Thursday, March 21, 2019

Junior Recital: Rebecca Young, soprano, Mar. 24

Ashland University Department of Music presents a junior recital with soprano Rebecca Young accompanied by pianist Deb Logan on Sunday, Mar. 24 at 1 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.

Rebecca is a vocal music and history major from Sherwood, Oregon and she studies voice with Sandra Ross. The program for her recital will consist of classical pieces by Haydn and Faure; as well as selections from operas and musical theatre such as The Merry Widow, Princess Ida, Firefly, Have a Heart and She Loves Me.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Ashland County Middle School Musicians Honored at AU Concert

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 24 at 4 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre. The Ashland University Symphonic Band will be the featured guest ensemble. Joseph Lewis, Jr., Ashland University Director of Bands, will serve as conductor for both ensembles.

Consisting of 72 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 met with Mr. Lewis to plan the program. The committee of band directors selected the honors band members based on merit and instrumentation needs of the band. Students meet at Ashland University on March 21 and 23 to rehearse and present this program with music ranging from
classical selections to traditional marches.

The 51-member Ashland University Symphonic Band will open the concert with a cameo program of wonderful music chosen especially to highlight this year’s Chicago tour theme: Music from Across the Pond and the Far East including Vaughan Williams’ Flourish for Wind Band, McBeth’s Kaddish, Chance’s Variations on a Korean Folk Song, Tschesnokoff’s Salvation is Created, and Hazo’s Olympiada.

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

Sunday, March 17, 2019

40th Annual Maplerock Jazz Festival Slates 5 Guest Artists

Ashland University’s award-winning jazz program is proud to present the 40th Annual Maplerock Jazz Festival slated for Friday, March 22. Along with free performances by ten area school jazz ensembles from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the event presents a main stage concert at 7:30 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre which features five professional jazz artists.

The Jazz Festival's evening concert will open with the Ashland University Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Scott Garlock. The concert program will headline guest jazz artists: Wycliffe Gordon (trombone), Mike Tomaro (sax), Pat Harbison (trumpet), Sean Parsons (piano) and John Viser (drums).

Renowned musician, composer, conductor, and arranger, Wycliffe Gordon's impressive career has garnered him numerous accolades as a veteran member of the Wynton Marsalis Septet, an original member of Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, a featured guest artist on Billy Taylor’s “Jazz at the Kennedy Center” Series, and the arranger of NPR’s “All Things Considered” theme song heard daily across the globe. Jazz Journalists Association named him “Trombonist of the Year” for the 10th time in 2017, and Downbeat Critics Poll named Wycliffe “Best Trombone” for four years. Most recently Wycliffe received the “Louie Award” honoring his dedication and commitment to the music of Louis Armstrong.

Saxophonist, composer, arranger and educator, Mike Tomaro is the Director of the Jazz Studies Program at Duquesne University. Prior to his appointment at Duquesne, he was a member of the Army Blues Jazz Ensemble where he served as its Enlisted Musical Director and performed for Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton as well as heads of state from around the world. As a performer, Mike has worked with such diverse artists and groups as Rosemary Clooney, Ray Charles, Michael Feinstein, Linda Ronstadt, Debby Boone, Johnny Mathis, Wayne Bergeron, Dizzy Gillespie Tribute Big Band, Woody Herman Orchestra and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, where he is featured on their latest DVD, “Live at MCG.” He is also a member and Co-Artistic Director of the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra.

Pat Harbison's many recordings as a jazz trumpeter include a 1999 solo debut, After All. In addition to appearances as leader, his recording credits include the PsychoAcoustic Orchestra, the Blue Wisp Big Band, and David Baker's 21st Century Bebop Band. He is a Professor of Jazz Studies at Indiana University and previously taught Trumpet and Jazz Studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Sean Parsons is a jazz pianist, composer, arranger, and educator currently serving as Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at Ohio University. In demand as a performer and clinician nationwide, Sean has shared the stage with many of the most notable musicians in jazz including Clark Terry, James Moody, Jon Faddis, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Steve Turre, and Randy Brecker. Additionally, he has regularly performed with and arranged for Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.

John Viser describes himself as a 'Soul drummer trapped in a jazz drummer's body." Growing up in Memphis, his first gigs were sitting in with house bands on Beale Street. He studied jazz at Knox College where he had the opportunity to back up jazz luminaries, form the award winning "Good Ma Trio" and tour parts of North America and Spain. Viser is now a regular fixture on the St. Louis music scene working with Jake Gehret and the Brokedown Sound, the Southside trio, and the Jazz Cannibals.

