Thursday, March 15, 2018

Annual Middle School Honors Band Concert, Mar. 18

In Celebration of Music in Our Schools Month, Ashland University Department of Music will host the annual Ashland County Middle School Honors Band on Sunday, March 18, at 4 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre. The Ashland University Concert Band will be the featured guest ensemble. Joseph Lewis Jr., Ashland University director of bands, will serve as conductor for both ensembles.

Consisting of 78 members, the Ashland County Middle School Honors Band includes seventh and eighth grade students from Ashland, Crestview, Hillsdale, Loudonville-Perrysville and Mapleton Schools. Members of the Ashland County Band Directors Association meet with Lewis and Ashland’s Martin Kral, this year’s chairman, to plan the program. The committee of band directors selects the honors band members based on merit and instrumentation needs of the band. Students meet at Ashland University on Thursday, March 16, and Sunday, March 18, to rehearse and present this program with music ranging from classical selections to traditional marches.

The 53-member Ashland University Concert Band will open the concert with a cameo program of wonderful but unusual music chosen especially to highlight the day including Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man, Wagner's The Ride of the Valkyries, Irish Tune from County Derry by Percy Grainger, Foundry by John Mackey, and J.P. Sousa’s The Black Horse Troop.

The combination of these two bands makes for a rewarding, exciting and satisfying musical experience for both the performers and the audience. Admission is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Jazz Vocalist Jane Monheit Headlines Maplerock

Ashland University’s award-winning jazz program is proud to present the 2018 Maplerock Jazz Festival slated for Friday, March 16. Along with free performances by area school jazz ensembles from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., the event presents a main stage concert at 7:30 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre which features acclaimed Grammy-nominated vocalist Jane Monheit.

Monheit will perform as the headliner of the Jazz Festival's evening concert which will open with the Ashland University Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Scott Garlock. Ashland High School alumnus Chip Stephens, piano; Rich Shanklin, saxophone; and Bob Bonora, drums will join Monheit as guest artists on the evening program.

Blessed with “a voice of phenomenal beauty” (Stephen Holden, New York Times), Jane Monheit has had plenty of milestone moments in establishing herself as one of today’s best and most important vocalist-musicians. From being labeled a musical prodigy to her first runner-up finish in 1998’s Thelonious Monk International Vocal Competition, Jane’s ingĂ©nue looks and passion for the Great American Songbook led her to producing Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald, her tenth studio recording since her 2000 debut, Never Never Land.

Monheit explains, "The Great American Songbook is always going to be the core for me. I have a real sense of pride and purpose about keeping it alive, bringing the music to new generations." It’s a national treasure. I’m really proud to be one of the singers that people want to hear handling that material.”

Jazz pianist Chip Stephens returns to his hometown to join Monheit at Maplerock. His collaborative, recording and world-wide touring with some of the legendary figures in the history of jazz would compile a dissertation. He has performed on Grammy and Emmy Award winning recordings and is sought after for his hard-swinging, powerful and lyrical pianism. As professor of jazz piano at the University of Illinois, Stephens has been consistently ranked in the top 10% of University of Illinois professors since 2005. He was recognized by the Provost, Vice Chancellor and the Committee on Tenure and Promotion as being “Extraordinary for the level of his Teaching and Collaborative Artistry.”

Saxophonist Rich Shanklin has been a faculty member at the University of Akron since 1982, where he teaches classical and jazz saxophone, coaches saxophone quartets, and teaches courses in jazz history, jazz arranging, woodwind pedagogy and the business of music. He has also directed the Vocal Jazz Ensemble. He is a member of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, the Jazz Unit, and the Blossom Festival Band, and has also played woodwinds for countless performances at Playhouse Square as a member of the pit orchestra.

Percussionist Bob Bonora has worked with a variety of entertainers, performing in virtually every hotel and showroom in Las Vegas. He currently is on the faculty of The College of Southern Nevada, where he is Lead Faculty for Music, coordinator of Percussion/Steel Drum and Drum Set Studies as well professor of History of Rock Music. Bob is also currently percussionist with Vegas! The Show at Planet Hollywood. He has performed as percussionist with The Wayne Newton Orchestra, and as a member of the Crimes Against Nature Band for the Emmy Award Nominated Penn & Teller television show “Sin City Spectacular.” He has also performed with an endless list of premier artists from Harry Connick, Jr. and Alicia Keys to Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli. Bob has done work in many of the Broadway shows playing in Las Vegas including The Producers, Mama Mia, We Will Rock You, Avenue Q, Annie, and The Full Monty.

