Thursday, November 15, 2018

Watts Presents Original Compositions

Sophomore music and computer science dual major Eric Watts (Ontario) will present a concert of his original compositions titled "Paperclips: An evening of music for trombones" on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Eric composed several pieces for a trombone quartet over this past summer and then received further guidance from Dr. Stefan Swanson, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music, who has composed over 100 film and concert scores.

Eric's program for Saturday's concert will be selected from his following pieces:
  • Chaconne from First Suite in Eb
  • I Love You but Don't Like You
  • If Only it Wasn't for my Crooked Peg Leg 
  • Trombone Quartet 5
  • Having Anxiety Gives Me Anxiety
  • Equal
Trombonists participating in the concert are current AU students and alumni including the composer, Matthew MacDonald, Kyle Ackert and Jaylynn Buchmelter.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Percussion Clinic/Concert, Nov. 11

Join us for a free Percussion Clinic & Concert featuring Trommelgroep West-Nederland on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall. TWN will discuss the history, styles, and performance practices of Swiss drumming in a clinic format then perform a short concert showcasing this extraordinary style of traditional drumming through excellent musicianship and mastery.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Lewis' Career in Music and the Military Leads Him to AU

Joseph Lewis, Jr., Ashland University Director of Bands, is honored to have a career which combines his two worlds of music and the military. Not only will he lead the Ashland University Eagle Marching Band into Jack Miller Stadium for the football game against Northern Michigan on Nov. 10, but he will also recognize fellow military men and women for their service at a special halftime show in observance of Veterans Day.

Lewis' journey into a career combining music and the military began in the summer of 2000 when he enlisted in the Ohio Army National Guard, attended ten weeks of basic training and completed 3 weeks on-the-job training.

After completing the necessary steps to become a member of the Ohio National Guard's 122nd Army Band, he then enrolled as a music education and trombone performance major at the Ohio State University in January of 2001, and went on to earn his masters in music education from Bowling Green State University. In 2014, he attended Warrant Officer Candidate School to become the new 122nd Army Band Commander after a 15-year tenure in the band.

His journey then took a turn which led him to Ashland University when he was named the Director of Bands for the 2017-2018 academic year. Now in his second year at AU, he is making great strides in enhancing the Eagle Marching Band and Symphonic Band programs while continuing his leadership with the 122nd Army Band.

As the leader of both programs, Lewis is responsible for everything from recruiting and auditioning new members, to managing the various ensembles, selecting the repertoire and organizing the "missions" (the military term for their events including military ceremonies, military balls, honorable transfer of remains, and concert tours).

Lewis sees multiple benefits from working for both organizations which he has already implemented. Earlier this fall he collaborated with the Ashland High School (AHS) music department who hosted the 122nd's Flashback Rock Band for a day of workshops with the high school students as well as a public concert that evening. Joe emphasized that "the concert was good, but the workshopping with the high school students was great." Later in the semester, the AHS and AU Marching Bands performed a joint halftime show at each other's home games with over 200 musicians. These are great recruiting opportunities for the 122nd Army Band and the Ashland University Band.

For students looking to enroll in a college music program, there are great benefits for serving in the 122nd Army Band including scholarships, tuitiion assistance, student loan repayment program and G.I. Bill cash assistance for educational expenses such as books, housing, food and more. For a six year commitment of attending drill one weekend per month along with an additional 15 days through the year to perform in parades, public concerts, and ceremonies -- these benefits could be someone's opportunity for a college degree. The scholarship program covers up to 100% tuition paid to any state-supported school within the state of Ohio, or up to the amount of the highest state school tuition in Ohio towards a private university education.

To become a musician with the 122nd Army Band which is considered a "civilian acquired skill," those interested should contact Lewis through the Band's Web site or Facebook page to schedule an audition. The audition is comprised of two portions consisting of prepared and quickly prepared performance. For the prepared portion, auditionees must prepare at least three contrasting pieces which emphasize their technical, musical, and stylistic abilities. The evening before the audition, auditionees will be sent a packet of music of varying styles which will judge their ability to quickly prepare for a short-notice performance. Out of the 40-point audition scoring, a score of at least an 18 is needed to quality. Lewis makes it clear to those enlisting that they must also audition for the Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at the Army School of Music in Virginia Beach, be admitted and complete their 10-week training.

