spanish Harlem Orchestra), Christopher O'Riley and Jacob Marshall (Mae). We start off with a past best-quote winner, Carrie Newcomer, with two.

"I believe that our most potent work comes out of what we love by nature." - Carrie Newcomer

"The experiences we mark our lives by are sometimes large but sometimes they're moments we don't recognize at the time." - Carrie Newcomer

"You wonder as a songwriter - my songs are going out there in the world and I wonder what they're doing" - Jimmy Webb

"We just take life and squish it up into a song." - Amanda Walter of Dala

"I've really carried him on my back. I don't mind." - Shuler Hensley on his good friend, Hugh Jackman

"By the way, 'worst' does not mean 'dirtiest.' We had to make that little distinction." - Nancy Cline Bailey on the Central Ohio Folk Festival's Worst Song contest

"When you grow up with 'happily ever after,' it can be profound what happens when you first get let down." - Taylor Swift

"There's a bird in my car. Last night I had a bear in my car. If you leave any kind of food, they'll find it -- my kids left part of a Power Bar in there. I heard the horn at about 5 a.m. and there was a bear - Drew Emmitt of Leftover Salmon, actually discovering a bird in his car during the interview

"I was very attracted to acting from an early age. I played a groundhog in the third-grade play. But I'm open to playing a badger." - William Christopher on always being cast as a good guy

"We make fun music. I mean, we take it seriously, but we're not Rush." - Morgan Slade of Miss Derringer

"Sometimes people lose sight of music that brings people joy." - Oscar Hernndez

"One of the most positive and revolutionary orchestral utterances." - Christopher O'Riley (Anatomy of an Orchestra) on the finale of Brahms' Symphony No. 1, one of the many really cool utterances during the interview

"Change on a large scale happens in small increments." - Mae drummer Jacob Marshall, channeling his inner Confucius

"We grew up with the movie (The Sound of Music) just like everyone else." Sofia Von Trapp (yes, those Von Trapps)

"The fat lady singing is gone." - soprano Othalie Graham on the physical demands placed on opera singers

"I am inspired by things I experience in my own life and things I see in the lives of my friends --love, sadness, pain, loneliness. Somehow I can't seem to write about happy things." - Yasmin Levy

"an Italian opera blood-and-guts reality-TV kind of thing." - Opera Columbus artistic director William Boggs on Pagliacci

"I was a student at Kent State and a friend of mine said, 'Hey, do you want to go to the Kent State Folk Festival?' and I said, 'What's a folk festival?'" - folk singer/songwriter Joe Crookston.