Monday, September 26, 2011


Ashland University’s Dr. Marla Butke, Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of Music Education, and Dr. Ron Blackley, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities, are serving as officers for the newly formed Ohio Chapter of the Dalcroze Society of America.  To launch the new organization, several Dalcroze workshops will be offered at Ashland University throughout the upcoming year. 

Dr. Marla Butke
Based on the artistic and pedagogical principles of Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, the Dalcroze approach teaches an understanding of music’s fundamental concepts, expressive meanings, and deep connections to other arts and activities. Performers, teachers, dancers, actors, children, and senior citizens can all benefit from this approach which incorporates rhythmic movement, aural training and improvisation.

Whether someone is new to Dalcroze, is a college student, or is an experienced Dalcroze teacher, the upcoming workshops at Ashland University will offer experiences with Eurhythmics, improve musicianship and teach applications for the classroom.  With three different workshops offered, each is held in the University’s Redwood Hall from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the specified date.

Beginning on October 8, the first workshop “Dalcroze for All” will be led by David Frego, Music Department Chair at the University of Texas at San Antonio.  As an instructor in Dalcroze Eurhythmics he regularly presents workshops throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. In 1998, Frego established the Dalcroze Research Center in the Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute at Ohio State University. His research in movement-based music education and therapy is published in music education journals and medical journals for arts medicine. Other teaching and research areas include dance philosophy and the application of Dalcroze Eurhythmics as palliative care for terminally ill adults.

Dr. Rowland Blackley
On January 21, Dr. Butke and Dr. Blackley will serve as clinicians for the workshop with special focus on choral rehearsal and general music applications.  With her certification in Dalcroze Eurhythmics from Carnegie-Mellon University, Dr. Butke serves as the head of research for the Dalcroze Society of America.  Dr. Butke has taught general and choral music in public and private schools in Dayton.  While he now supervises all aspects of the choral program and teaches in the areas of conducting and music education, Dr. Blackley has conducted numerous orchestras and bands throughout his career.  Prior to his appointment at Ashland University, Dr. Blackley taught and conducted at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, Lindsey Wilson College, Kent State University, and high schools in Ohio and Colorado.

The final workshop of the academic year, “Dalcroze from Kindergarten to Concert Stage,” will be led by Dr. Kathy Thomsen, President of Dalcroze Society of America.  With her Dalcroze Certificate from Carnegie Mellon University and Dalcroze License from Longy School of Music, Professor Thomsen is a pianist, conductor and specialist in Dalcroze Eurhythmics. Her teaching focuses on developing musical understanding and musicianship skills in students through active music-making and physical movement.

The cost for each workshop is $25, or $85 for all three workshops and a membership in the Dalcroze Society of America (membership normally $52).  For college students, the cost is $10 per workshop, or $45 for all three workshops and DSA membership.

 For more information or to register for the workshops, contact Marla Butke at 614.581.4746 or


Ashland University Department of Music cordially invites everyone to celebrate the holidays at the 36th Annual Madrigal Feaste slated for Wednesday through Sunday, November 30 – December 4.  All performances begin at 6:30 PM in Redwood Hall.   Tickets go on sale to the public on Monday, September 26 at 12:00 p.m. through the Ashland University Box Office at 419.289.5125 or online at

Directed by Dr. Rowland Blackley, director of choral activities, the Madrigal Feaste is a dinner theater based on the period of Queen Elizabeth I of England around 1600.  With entertainment provided throughout the evening, the event includes Christmas carols, ceremonial music and madrigals  performed by the Ashland University Chamber Singers while the Madrigal Players present a new play each year along with other theatrical stunts throughout the evening. Performer costumes are designed as authentic reconstructions of period apparel; and the Feaste includes a four-course meal culminating in flaming bread pudding. Vegetarian meals are available upon request.

The 2011 Madrigal Feaste Chamber Singers feature Jonathan Barko as the King and Lauren Massaro as the Queen along with their court including  Jessica Blake, Sam Diemer, Erin Lingenfelter, Brandy Riha, Katie Stone, Alex VanScoy, Katie Vargo, Jordan Black, Bret Cowden, Matthew Dawson, Christopher Goffos, Derek Jackenheimer, Curtis Reynolds and Drew Rothhaar. Led by Eddie Carney as the Jester, the Madrigal Players include Austin Arnold, Maddie Beer, Kelsey Bowens, Jensen Glick, Katie Mounts and Nate Sayatovich. 

