Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Chamber Singers, Women's Chorus & Surround Sound Perform Combined Concert

The Ashland University Chamber Singers, Women's Chorus and a cappella ensemble Surround Sound present their final spring concert on Sunday, April 26 at 4 p.m. in the Jack and Deb Miller Chapel.  The performance is free and open to the public.

Dr. Rowland Blackley, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities, will conduct the Chamber Singers as they perform The Seasonings by fictitious composer P.D.Q. Bach. This famous oratorio is a musical satire of Joseph Haydn's The Seasons. The piece will feature soloists as well as common and uncommon instruments.

Dr. Marla Butke, Associate Professor of Music, will direct the Women's Chorus with accompaniment by pianists Rachel Crow and Eddie Carney; DR Haught on flute; Jane Reed, violin; and Tyler Watson, percussion. The program for the Women's Chorus will include Mozart's Dona Nobis Pacem, the art songs Will There Really Be a Morning and Untraveled Worlds, and John Rutter's The Lord Bless You and Keep You which will feature the senior women.

The student-led a cappella ensemble Surround Sound will perform three tunes including Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers' Why Do Fools Fall In Love?, the jazz standard Solitude, and Katy Perry's E.T.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Fairy Tales & Opera Join Forces This Weekend

Ashland University Department of Music presents two evenings of opera scenes which will feature scenes from fairy tales and more.  The performances which are free and open to the public are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 24 and 25, 7:30 p.m. at the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall.

Under the direction of Stephanie Sikora, Professor of Music and Head of the Voice Area in the Department of Music at Ashland University, this annual event features vocal performances from student singers. This year's female cast includes sopranos Abigail Brady, Rachel Gollhardt, Maria Cardona, Fatima Imani Smith, Grace Keller and Hannah Wise along with mezzo-soprano Sarah Napier. Male singers include tenor Corey Turpin, and baritones Deric Dove, DR Haught and Jake Riley.

With scenes from seven different operas each evening, the program presents scenes from fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel along with Donizetti's Elixir of Love, Delibes'Lakme, Bucci's Sweet Betsy from Pike (A Horse Opera), Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, and The Tenderland by Aaron Copland.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Free Jazz at the Nest This Tuesday

Dr. Scott Garlock will conduct the Ashland University Jazz Orchestra for their final concert of the year at the Eagles Nest in the Hawkins-Conard Student Center on Tuesday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m. Audience members are welcome to grab a snack, enjoy a beverage and relax to the live music of AUJO at the Nest.

Members of the AU Jazz Orchestra include vocalist Fatima Imani Smith: saxophonists Michael Byndas, Jason Wolf, Derek Rangel, Jessie Barnhouse and Shayne Smith. The brass section includes trombonists Jaylynn Buchmelter, Frank Stanek and Chadwick Applegate along with Hannah Phillips, Alex Sandwisch, Nick Psota and Tyler McFarland on trumpet. The rhythm section is comprised of DR Haught, guitar; Ben Bushong, bass; and Dan Shade, drums.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Two Student Ensembles Recitals Scheduled for Monday Evening

Ashland University Department of Music presents two instrumental ensembles recital on Monday, April 20 in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall. The 7 p.m. concert features a trumpet ensemble, clarinet trio, flute trio and saxophone ensemble. At the 8:15 p.m. recital, the percussion ensemble, string ensemble, brass ensemble and jazz combo will perform. Both concerts are free and open to the public.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Surround Sound Performs Annual Concert on Sunday

The student-led a cappella ensemble Surround Sound presents their annual concert on Sunday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. The program will feature a variety of popular tunes including When I'm Gone, The Cup Song from Pitch Perfect, selections from Katy Perry, Boys II Men, Cold Play along with several arrangements by Pentatonix and more. The concert is free and open to the public.

Ensemble members include Ashland residents Cory Turpin, Ruth Chilcote and Danny Lawson along with Emily Sparks (Plymouth), Hayden Coey (Greenwich), DR Haught (Wooster), Seth Morrison (Millersburg), Julie Bontempo (North Olmsted), Karissa Magnacca (Wadsworth), Eryn Tramel (Medina) and Deric Dove (Newark).

