Monday, September 19, 2016

Madrigal Sales Begin Sep. 26

Tickets for the 41st Annual Madrigal Feaste go on sale to the public on Monday, September 26 at 12 p.m. Patrons are reminded that this is a very popular event and the box office will be incredibly busy. For immediate service, the box office recommends that patrons come to the box office window located in the lobby of Hugo Young Theatre at the corner of College Avenue and Grant Street or order online at (additional fees apply for online orders).  Patrons can also call the box office at 419.289.5125, but phone lines are expected to be busy. Discounted tickets for children can only be purchased directly through the box office and not online.

Ashland University Department of Music produces the annual Madrigal Feaste which is slated for Wednesday through Sunday, November 30 - December 4, 2016. All performances begin at 6:30 p.m. in Redwood Hall.

Directed by Dr. Rowland Blackley, director of choral activities, the Madrigal Feaste is a dinner theater based in sixteenth-century England with constant entertainment provided throughout the evening. The Ashland University Chamber Singers perform ceremonial music, Christmas carols and madrigals while the Madrigal Players present a new comedic play along with improvisational theatrics. Fanfare trumpeters, the Court Jester, Butler and Wenches round out the cast. Performer costumes are designed as authentic reproductions of period apparel; and the four-course meal culminates in flaming bread pudding.

The 2016 Madrigal Feaste Chamber Singers feature Drew Berlin, Abbie Brady, Deric Dove, Sami Eron, Gracie Fumic, Elisha Hofer, Rachel Kelly, Danny Lawson, Jacob Markley, Seth Morrison, Sarah Napier, Jacob Poiner, Jake Riley, Corey Turpin, Hannah Wise and Rebecca Young. Andrea Disch will serve as the Jester leading her cast of Players including Logan Baker, Nik Demers, Jessica Dupee, Ariel McCleary and Maya Rickard.

Tickets for the event are $28 for adults; $24 for groups of 10 or more; and $18 for children under 12. A special $11 ticket is available to Ashland University students for the Wednesday performance only. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available upon request at the time of ticket purchase. Due to preparation of meals, tickets are not available at the door.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Community Band Rehearsals Begin 9/13

The Ashland Area Community Concert Band under the direction of Leonard Salvo begins its twenty-fourth season with rehearsals on Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Center for the Arts' Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall.  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 fall include a performance at the University with the Ashland University Concert Band on Saturday, December 12.

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 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. 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

Thursday, September 1, 2016

AU Music Begins Year with Vocal Recital & Emmy-Nominated Composer

The Department of Music at Ashland University announces its first recital of the new academic year and a special presentation by an Emmy-nominated composer all to be held on Thursday, September 8. Both programs are free and open to the public.

After a visit to Ashland University last winter, Emmy-nominated composer and Wooster native Philip Giffin returns to campus on Thursday Sept. 8 at 9:25 a.m. in room 303 of the Center for the Arts. He will give a presentation about his most recent film score and about producing and arranging for pop artists. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Giffin has scored and contributed music to numerous features and television programs including "Like Mike," "Fatal Instinct," "Beethoven’s 3rd (and 4th)", "Muppet’s Tonight" and more. As an orchestrator, his many credits include "Sommersby," "Die Hard" (I and II) and "Lethal Weapon" (I and II).

At 7:30 p.m. on September 8 in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall, mezzo-soprano Sarah Napier will present her junior recital accompanied by pianist Deb Logan. Her program will include pieces by Handel, Donizetti, Mendelssohn, Chausson, Lerner & Lowe, Heisler & Goldrich and Mercer & Arlen. Sarah is a music major studying voice with Denise Milner Howell and she is a graduate of Willard High School.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Auditions for PIPPIN Open to All

Ashland University Department of Theatre announces open auditions for their upcoming production of the 2013 Tony Award winner for Best Musical Revival--Pippin. Community members and Ashland University students, faculty and staff are invited to audition.

Vocal auditions for Pippin will be held Thursday, September 1 at 7 p.m. with dance auditions held on Friday, September 2 at 6 p.m., and call-backs immediately following the dance auditions on Friday. All auditions will be held in Ashland University's Hugo Young Theatre located at 331 College Avenue, Ashland.

Pippin will be directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Robert Sean Parker with musical direction by Dr. Rowland Blackley, Director of Choral Activities. Performances are slated for February 10-18 and include roles for three women and three men, chorus members and a young boy. Auditionees should prepare 16-32 bars of a song in a style similar to the show or a song can also be provided for those who do not have one. An accompanist will be provided. 