Throughout his career, it has been Mr. Lewis' goal to teach at the college level which he has met at Ashland University where he invites all military veterans to this Saturday's 1 p.m. football game to be recognized for their service on the field at halftime. Veterans will receive one free game ticket upon arrival at the stadium. To secure their ticket, veterans should contact Joe Lewis at or 419.289.5132.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Remembering Liz

Dear Friends:

We are saddened to announce the passing of Elizabeth Pastor, a truly amazing person who meant a great deal to her students, friends and colleagues over her long life.

Liz taught piano at Ashland College/University from 1947 to 2014! She also taught piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music for many decades and at her home until a few weeks ago. She was a demanding, inspiring and persistent teacher, who always kept the focus on playing with beauty, expression and musicianship. She gave huge amounts of extra time to students preparing for recitals and juries. She taught students from absolute beginners to advanced students embarking on professional careers.

Liz received her artist’s diploma at the age of eighteen from Boston’s Longy School of Music. She studied piano with Boris Goldovsky, Carl Frieberg, Beryl Rubinstein and Arthur Loesser. She made her debut at Town Hall, New York and made solo appearances with leading orchestras throughout the country including the Cleveland Orchestra, the NBC Symphony in New York, the Boston Pops, the Las Vegas Philharmonic and various Ohio orchestras including Mansfield, Wooster and Ashland. She performed in solo recitals throughout the United States as well as being a participant in many chamber music concerts.

In 1987, Liz was named Ashland University’s second Trustees’ Distinguished Professor, an academic honor awarded by the University’s Board of Trustees to a professor who is recognized as an outstanding educator, performer and campus leader. She was chairperson of the Ashland University Music Department from 1983-1987, had an extensive record of serving on University faculty committees and was a multiple-year recipient of the AU Mentor Award.

Also an avid collector of contemporary art, her home and her yard are an amazing array of unique sculptures, paintings, sketches, mobiles, furniture, etc. Her office in 209 CFA was a miniature art gallery as well.

Liz was a community activist, using her clout to advocate for the preservation of historical buildings in Ashland. She helped bring speakers to Ashland on a variety of topics outside of music, including environmental and social issues.

She co-founded Ashland University’s Spectrum Series which hosted world-renowned performers and speakers from 1980 to 2014. She also regularly brought outstanding musicians to Ashland for recitals, sometimes at her own expense, and initiated the Music Department’s tradition of attending Cleveland Orchestra concerts as a group.

Her passion for great music, for helping others succeed and for her community is a great example to us all, and we will miss her.

From the Department of Music
Tom Reed, Chair

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Sounds of the Stadium Concert, Nov. 4

The Ashland University Department of Music presents the Sounds of the Stadium concert featuring the Ashland University Eagle Marching Band under the direction of Joseph Lewis Jr., director of Bands, on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 7:30 p.m. in Kates Gymnasium inside the Physical Education Center. The concert is free and open to the public.

The 2018 Eagle Marching Band will perform selections from their halftime shows including music from boy bands, Panic! at the Disco, The Greatest Showman, classic spy shows, and the ’70s along with other Ashland University traditional favorites. The color guard and feature twirlers will also perform at this concert, which will be inside away from inclement weather.

Monday, October 29, 2018

AU Music Well-Represented in Little Women

AU Music will have a strong presence in Ashland University Theatre's production of Little Women, the musical which open this Friday. Leading the way is Ashland University's 14-year veteran Deb Hetrick Logan as the Musical Director. Deb's goal was to compile an all-student orchestra which she has done with: Jedidiah McFadden, Megan Saupé, Kameron Kainec, Ariane Hill, Jacob Moses, Nick Lawwill, Emily Schordock, Eric Watts, Emily Ebert and Stefan Jonsson.

