HomeCommunity InformationEditorialNews ArchivesSports

Lake County Sentinel
The Snowbelt Symphony Orchestra will present its annual holiday concert, "Joy To The World!" Saturday, December 16 at 4:00pm at Lake Catholic High School in Mentor. The concert will feature a variety of traditional and popular Christmas favorites including Leroy Anderson's A Christmas Festival, The Skaters Waltz, a jazzy rendition of Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and a medley of songs from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Husband and wife duo of soprano Taylor Mortensen and tenor Eric Mortensen will join the orchestra to sing a medley of holiday songs from Broadway, O Holy Night, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas and more. The concert will be conducted by Snowbelt Symphony music director, Greg Hillis.

A native of Chardon, soprano Taylor Mortensen developed a love of music at a young age singing in choirs and playing the bass in various bands. Her passion for music soon developed into a love of musical theater. In addition to performing on stages around Northeast Ohio, Taylor is the director of the musical theater program at Beachwood High School.

Tenor Eric Mortensen hails from Albany, New York where he grew up singing in church choirs and began playing the guitar at the age of 10. Eric began doing theater in high school and continued through college. Since relocating to the Cleveland area in 2014 he has jumped into the musical theater scene here.

Eric and Taylor met in 2015 and started a 90s/2000s cover band together called The Alibis. The couple regularly makes cabaret performances throughout the area and you may have seen them performing alongside one another in several shows at Madison's Rabbit Run Theater, most recently this past summer in Cole Porter's Anything Goes. The Mortensens make their home in Concord Township.

"I'm extremely excited to be conducting this fun program with these wonderful musicians," says music director Greg Hillis. "This concert is going to be a ton of fun for the whole family. We'd love to see kids from 1 to 92 in the audience!" 

Tickets for the Joy To The World! concert are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors, and $8 for students. Tickets can be purchased online at www.snowbeltmusical.org. Lake Catholic High School is located at 6733 Reynolds Rd in Mentor. The school has free onsite parking and is ADA accessible. 

The Snowbelt Symphony Orchestra is a new, fully-professional orchestra bringing accessible, affordable, high-quality live classical music performances to Lake and Geauga counties. The orchestra performed its first concert in March 2022.

For more information, please visit www.snowbeltmusical.org. Snowbelt Musical Arts Association can be reached for questions or comments at info@snowbeltmusical.org or 440-296-9610. SMAA can be followed on Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter) @snowbeltmusical. 

Snowbelt Symphony Announces 2023-2024 Season

Snowbelt Musical Arts Association has announced the 2023-2024 Snowbelt Symphony Orchestra season concert schedule. The orchestra will present four concerts in Lake County between October 2023 and April 2024. Season highlights include works by two of western music's most revered composers, Bach and Beethoven, a work featuring an unusual solo instrument, and a joyous holiday program featuring local artists.

"We're thrilled to present the Snowbelt Symphony's second full season of bringing high-quality live classical music performances to the Lake/Geauga area," said SSO conductor Greg Hillis. "I'm really excited about this season's repertoire. We'll be performing some of the greatest music ever written along with some lesser-known gems. The range of music spans from the 1720s until now."

JOY TO THE WORLD!, Sat., Dec. 16, 2023, 4:00 at Lake Catholic High School:

Ring in the holiday season with the Snowbelt Symphony and guest vocalists and Lake County residents Eric and Taylor Mortensen! A mix of classics, popular and traditional carols, and music from holiday films will make this a treat for the whole family. The Mortensens have been seen on stages throughout the area recently coming off a smashing run of Anything Goes at Rabbit Run Theater. 

SIMPLY STRINGS...AND TUBA, Sun., Feb. 18, 2024, 4:00 at New Promise Church:

The spotlight shines on the strings of the orchestra as they perform Gustav Holst's delightful St. Paul's Suite and Antonin Dvorak's magnificent Serenade for Strings. Guest artist J.c. Sherman will join the orchestra as we feature an unusual solo instrument - the tuba - in Dutch composer Jan Koetsier's Concertino for Tuba and Strings. Sherman has been described as a "jack of all brass" performing on not only the tuba, but also the trombone and a wide array of historic instruments including the serpent, ophicleide, and natural horn.