For more information, contact Tricia Applegate, Coordinator of Publicty and Events, at or 419.289.5950, or visit AU Theatre online at or

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Ashland Area Chorus Accepting New Members

Entering its eighteenth season, the Ashland Area Chorus (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.

Rehearsals for the fall semester begin Monday, August 29 from 7-8:45 p.m. in Room 242 of the Center for the Arts and continue at the same time on subsequent Mondays, but will not meet on Labor Day.

This fall, the chorus will perform Dvořák's Mass in D on Sunday, November 13 at 4 p.m in the Jack and Deb Miller Chapel. The chorus will also perform at Ashland University's annual Festival of Lights service on December 11.

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 via phone at 419.289.5125 or online at by clicking on the "Buy Tickets & Memberships" icon.

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Ashland Area Chorus Invites Locals to Sing in Abbreviated Summer Session

The Ashland Area Chorus, a non-auditioned mixed choir of 40-60 participants, invites local singers to join them for the short summer session and to perform with the Ashland Symphony Orchestra. The 4-week rehearsal schedule begins on June 6 and continues for four consecutive Mondays including: June 6, 13, 20, 27. Each rehearsal is from 7-8:30 p.m. at Ashland University in Room 242 of the Center for the Arts (formerly the Arts and Humanities building). The session will conclude on Sunday, July 3 with a live performance of light, popular, and patriotic tunes with the Ashland Symphony Orchestra for the Pops In the Park concert at Brookside Park Band Shell.

The Chorus is open to the entire Ashland community and beyond, with previous singers travelling from Richland, Medina, Wayne, Holmes, and Crawford counties. Previous choral experience is helpful and encouraged. While there are no strict age limits, singers under 18 must be approved by the director. There is no cost to the singer for the summer session.

The AAC performs in several concerts each year on the AU campus and with the Ashland Symphony Orchestra. Recent appearances have included subscription concerts with the ASO (including Orff’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah), Ashland University choral concerts (including Handel's Messiah and the Brahms Requiem) and summer pops concerts in the park.

Current members should encourage their talented friends and neighbors to attend the first summer rehearsal to join this unique community opportunity. For further information, please contact the AU Director of Choral Activities, Dr. Ron Blackley, at or (419) 289-5114. Or, simply show up on June 6.

Friday, May 13, 2016

AU Choirs Touring Northern Ohio, WV and DC

Ashland University alumni and friends are cordially invited to attend an upcoming concert of the Ashland University Choir and Chamber Singers as they travel close to you. The  2016 tour presents concerts scheduled at various churches in northern Ohio, West Virginia and Washington DC. The following performances are free and open to the public.
  • Monday, May 16, 7:30 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church, 503 Columbus Ave, Sandusky OH, 419.625.2112 
  • Tuesday, May 17, 7:30 p.m. at Messiah Lutheran Church, 21485 Lorain Rd, Fairview Park OH, 440.331.2405 
  • Wednesday, May 18, 7 p.m. at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 309 Baldwin St, Morgantown WV, 304.599.0620 
  • Thursday, May 19, 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 313 2nd St NE, Washington DC, 202.547.1223 
ron blackley new crop (1)Under the direction of Dr. Rowland Blackley the 2016 Tour program includes selections from throughout the 2015-2016 concert season. Pieces by American composers Morten Lauridsen, Jean Berger, Eric Whitacre, and Moses Hogan are featured along with those of Schütz and Mendelssohn. The Ashland University Chamber Singers will contribute madrigals from the Renaissance and more popular charts from the twentieth century.  Selections from Handel's Messiah round out the program. There’s something for every choral taste!

Guenther headshot cropThe choirs are accompanied by Dr. Timothy E. Guenther, University Organist and Director of Music Ministry at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Columbus, Ohio. He teaches applied organ and harpsichord, as well as courses in fundamentals of basic musicianship, and serves as accompanist as needed for the University Choir, Chamber Singers, and Ashland Area Chorus. He holds degrees in organ performance from the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester, the University of Alabama and The American Conservatory of Music.

The Ashland University Choir is composed of singers representing many academic majors across campus. Each year the members are selected by private audition and rehearse three days a week. The ensemble performs programs of unaccompanied literature of all eras as well as major works with orchestra.