These four guest artists will conduct a public clinic with nine area school bands that will perform earlier in the day in Hugo Young Theatre. After each band performs their 30-minute concert, the guest artists will meet with the band and offer their expertise to strengthen the ensemble and individual musician's performance. The Jazz Festival's afternoon performances are scheduled as follows:

11:30 a.m. Foundation Academy Jazz Band

12:00 p.m. Ashland High School Jazz Band B

12:30 p.m. Lake High School Jazz Band

1:00 p.m. Rittman High School Jazz Band

1:30 p.m. Ashland High School Jazz Band A

2:00 p.m. GlenOak High School Jazz Band II

2:30 p.m. Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School Jazz Ensemble

3:00 p.m. Galion High School Jazz Band

3:30 p.m. GlenOak High School Jazz Band I

The afternoon performances are free and open to the public while tickets for the evening concert are available through the Ashland University Box Office at 419.289.5125, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, or online (additional fees apply) at

Tickets for the evening concert are $10 for adults; $5 for senior citizens, non-Ashland University students and Ashland University faculty and staff; and free for Ashland University students.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Guitarist Presents Senior Recital, Mar. 1

The Ashland University Department of Music will present a senior recital by guitarist Dominick Febbo from Avon, Ohio, on Thursday, March 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall. The recital is free and open to the public.

Febbo, a music performance major, will begin his concert with classical pieces by Bach and Handel, followed by compositions by Spanish composers including Albeniz, Llobet and Tarrega, and conclude with Satie's Gymnopedie No. 1.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Community Band Begins Rehearsals Feb. 13

The Ashland Area Community Concert Band (AACCB)] announces their spring schedule including rehearsals, concerts and membership requirements. Beginning February 13, the Community Band rehearsals are held on Tuesday evenings from 7:30-9:00 p.m. in Room 115 of the Center for the Arts (formerly the Arts and Humanities building).

In its twenty-fifth season, the Ashland Area Community Concert Band 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 Saturday, April 21, and a concert at Brookside Park's Memorial Band Shell on Sunday, June 17.

Requirements for 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.

Membership in AACCB 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 is requested and payable by the fourth week of rehearsals to continue participation in either ensemble for the semester. The membership fee is payable at the Ashland University Box Office via phone at 419.289.5125 or online at by clicking on the "Buy Single Tickets" icon.

For further information, contact the Community Band director Leonard Salvo at

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Senior Recital: Rachel Kelly, Soprano, Feb. 4

Rachel KellyMusic education major Rachel Kelly of Columbus will present her senior vocal recital with pianist Deb Logan on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 1 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall. Her program will begin with classical pieces by W. A. Mozart, Franz Schubert, Gabriel Faure, Daniel Auber, and Gian Carlo Menotti, while the second half features more contemporary pieces by Jeanine Tesori, Adam Schlesinger, Jonathan Reid Gealt and Melanie Brooks. Free & Open to the Public

Monday, January 22, 2018

AU Faculty & Students Honored at OPCICA

Several AU students and faculty were honored this weekend at the annual Ohio Private College Instrumental Conductor's Association (OPCICA) honor bands concert. In addition to Ashland's Joseph Lewis and Dr. Scott Garlock serving as conductors, the following students represented Ashland University:

OPCICA Honors Concert Band
Erica Wheaton bass clarinet
Eric Watts bass trombone
Ariane Hill, flute
Stefan Jonsson, percussion
Jennifer Wigton, trumpet
Brandi Wells, tuba

OPCICA Honors Jazz Ensemble
Derek Rangel, lead tenor saxophone
Jason Wolf, baritone saxophone
Nik Psota, lead trumpet
Frank Stanek, bass trombone

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Stanek Featured in Halftime Magazine

Ashland University Music student Frank Stanek was featured in the Sept/Oct issue of Halftime Magazine regarding his experience in the Ashland University Marching Band at age 65.

“The director was concerned that I might have physical limitations, … but after many years in farming and construction, I felt I could do it, and I said I’d like to try,” Stanek says. “After three days of band camp, the kids were moaning and groaning, and I was having a ball.”

Read the full article HERE.