Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Turkish Musician Presents as 2016 Gretchen French Visiting Artist

Turkish singer, composer and scholar Latif Bolat has been selected for the 2016 Gretchen French Visiting Artist Series in Music at Ashland University. Bolat will visit Ashland University on October 31 and November 1 to present two workshops and a concert. All of the events are free and open to the public.

The first workshop titled "1000 Years of Eastern and Western Music Journeys" is scheduled for Monday, October 31 at 2 p.m. in Room 303 of the Center for the Arts. The second workshop will focus on the religion of Islam and will be held on Tuesday, November 1 at 1:40 p.m. in the Schar College of Education's Ronk Lecture Hall. 

On October 31 at 7:30 p.m., Bolat will perform a concert titled "The Healing Sounds of Turkey:  A Night of Turkish Mystic Sufi Music, Poetry and Images." Specializing in the ancient Turkish mystic-devotional music genre, Bolat provides a unique philosophy and approach to the performance of traditional music. By creating an intimate, almost "storytelling" atmosphere, he explains Turkish folk and mystic music and its sociopolitical and cultural elements. The performance both entertains and invites the audience to ponder questions such as how major sociopolitical factors influence culture and the art it produces.

As an important part of the performance, Turkish devotional poetry from the 13th century mystics Rumi and Yunus Emre as well as later Turkish mystic poets are also sprinkled throughout the program. Also, slides are used to create a complete experience by providing scenes of the Turkish countryside, cities, artwork, architecture, and people. This provides a deeper understanding of the culture by combining the musical presentation with images of its origin.

Latif Bolat, one of the most renowned Turkish musicians in North America, is a native of the Turkish Mediterranean town of Mersin. After receiving his degree in folklore and music at Gazi University in Ankara, Turkey, he taught traditional music throughout the country. He then went on to manage Ankara Halk Tiyatrosu, a musical theater company, which performed traditional musical plays. Mr. Bolat also received additional degrees in Turkish History and Middle East Religion and Politics from Ankara University and an MBA from San Francisco State University.

Now residing in the United States, Bolat is one of the most distinguished Turkish musicians in this country. With a vast repertory that includes songs in classical, folk and Sufi mystic music styles, he accompanies his singing on the baglama (long-necked lute), and various other traditional instruments from the Turkish folk music tradition. 

The Gretchen French Endowed Visiting Artist Series at Ashland University was established through a bequest from the estate of Gretchen French.  Although Ms. French never attended Ashland University, it was through close friends and alums, Phillip (‘53) and Jean (‘55) Lersch, that she decided Ashland was well suited to demonstrate in perpetuity her values and hopes for young people.  Her entire life was dedicated to people, placing others' needs before her's by unselfishly serving them, in particular her family and many, many young musicians. This is a fitting tribute to her and will be a continual reminder of her love not only of music but most importantly people.

The goal of the Series is to provide Ashland University students close contact and mentoring with an outstanding visiting musician/music teacher. The particular field of expertise for the Series will vary from year to year. It is a goal of the Series to find Visiting Artists that have the widest possible expertise and appeal to students in various areas of music study.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fall Choral Concert, Oct. 30

The Ashland University Choir, Chamber Singers and the Women's Chorus present their fall choral concert on Sunday, October 30 at 4 p.m. in the Jack and Deb Miller Chapel. The performance is free and open to the public.

With a program featuring selections from the Baroque period to contemporary pieces by living composers, the concert will bridge the old with the new by celebrating Dr. Rowland Blackley's 20-year tenure as Ashland University's Director of Choral Activities and Kimberly Wolbert's inaugural concert directing the Women's Chorus.

The University Choir's program will begin with Johann Sebastian Bach's Classical period piece Motet No.3, "Jesu, meine Freude," the longest of the composer's motets. The choir is learning it in preparation for its concert tour to Germany in March, which will include a performance at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, where Bach worked for the longest part of his career. The University Choir will also premiere a brand-new work by Cincinnati, Ohio composer Howard Helvey, "Sweet Day," which is based on a popular text by George Herbert. The piece was commissioned by a consortium of universities in Ohio including Ashland University. The Chamber Singers will perform a setting of the same text by English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.

The Women's Chorus will also visit the past and present with their program including "Da Pacem Domine" by Melchior Franck, a German composer of the late Renaissance and early Baroque eras; and continuing to "Bonney Wood Green," the traditional Irish ballad from World War I arranged by Canadian composer Stephen Hatfield. Representing American composers, the program also features the contemporary works "Fire" by Mary Goetze which was inspired by a poem written by Patricia Taylor, a thirteen-year-old girl; and "The Seal Lullaby" by Eric Whitacre which is a dreamlike work capturing the undulating rhythm of a mother rocking her child to sleep.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Jazz at the Nest, Oct. 11

Led by Dr. Scott Garlock, Professor of Music, the award-winning Ashland University Jazz Orchestra (AUJO) will present a free public concert on Tuesday, October 11 in the Hawkins-Conard Student Center’s Eagles Nest at 7:30 p.m. Audience members are welcome to grab a snack, enjoy a beverage and relax to the live music at this free public concert.

The concert will feature vocalist Gracie Fumic on several Rosemary Clooney favorites selected from "Hey There", "Mambo Italiano," "Sway," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe," "You Took Advantage of Me" and "I'm Getting Married in the Morning." Other selections will include "Sebastian's Bop," "Song for Bilbao," "Central City Sketches No. 4," "Love for Sale," and "Count Bubba."

In addition to Fumic, the 2016-2017 AUJO roster includes saxophonists Michael Byndas, Josh Thompson, Derek Rangel, Jacob Garry and Jason Wolfe; Nik Psota, Alex Sandwisch, Tyler McFarland and Branden Barber on trumpet; trombonists Jaylynn Buchmelter, Hannah Drake, Frank Stanek and Cody Henderson; while the rhythm section consists of Emily Ebert and Garrett Rangel on bass, guitarist Dominic Febbo and pianist Stefan Jonsson.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Thomas Reed's Faculty Recital, Oct. 9

The Department of Music at Ashland University announces a faculty recital by Dr. Thomas Reed's on Sunday, October 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall in the Center for the Arts (formerly known as the Arts & Humanities Building). The concert is free and open to the public.

For his 32nd consecutive annual recital, Dr. Reed will perform on clarinet with pianists Susan Schoeffler and Susan Gregg, as well as his son, Charles Reed on cello. His program will begin with Ludwig van Beethoven's Trio in B-flat, op. 11, also known as the "Gassenhauer Trio" in three movements (Allegro con brio, Adagio and Tema con Variazione). After a brief intermission, he will perform Carl Maria von Weber's Concerto No. 2 in E-flat, op. 74, with Allegro, Romanze and Polacca movements.

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 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.

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 www.ashland.edu/tickets (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 www.ashland.edu/tickets.

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.