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Ariel-Ann Carson Dater Performing Arts Centre

The Roarin’ Twenties! The Ohio Valley Symphony

230520 OVS Roaring PosterMAY 20, 2023
at 7:30 p.m.
Purchase Tickets Now

100 years ago a new age was dawning, the skirts were shorter, the money flowed freely and the the Roarin’ Twenties brought in a whole new style of American music. Be at the Ariel Opera House on May 20th to celebrate an entire concert of brand new arrangements of Roarin’ Twenties music by Cincinnati Pops Principal Arranger Tim Berens featuring vocalist Mandy Gaines and pianist Michael Chertock.Ohio Arts Council Logo

Be the first to hear these brand new arrangements as the concert will be recorded live by a Grammy winning recording engineer as he and his team capture it all for public television and radio broadcast as well as a CD. Be a part of this special occasion and purchase your tickets today!

This concert is presented in part by support from The Ohio Arts Council and The National Endowment for the Arts.

Tim Berens, conductor and arranger
Tim has walked a unique path. While studying classical guitar at CCM, an injury forced him to stop playing guitar. During the years-long recovery, he studied computer science, took a job writing software, and soon owned a small software development company, Back Office Applications. His software is used in grocery stores around the world to this day.

Self employment allowed Tim to pursue his lifelong dream to be a musician. So far, Tim’s dream has led him through the worlds of classical guitar, jazz guitar, orchestral guitar, arranging, orchestration, composition, and conducting.

During his years as the guitarist for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Tim played guitar, banjo, mandolin and bouzouki on concerts, recordings, television programs, and international tours. In the late 1990’s, Tim began arranging for the CPO. His arrangements enriched concerts, CDs, and television broadcasts.

Tim’s arranging caught the ears of others and he began receiving commissions from leading conductors and orchestras. His arrangements and compositions are performed hundreds of times per year by orchestras throughout the United States and abroad, in venues from Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl.

In 2010, Tim returned to school to study conducting. After earning a Master Degree in Orchestral Conducting, he began conducting professionally.

Tim’s most recent project is the Berens Pops Library, a library of music for pops orchestras, which was created in response to demand from orchestras to perform his works.

Throughout his professional career Tim performed regularly at jazz clubs, releasing 4 jazz recordings on the Red Mark label under his own name along the way.

Tim’s most nerve wracking performance took place in 1975. Not even the duet he performed with Kristin Chenoweth at Carnegie Hall induced more gut-wrenching performance anxiety than when his band, Holy Terror, performed Smoke on the Water in the Van Buren Junior High School Talent Show. Holy Terror, which consisted of Tim, his neighbor PJ, and PJ’s sister, Cara, would be very impressed that today Tim is conducting symphony orchestras.

An avid chess player (E4) and an enthusiastic, but bad golfer, Tim is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and The Ohio State University.

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Mandy Gaines, vocalist
Mandy Gaines is a talented, versatile vocalist and entertainer with more than 30 years of professional experience.  She entertains and delights audiences throughout the world. Her performances are viewed as refreshing, soulful and exciting.  She continues to improve and grow through her gifted interpretations of Jazz, Pop, R&B and Soul classics as well as writing and performing her original works.

Mandy began singing at an early age in school and church. She holds a B.A. from the College of Wooster in Speech/Arts. She has continued her studies through private vocal instruction and various workshops emphasizing oral interpretation, jazz improvisation, and vocal technique, theatre and broadcasting/media studies.

Mandy has performed with such Jazz greats as, Wynton Marsalis, Dany Doriz, Randy Brecker, Scott Hamilton, ElDee Young, Red Holt, Rhoda Scott, Deborah Brown, Brad Leali, Bryan Lynch, Keith Loftis, Marcus Printup, Wendall Brunious, Brian Simpson, Vincent Gardner, Wes “warm daddy” Anderson, Michael Stanton and Victor Gaskins.

Mandy was recruited by Coca-Cola Taiwan to become part of an original recording and performing group, “MIT.” With the band she toured island wide to promote their release, “We Can Be One.” She also went on to record with several Asian pop stars as well as maintaining a spot as an on-air radio personality at I.C.R.T., Taiwan’s number one American-Chinese language radio station.

In the ‘90s Mandy returned to her theatre roots and was hired as featured vocalist at “The Oldenberg Dinner Theatre Entertainment Complex” and “The Star of Cincinnati.”  After first traveling to Europe, Mandy returned to Cincinnati and was chosen to be the opening act for Herbie Hancock.  Shortly after, she was nominated “Best R&B” vocalist in Cincinnati’s annual music award show, “The Cammy’s.”  Mandy has been a back-up vocalist for Asian Artist as Harlem Yu and Emil Chou. She has performed for British and American troops at Diego Garcia, Military Base, Indian Ocean.

Upon traveling to Europe she met local musicians and began to perform regularly throughout Belgium and France in local clubs, concerts and festivals where she continues to be invited back each year to perform.  She was selected to perform in Munich, Germany and Zurich, Switzerland as a member of the “Sister City Cultural Exchange Program.” She entertained for the U.S. Ambassador to Belgium to commemorate the inaugural flight and joint venture of Delta and Sabena airlines.