BEETHOVEN'S FIRST, Sun., Apr. 21, 2024, 4:00 at New Promise Church:

Beethoven continues to be one of the most admired composers in the history of Western music. The season finale concert is bookended with Beethoven's Coriolan Overture and First Symphony. The program also features the work of another German composer, Richard Wagner's Siegfried Idyll, composed as a gift to his wife after the birth of their son.

More information about the season schedule can be found at www.snowbeltmusical.org. Snowbelt Musical Arts Association can be reached for questions or comments at info@snowbeltmusical.org or 440-296-9610. SMAA can be followed on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @snowbeltmusical.

Tickets are available now and can be purchased at www.snowbeltmusical.org or by calling 440-296-9610. Subscription packages range from $20-96. Single tickets range from $8-30.

The Snowbelt Symphony Orchestra is a fully-professional orchestra serving the Lake and Geauga County area. The orchestra performed its first concert in March 2022.

Community Information
"Lake County Ohio's Online News Source"
A new opportunity for healthcare access for uninsured community members

(PAINESVILLE) -- Since 1971, Lake County Free Clinic has made helping the community a priority, providing medical and dental care at no cost to adults and children who are uninsured or underinsured.

Now, as the premier free clinic in northeast Ohio, Lake County Free Clinic needs the community’s help.

In early 2022, LCFC will be moving into a new permanent location in central Painesville from which to provide comprehensive primary and specialty medical care, dental care, case management, labs, prescriptions, referrals for vision and specialty care, supplies and education. To do that, LCFC is launching “Building for a Healthier Community,” a capital campaign to raise $615,000. 

“This is definitely one of the biggest challenges LCFC has faced in its 50-year history,” said LCFC Executive Director Marty Hiller. “I always say that a strong free clinic is a sign of strong community support, and I am confident that, as they have in the past, the community will help us remain strong for years to come. We are proud to be able to tell the community that we have already raised nearly half of the funds needed for this community investment.”

In the middle of the pandemic, LCFC leaders were told that the site where the clinic had operated for more than 15 years had been sold. Since January 2021, LCFC has provided chronic, acute and preventive medical care from much smaller temporary quarters while the clinic’s site search team worked diligently to identify a facility that would not only meet the current need but could accommodate the clinic’s growing caseload and list of services for many years to come.

In the last few years, LCFC has worked toward adopting a social determinants approach to healthcare, not only identifying the medical or dental concerns of patients but adding a case management program to identify and address other basic needs that could impact their health, such as insufficient food or inadequate housing. This whole-person approach is being adopted by a wide array of healthcare providers and has demonstrated positive and long-lasting health outcomes. 

The new facility will allow the clinic to resume its much-anticipated dental services, expand medical care and more fully integrate the case management program. Time is of the essence, Hiller noted. 

“Our patients need us,” he said. “Thousands of people who don’t have medical or dental insurance in Lake and surrounding counties need us. An uninsured person who visits an emergency department is twice as likely to declare bankruptcy in four years -- and if the patient decides to go, there are times the patient does not get the help they need. Emergency departments are great for stabilizing patients in urgent situations. They are not primary care providers. Lake County Free Clinic is.”

Philip, a Mentor resident, came to LCFC in late 2020. He was uninsured and worried, because he hadn’t had his blood pressure checked in more than a year. At his first visit, his provider found edema and noticed that Philip’s blood pressure was reaching levels that could possibly cause a stroke. Philip left with medication and instructions on regaining his health.

By his next visit, he had started on medication, cut back on junk food and began hiking. He is excited for his next follow-up visit and new lifestyle.

“Everyone here is most helpful and friendly,” he said, adding that he was grateful to find a place where he could get care without insurance.

In 2020, LCFC provided more than 3,300 medical and dental treatment visits, even while limiting visits for two months due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. This year, LCFC is expecting to exceed the number of medical visits provided the year prior to the pandemic. More than 93 percent of patients are uninsured; more than 60 percent of patients have household incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

“The need for affordable healthcare is part of the larger picture of inequalities affecting many members of our community. This need continues to grow as our neighbors lose insurance coverage or employment,” Hiller said. “Free clinics reflect the value a community places on the health of its residents, and the community’s generosity is what allows that care to happen.”

For more information, or to support the work being done at LCFC, visit www.lakefreeclinic.org