Thursday, February 20, 2020

Winter Choral Concert, Mar. 1

The Ashland University Choir, Chamber Singers and Women's Chorus present a concert to relieve our cabin fever on Sunday, Mar. 1 at 4 p.m. in the Jack and Deb Miller Chapel. The eclectic program will offer everything from a Mass to songs with Shakespeare text and a popular song from a movie soundtrack. The concert is free and open to the public.

Dr. Rowland Blackley, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities, will conduct the University Choir and Ashland Chamber Orchestra in a performance of Antonio Vilvadi's Gloria in D including student soloists Gracie Fumic, Alli Lange, Emily Schordock, Lila Wolfe and Rebecca Young.

The Chamber Singers, also conducted by Dr. Blackley, will perform selections which use all Shakespeare text including Four, a four movement piece by Matthew Harris consisting of Full Fathom Five, Who Is Sylvia?, Tell Me Where Is Fancy Bred and Come Away, Come Away, Death; Edwin Fissinger's Sweet and Twenty as well as Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind by John Rutter.

Directed by Deborah Logan and accompanied by Susan Gregg, the Women's Chorus' selections will feature Stephen Schwartz's When You Believe from The Prince of Egypt soundtrack, How Can I Keep from Singing? by Robert Lowry and Giuseppe Pitoni's Cantate Domino.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Reed to Perform with Ashland Native, Kevin Jones, Feb. 17

The Department of Music at Ashland University announces a concert featuring Dr. Thomas Reed, Professor of Music, on clarinet, with guest artist and Ashland native, Kevin Jones on piano. The free, public concert will be held on Monday, Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall in the Center for the Arts (formerly known as the Arts & Humanities Building).

For his 35th consecutive annual faculty concert at Ashland University, Dr. Reed will perform a program of classical pieces with Mr. Jones including Cantilene by Louis Cahuzac, Gordon Jacob's four-movement arrangement of Tartini's Concertino, and Paquito D'Rivera's Two Pieces for Clarinet and Piano. After an intermission, they will return to the stage for Carl Maria von Weber's Grand Duo Concertante, Op. 48.

Reed is professor of music and chair of the departments of music and theatre at Ashland University where he has taught since 1986 in a number of areas including applied woodwinds, music theory and jazz studies. He is a member of the Akron Symphony and Ashland Symphony, was a long-time member of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, and has performed on clarinet or saxophone with the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Blossom Festival Orchestra, Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic, Youngstown Symphony, Blossom Festival Band and the Jazz Unit. He has been a soloist with the Akron, Mansfield and Ashland Symphonies and performs on CDs from the Akron Symphony, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and the Paul Ferguson Jazz Orchestra. His clarinet CD “Mutually Inclusive” was released in 2008 on Capstone Records. He is also a founding member of Iron Toys, a woodwind quartet that performs original repertoire for saxophones, clarinets and flutes. The quartet released their first CD in 2015. He holds degrees from The Ohio State University, the University of Michigan and the University of Akron.

Kevin Jones began formal musical training at the age of four. After preparatory and high school musical training in Ashland with Judith Thomas and John Gilbert, he attended Southern Methodist University and completed his undergraduate degree at Ashland College, studying organ with Karel Paukert and piano with Elizabeth Pastor. Mr. Jones went on to earn graduate degrees in Collaborative Piano and in Organ Performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Pastor, Karel Paukert, Anne Epperson, Thomas Muraco, and Vivian Hornik Weilerstein.

From 1996 to 2004, Jones held the post of Musical Director/Conductor of the New York City based Gilbert & Sullivan ensemble, the Blue Hill Troupe, Ltd. With that ensemble he made his Carnegie Hall conducting debut as guest with Skitch Henderson’s New York Pops Symphony Orchestra. Along with U.S. performances at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Oberlin College, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and many other sites, he has performed throughout Europe and the Far East including a recent performance on the Pipes at One series at St. Paul’s Chapel, NYC.

From 2007 to 2012, Jones was Canon Precentor and Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral, Hartford, Connecticut, as well as being a member of the vocal division faculty at the Hartt School. Since 2013, Mr. Jones is Minister of Music at First Congregational Church, Columbus, Ohio, where he oversees a large music program of four choirs and the longstanding concert series Concerts at First Church.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Community Band Rehearsals Begin 2/11

The Ashland Area Community Concert Band (AACCB) continues its twenty-seventh season with its weekly rehearsals on Tuesday, Feb. 11 from 7:30-9 p.m. in the Center for the Arts' Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall. Under the direction of Ashland University Director of Bands Joseph Lewis, Jr., AACCB is for those that loved playing in band in high school or college and want the opportunity to play again. Performances for the ensemble this spring include a performance at the University with the Ashland University Symphonic Band on Sunday, May 3 at 4 p.m..

Open to all adults and high school students with the permission of the ensemble's director, requirements for AACCB membership are the ability to play a wind or percussion instrument (no need to be a virtuoso); an interest in playing for enjoyment; desire to play a wide variety of music for the public; an interest in meeting new people who share a common interest and availability for rehearsals on Tuesday evenings.