These five guest artists will conduct a public clinic with ten high school bands that will perform earlier in the day in Hugo Young Theatre. After each high school 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 of Mansfield Jazz Band
12:00 p.m. Rittman High School Jazz Band
12:30 p.m. Crestview High School Jazz Band
1:00 p.m. Crestwood High School Jazz Band
1:30 p.m. Bloom Carroll High School Jazz Band
2:00 p.m. Ashland High School Jazz Band B
2:30 p.m. Brunswick High School Jazz Band
3:00 p.m. Stow-Munroe Falls High School Jazz Band
3:30 p.m. Galion High School Jazz Band
4:00 p.m. Ashland High School Jazz Band A

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.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Cabin Fever Choral Concert, Mar. 17

The Ashland University Choir, Chamber Singers and Women's Chorus present a concert to relieve our cabin fever on Sunday, Mar. 17 at 4 p.m. in the Jack and Deb Miller Chapel. The eclectic program will offer everything from Elizabethan madrigals, to a Mass from Haydn, spirituals, contemporary a cappella, folk songs and lullabies. 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 in a performance of Franz Joseph Haydn's "Little Organ Mass" for choir, small string orchestra and organ. On the Mass' lovely and extended “Benedictus,” it will feature soprano Rebecca Young, junior music major from Oregon, and university organist Dr. Timothy Guenther. Brian Le, senior political science major, will intone the beginning of the Gloria accompanied by Dr. Guenther.

The AU Choir will also sing two very recent choral compositions including “Selene’s Boat” by Don McDonald, based on a poem by Allison Girvan about the Greek goddess of the moon. Much of the piece is textless as it strives to create a certain mood. The final piece, “Rock-a My Soul,” arranged by the contemporary musician Stacey V. Gibbs, starts with the familiar spiritual and takes it to some exciting places through mixed modes, syncopated rhythms, and dramatic textures.

The Chamber Singers, also conducted by Dr. Blackley, will perform Morten Lauridsen’s “Four Madrigals on Renaissance Texts.” This set is accompanied by an instrumental quartet of flute, violin, cello, and bassoon. The juxtaposition of Elizabethan texts with twentieth century music is striking, at times poignant, and consistently effective.

Directed by Ashland University alumna Julie Strebler-Renner and accompanied by Susan Gregg, the Women's chorus' selections begin with "One Voice" by the Wailin’ Jennys, followed by Z. Randall Stroope’s “Lux Aeterna," a French piece titled “Je Le Vous Dirai,“ and conclude with Jacob Narverud’s “Lunar Lullaby.”

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Symphonic Band Embarks on Chicago Tour

The Ashland University Symphonic Band under the direction of Joseph Lewis, Jr., will embark on a concert tour to Chicago during spring break. The tour will include performances at Ayersville High School (Defiance), Spencerville High School and the Chicago Field Museum.

The program for the concerts takes on an international flair featuring compositions from 'Across the Pond and Far East' including England, Italy, Russia, Israel, Korea as well as Samuel Hazo's Olympiada. 

Follow the Ashland University Music Facebook page to follow the band on their tour.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Sharing More from Liz Pastor Celebration

On Sunday, Feb. 3, we hosted an event to celebrate Ashland University Trustees Professor Elizabeth Pastor. With friends, family, colleagues and former students in attendance, the event began with a reception in the Coburn Gallery and moved to the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall for a program of remembrances and other tributes interspersed among musical selections.

Since many were unable to attend for various reasons, we want to share the event with you. Please follow the links below to view printed materials and videos.
We also invite you to join the Celebrating Liz Pastor Facebook group where new stories are being shared everyday.

It is evident that Liz's legacy and love for the arts will live on in all of us.

Please feel free to share this email and links.

OMEA Convention Converges Old with the New

Ashland University Music faculty, alumni and students converged at the OMEA convention in Cleveland. Alumni were represented as far back as 1974, 1977, 1979 and as recent as December 2018. It was great to reconnect with the following Eagles:

Danell Allen ‘94
Val Allie ‘02
Amy Arnett ‘99
Jessie Barnhouse ‘16
Rachel Blenman ‘10
Cassandra Bull ‘09
Lauren Colotto ‘12
Jeff Conklin ‘74
Melanie Donnelly ‘10
David Eddleman ‘03
Lew Friend ‘99
Emily Garlock ‘07
Lori Hitsman ‘01
Lisa Hoffman ‘87
Aly Horn ‘11
Katy Kohman ‘09
Patrick Kostalnick
Marty Kral ‘99
Alex Lacey ‘14
Toni Novotny ‘86
Lauren Owens ‘10
Becky Parcher ‘79
Jacob Poiner ‘18
Andrew Shaffer ‘15
Jim Slike ‘11
Julie Strebler ‘02
Kevin Taylor ‘05
Anne Teschler ‘03
Margo Trinter ‘11
Hannah Wise ‘18
Dave Wolbert ‘77
Beth Wortman ‘09
Josh Wortman ‘10
Geoffrey Zimmerly ‘03