he series of performances transmitted from the Metropolitan Opera stage in New York continues Saturday, Feb. 1 with “Porgy and Bess.” This occurs at the Athena Cinema on Court St. The story is about African-Americans, the music is by a Jewish American, and the performers, including the orchestra, have many international backgrounds. This demonstrates the variety of people that make up the United States. Subsequent transmissions will include European music from many countries and centuries.

On Sunday afternoon, Feb. 9 at Christ Lutheran Church, an organist from Texas will play music equally diverse in age and cultural tradition including Bach. Old good music as fresh and new as anything composed today. Bach’s enduring popularity is an example. Paul Barte will play a program of Bach’s music at Galbreath Chapel on Feb. 25.

There are many local musical groups that perform in Athens with many styles of music. The university musical groups provide even greater variety. The range of music includes solo and choral singing, band and orchestra groups, and opera. Also more distant musical languages appear in the Performing Arts series at Memorial Auditorium. A world music and dance concert will be presented there on April 3. International students share their cultures through music performances too.

Southeast Ohio is lucky to have the sounds of the world and of the ages available. Whether the diversity is ethnic, geographical, historical, or instrumental, a musical experience can give hearers a taste of realms far away and near. People can travel musically without leaving the area.

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