Mandy has continued to perform throughout Asia and Europe.  She has been “Artist in Residence” at 5-star hotels in Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, China and Hong Kong. She performed in Europe at the “April Jazz Festival” in Helsinki, Finland and “Festival International De Jazz” in St.Louis de Senegal, Africa. She also had a European release of her CD “With a Song in My Heart” and was a judge for “Sony Jazz Music Competition” in Riga, Latvia.

Mandy held music workshops in France, teaching jazz and gospel music with emphasis on interpretation, improvisation, stage performance and vocal range. She released her 2nd CD, “Taking a Chance” In 2007.  Mandy was selected to perform at The American Embassy, Thailand, in commemoration of Black History Month in 2008.

Mandy has been featured as vocalist in the Annual Cote Ouest Big Band Music Festival in Cote, France and starred in the musical revue, “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” performed in Taipei, Taiwan. That same year she performed in the Musical, “Anything Goes” as “Reno Sweeney” at the National Palace Theatre in Taipei Taiwan.  She returned to Russia in 2016 and 2017 to perform a series of Big Band concerts and Pipe Organ Gospel recitals at the American Consulate.

In 2018 Mandy was honored with induction into the Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame.

Her videos can be viewed on YouTube and and her CDs “Just a matter of Time” and “Faith Journey” can be purchased on I-Tunes, Amazon, and

Mandy continues to travel the world performing and recording while entertaining audiences along the way!

Michael Chertock, piano
Pianist Michael Chertock has fashioned a successful career as an orchestral soloist, collaborating with conductors such as James Conlon, Jaime Laredo, Keith Lockhart, Erich Kunzel and Andrew Litton. His many orchestral appearances include solo performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, l’Orchestre Symphonique du Montreal, the Toronto Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Naples Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony, the Chattanooga Symphony, the Utah Symphony, the Oregon Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony and the Dayton Philharmonic. Chertock has toured Asia with the Boston Pops and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestras. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1999 with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, performing Duke Ellington’s New World A’Comin’.

In June 2005, Mr. Chertock performed the world premiere of a work by Todd Machover for hyperklavier and orchestra with computerized visual accompaniment, commissioned by the Boston Pops Orchestra expressly for Mr. Chertock. He recorded the piece, called Jeux Deux, in Denmark in 2007. Last May, Mr. Chertock traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria for the world premiere and recording of a new work written especially for him by Roger Davis, who is on the music faculty at Miami University in Ohio.

Claude Gingras of La Presse, Montreal, said of pianist Michael Chertock: “Chertock revealed himself as a first-rate pianist and an interpreter of noticeable interest through the freshness that he brought to these familiar scores….(he) displayed the sensitivity of a Chopin interpreter.” The Boston Globe has called his playing “unmannered, zestful, and lovely.” The Cincinnati Enquirer has described the Virginia native as “intelligent and disciplined…noble…finely finished…expressive and well-controlled.” The Salt Lake City Deseret News said “Chertock… is a musical performer with an immense technical command of the piano.” His 2003 performance on the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Petrouchka with Paavo Järvi turned in rave reviews in Gramophone and American Record Guide.

Mr. Chertock first performed publicly at the age of 11, and at age 14 he performed on live television in Guam. At 17, he performed the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 with Andrew Litton. He has garnered numerous awards at major competitions, among them the top prize in the 1989 Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition (Brahms Division,) and the grand prize in the 1993 St. Charles International Piano Competition. He also shared the silver medal in the 1991 World Piano Competition of the American Music Scholarship Association. He received the Rildia B. O’Bryon Cliburn Scholarship in 1986.

In 1994, Mr. Chertock released his first CD on the Telarc label, a collection of his original arrangements of music from movies entitled Cinematic Piano. American Record Guide said “(Chertock) plays beautifully, and Telarc’s lush sonics bathe the listener in an intoxicating wash of piano sonorities.” Cincinnati Enquirer critic Janelle Gelfand called it “one of the most gorgeous discs of the summer”, citing his “elegant techniques…just the right poetic tone.” The recording has sold more than 30,000 units worldwide. Since then, he has recorded three more discs with Telarc: Palace of the Winds, Christmas at the Movies and Love At the Movies, which have been praised for their lush, original arrangements and exquisite technical facility.

Mr. Chertock is the conductor of the Blue Ash-Montgomery Symphony, located in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio, and he frequently composes and arranges music for the orchestra’s concerts. He also serves as Artistic Director of Linton Music’s Peanut Butter and Jam Sessions, an interactive music series geared toward children ages 2 to 5. When not on tour, Mr. Chertock also serves as principal keyboardist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. In June of 2004 Mr. Chertock was appointed Assistant Professor of piano at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, where he received his Master’s Degree as a student of Frank Weinstock.

Mr. Chertock makes his home in Cincinnati with his wife Maaike, son Joshua and daughter Maria. When he’s not on the road, you can often find him playing piano and organ for services at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church.


Rhapsody in Blue

The Man I Love

It Had to Be You

Fascinatin’ Rhythm


St. Louis Blues

Who’s Sorry Now

and more!