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ashland Choirs Join ASO for "An American in Paris"

Celebrating 44 YearsThe Ashland University Choir and Ashland Area Chorus join the Ashland Symphony Orchestra to perform a grand finale of a concert as its swan song to Ashland Middle School’s McDowell Auditorium. The symphony’s “An American in Paris” concert is 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 18 at McDowell, and the concert will be the symphony’s final performance in the venue before the school is demolished. 

As part of the “An American in Paris” concert, the symphony will perform four compositions with French influences. To begin, Lipsky will lead the orchestra through Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms,” which features Ashland University Choir, Ashland Area Chorus and 13-year-old treble soloist Francesco von Bülow. 

“The ‘Psalms’ is a serious piece by Bernstein, but you can hear especially his ‘West Side Story’ roots, the influence of jazz and lighter music on this piece,” Lipsky said. “And the chorus is singing in Hebrew, so they’re excited about this. It makes it tricky to sing in a nonEuropean language.” 

Following “Chichester Psalms” is “The Muse and the Poet” by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns, which features solos by Michelle Abraham on violin and Miles Richardson on cello. After an intermission, the symphony will perform “Prelude to the Afternoon of the Faun” by Claude Debussy, which features a flute solo throughout the piece. 

The concert conclude’s with George Gershwin’s “An American in Paris,” which Lipsky said is one of Gershwin’s “most recognized pieces.” The piece is influenced by jazz and blues and features a trumpet solo and even the percussion section’s “taxi horn” instruments.

There will be a reception backstage following the concert. Tickets are available online at or by calling 419-289-5115.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Orff Specialist Roger Sams Presenting at AU, April 12-14

Orff specialist Roger Sams has been selected for the 2015 Gretchen French Visiting Artist Series in Music at Ashland University.  Mr. Sams will visit Ashland University on April 12 to 14 to present four workshops each focusing on a different music classroom setting. All of the workshops are free and open to the public and will be held in Room 242 in the Center for the Arts (formerly known as the Arts & Humanities Building).

The first workshop title "The Artful Music Classroom" is scheduled on Sunday, April 12 at 6:30 p.m. and will focus on primary grades. On Monday, April 13 at 10 a.m., he will present a workshop on using improvisation in elementary general music; and at 3:30 p.m. he will return to "The Artful Music Classroom" but focus on middle and upper elementary grades. His visit will conclude with a composition in elementary general music workshop at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 14.

Roger Sams retired from the music classroom in 2013 after 31 years of teaching music in public and private schools.  He has served as adjunct faculty teaching methods courses and supervising student teachers at Cleveland State University. He also has been on the faculty in teacher education programs at the University of St. Thomas, Cleveland State University, Akron University, the University of Montana, University of Missouri-St. Louis and other venues throughout the US. 

Roger is a regular presenter at state, regional, and national conferences, has served on the American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA) National Board of Trustees, and has worked with teachers in Canada, China, Indonesia and India. He currently serves as Director of Publications and Music Education Consultant at Music is Elementary. He is the co-author of “Purposeful Pathways:  Possibilities for the Elementary Music Classroom” with Beth Ann Hepburn.  He has published works for children’s choirs in the “Crooked River Choral Project” series and a collection of rounds and partner songs entitled, “A Round My Heart.” 

Trained in Gestalt therapy, Roger is interested in the power of choice in the artistic process, teaching, and life. He holds a Bachelor of Music from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Arts in Music Education from Case Western Reserve University.

The Gretchen French Endowed Visiting Artist Series at Ashland University was established through a bequest from the estate of Gretchen French.  Although Ms. French never attended Ashland University, it was through close friends and alums, Phillip (‘53) and Jean (‘55) Lersch, that she decided Ashland was well suited to demonstrate in perpetuity her values and hopes for young people.  Her entire life was dedicated to people, placing others' needs before her's by unselfishly serving them, in particular her family and many, many young musicians.  This is a fitting tribute to her and will be a continual reminder of her love not only of music but most importantly people.

The goal of the Series is to provide Ashland University students close contact and mentoring with an outstanding visiting musician/music teacher. The particular field of expertise for the Series will vary from year to year. It is a goal of the Series to find Visiting Artists that have the widest possible expertise and appeal to students in various areas of music study.