Tickets for the performances slated for Nov. 2, 3, 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. can be purchased at the AU Box Office by phone at 419.289.5125 or online (add'l fees apply) at

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Lipsky, Reed & Hoca: A Chamber Music Concert, Oct. 22

Maestro Arie Lipsky (cello and flute), Dr. Thomas Reed (clarinet) and Claudia Hoca (piano) combine and showcase their talents for a chamber ensemble concert on Monday, October 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital. The performance is free and open to the public.

The program begins with Maestro Lipsky on flute and Ms. Hoca on piano as they perform Paul Schoenfield's Achat Sha'alti, a passionate piece based on Psalm 27, and the playful and rhythmic Ufaratsta (Hebrew for Valentine), followed by Lili Boulanger's fast and lively D'un Matin de Printemps (A Spring Morning). Maestro will then switch to the cello for Sergei Rachmaninoff's Sonata in G minor for cello and piano, op. 19 in four movements in which most of the themes are introduced by the piano then embellished by the cello. After the intermission, Dr. Reed will perform Igor Stravinsky's Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo which begins on a clarinet in A then changes to a B-flat clarinet for the final movement while the asymmetrical piece is characterized by constant shifts in meter and time signatures. The concert will conclude with all of the musicians performing Johannes Brahms' Trio, op. 114, in four movements for clarinet, cello and piano.

Known in the Ashland area as the music director and conductor for the Ashland Symphony Orchestra, Arie Lipsky is a native of Haifa, Israel, where he received extensive training as a cellist and flutist. He holds degrees in Aeronautical Engineering and Music which he received before serving in the Israeli armed forces as a tank commander. After moving to the United States, Arie served as Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra and graduated from there with distinction. During this period he also assumed conducting responsibilities with the Ohio Light Opera. He moved to Buffalo, New York in 1984 to become the Philharmonic's principal cellist and, in 1990, also became the Resident Conductor, a position he held for twelve years. He was a prize winner in the Chicago Cello Society Competition and performed as principal cellist with the Haifa Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Opera and the Colorado Music Festival; and has performed as cellist with the New Arts Trio since 1996. Maestro Lipsky is currently in his twenty-first season as Music Director and Conductor of the Ashland Symphony Orchestra, and in his seventeenth season as Music Director and Conductor of the Ann Arbor (Michigan) Symphony. He is also the Principal Guest Conductor of the Haifa Symphony Orchestra and is also a frequent conductor with orchestras in Europe, Israel, and North America.

Dr. Reed joined Ashland University faculty in 1986 and serves as professor of music and chair of the Department of Music and Theatre. He is a member of the Akron Symphony (bass clarinet) and Ashland Symphony (principal clarinet), was a long-time member of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra (saxophone), 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, Clarence and Ashland Symphonies and performs on CDs from the Akron Symphony, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, the Jazz Unit and the Paul Ferguson Jazz Orchestra. His clarinet CD “Mutually Inclusive” was released in 2008 on Capstone Records. He is also heard as a founding member of Iron Toys, a woodwind quartet that performs original repertoire for saxophones, clarinets and flutes, on their CD released in 2015. He holds a DMA in Clarinet Performance from The Ohio State University, an M.M. in Saxophone Performance from The University of Akron, and a B.M in Music Education from The University of Michigan.

Ms. Hoca is the recipient of numerous awards, including top prizes in the Chopin Young Pianist Competition and the Washington International Bach Competition. While still a teenager, she appeared with the Boston Pops under Arthur Fiedler, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic in a Young People's Concert, broadcast live on network television. She has played over 20 different concertos with the Buffalo Philharmonic, has appeared in recitals throughout the United States and abroad and is much sought after as a chamber music collaborator. Her recordings include a premier recording of the piano music of Leo Smit on the Spectrum label and two collaborations with Philharmonia Virtuosi of New York available on the Essay label. She is often seen on the Kleinhans Stage as orchestral pianist with the BPO and has for the past five summers been the orchestral pianist of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Hoca is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, the State University of New York at Buffalo, and she received a Fulbright grant to return to her native Austria, where she pursued advanced studies under Bruno Seidlhofer.