A nominal membership fee of $25 for adults and $15 for high school students is requested and payable by the fourth week of rehearsals to continue participation for the semester. The membership fee is payable at the Ashland University Box Office via phone at 419.289.5125 or online at

Friday, January 31, 2020

Dr. Swanson Receives Mentor Award

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Stefan Swanson for being recognized by the Board of Trustees with a Mentor Award! Mentor Award recipients are nominated by a student and are selected by a committee of Board members via a blind review process.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Senior Recital: Alex Trotter, Jan. 23

Ashland University Music presents a senior recital by Alex Trotter (Boston, MA) on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall. He will be assisted by Eric Watts, bass trombone, and Branden Barber, trumpet.  The concert is free and open to the public. 

Trotter will present his senior recital in the format of a jazz lecture recital. In addition to performing each piece on the piano, he has also composed his own arrangements of the music he will be performing along with one original composition titled "Great to be Me." Throughout the recital he will introduce each piece and explain the techniques he used to create the arrangement.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Ashland to Host OPCICA Honors Festival

Ashland University Department of Music is honored to host the 2020 Ohio Private College Instrumental Conductors Association (OPCICA) Honors Festival culminating with a free, public concert on Sunday, Jan. 19 at 1:30 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre. The 2020 OPCICA Festival is organized by the association's president, John Packard (Mount Vernon Nazarene University), along with the local hosts from Ashland University, Joseph Lewis and Dr. Scott Garlock.

OPCICA represents the instrumental music programs in Ohio's private colleges and universities, whose primary purpose is sponsoring an annual honors festival. This year's festival will involve 111 student musicians and 25 band directors representing 17 schools including Ashland University, Bluffton University, Case Western Reserve University, College of Wooster, Defiance College, Heidelberg University, Kenyon College, Malone University, Marietta College, Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Muskingum University, Notre Dame College, Ohio Northern University, Otterbein University, University of Findlay, Wittenberg University and Walsh University.

Participating students have been nominated by their university band directors for their exceptional musicianship. All participating students and directors will arrive on the Ashland University campus on Saturday to rehearse with the OPCICA Honors Concert Band or Honors Jazz Band. The bands will then perform at Sunday afternoon's concert.

The OPCICA Honors Concert Band will perform the following pieces led by the corresponding conductors: Joyce’s 71st N.Y. Reg’t March (Joseph Lewis, Ashland University), Early Light (Roy Couch, Bluffton University), Cloudburst (Tom Roblee, Walsh University), Divertimento (Michael Kruger, Notre Dame College), and Danza Final from Estancia (Chris Schletter, Marietta College).

The OPCICA Honors Jazz Band's program will include performances of The Star-Spangled Banner, Thinking, Doin' the Things, Tones for Joan's Bones, Armando's Rhumba and Minor Bop II conducted by Jason Wyse, Malone University; Jordan Reed, Marietta College; and Jack Taylor, University of Findlay.

Ashland University students selected for the honors bands include Emma Graves on flute; Jacob Moses, Matt Roth, Hannah Smigel and Sydney Muller on clarinet; french horn players Jacob Bodnar and Bethany Leggett; and Eric Watts, bass trombone.

In addition to the OPCICA honors bands, the Ashland University Symphonic Band will perform as the host ensemble. Their selections include Sousa's Semper Fidelis, the World Premiere of Dr. Stefan Swanson's Women of World War II, Lauridsen's O Magnum Mysterium, as well as The Golden Age of the Xylophone featuring guest soloist Elizabeth Procopio.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Ashland Area Chorus Begins Rehearsals Jan. 13

The Ashland Area Chorus (AAC), under the direction of Libby Moore Slade, announces their spring schedule including rehearsals, concerts and membership requirements.

Beginning Monday, Jan. 13, Ashland Area Chorus rehearsals are held on Monday evenings from 7-8:45 p.m. in Room 242 of the Center for the Arts. This semester the Chorus will perform Beethoven's triumphal 9th Symphony with the Ashland Symphony Orchestra for their "Ode to Our 50th" concert on April 18 at Archer Auditorium.

Founded by Dr. Rowland Blackley in 1998, the AAC is dedicated to a mission of learning great music and singing it beautifully. The chorus is open to all singers from Ashland and surrounding counties and includes Ashland University faculty, staff and students as well as other singers from the wider community. Though no formal audition is required for membership, AAC members must be pitch accurate (sing 'on key') and be able to learn and perform their parts successfully. Previous choral experience is helpful.

Membership in AAC is open to all adults. Students still in high school may also participate with the permission of the ensemble's director. A nominal membership fee of $25 for adults and $15 for high school students is requested and payable by the fourth week of rehearsals to continue participation in the ensemble for the semester. The membership fee is payable at the Ashland University Box Office online at by clicking on the "Buy Single Tickets " icon.

For further information, contact the Chorus’ director Libby Slade at or (419) 685-5460.