Tickets for the event are $25 for adults; $15 for children under 12; and $22 for groups of 10 or more.  A special $11 ticket is available to Ashland University students for the Wednesday performance only.  A vegetarian option is available upon request. Due to preparation of meals, tickets are not available at the door.

 For more information, visit the Web site at or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419-289-5950 or

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Alumnus Attends Conference in France

Colleen (Fielding) Cook, '07
Colleen (Fielding) Cook, '07, recently spent two weeks in France as part of the staff for the ninth Pan European Voice Conference (PEVOC).  Colleen received her bachelor's degree in music education from Ashland in 2007 and is now a full-time graduate student pursuing two master's degrees in voice pedagogy and arts management at Shenandoah Consevatory in Winchester, Virginia.  Colleen was the only PEVOC staff member from the United States and was recommended for the position by Shenandoah faculty.  Prior to the conference, at the suggestion of former AU music faculty member Dr. Donald Sloan, Colleen spent a week sight-seeing in Paris.  During her free time, she had the opportunity to visit many famous landmarks and museums, eat as many French pastries as possible, and become friends with travelers from around the globe.  At the PEVOC congress, Colleen had the privilege to attend many lectures and workshops sharing cutting edge research in the field of voice science, voice care, and singing voice instruction.  Colleen's current research interests focus on Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) styles and methodologies; as staff for PEVOC, Colleen had the opportunity to meet with some of the leading researchers and teachers in this field of research.  "Being a part of the staff for PEVOC and having the opportunity to travel in France has exposed me to many new and exciting ideas and expanded my education in a way a classroom never could... but I never would have been equipped to do it without the exceptional education I received in the classroom at both Ashland and Shenandoah."


Amy Malyuk and Dan Persszyk
The Department of Music at Ashland University begins the fall semester with several faculty and guest artist recitals offered in September. Beginning this Saturday, September 17 at 3:00 p.m., a guest artist recital will feature flutist Dan Perszyk and pianist Amy Malyuk followed on Sunday, September 25 with a mini-guitar festival presenting a faculty recital by guitarist Adam Sarata at 3:00 p.m. and a guest artist recital by Akin for Jazz at 7:30 p.m.
The flute and piano guest artist recital presents two musicians with roots at the University of Akron.  Perszyk received a Spotlight Series Performer Award while at the University of Akron and is now a freelance flute performer and teacher in the Washington, D.C. area.  He has a bachelor of music from the University of Northern Iowa, a master of music from the University of Akron, and most recently spent a year studying with Thomas Robertello at Indiana University.  Malyuk has a bachelor and a masters degree in piano performance, as well as a piano pedagogy certificate, from The University of Akron School of Music where she is a piano instructor and staff accompanist. She has served as the accompanist and assistant director for the Stow Chamber Orchestra Chorus, the Chagrin Valley Choral Union, and the Cuyahoga Falls Community Chorus., and has been the music director for numerous musical theater productions at The University of Akron and Coach House Theatre.

Faculty member Adam Sarata
As the guitar faculty member and advisor of the Guitar Club at Ashland University, Adam Sarata has planned a mini-guitar festival on September 25 beginning with his own faculty recital at 3:00 p.m. In addition to Ashland University, Sarata is currently on the faculty of Mount Union College and The Summit Music School where he is also the founder of guitar studies.  He maintains an active performance schedule appearing at venues such as Severance Hall, E.J. Thomas Hall, Stan Hewitt Hall, and many colleges. Adam performs in a wide variety of styles such as classical, sacred, jazz and popular music.

Dean Newton and Tim Akin
Following Sarata‘s concert, a guest artist recital at 7:30 p.m. will feature Akin for Jazz with Dean Newton on guitar, Tim Akin on bass, and percussionist Mark Gonder.  With over forty years of teaching and performance experience, a master’s  degree in music education and bachelor’s in jazz studies, Newton is currently a faculty member at Cuyahoga Community College and the University of Akron where he also conducts the University of Akron Jazz Guitar Ensemble.  His experience is vast, from the theater pit to the jazz club and the concert stage with the The Cleveland Pops Orchestra, The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, Akron Symphony, Canton Symphony, Youngstown Symphony, Kent State Symphony and with members of the Cleveland Symphony.  Bassist Akin studied at The University of Akron and is a member of the Reunion Band of Hudson and freelances with other groups while teaching Spanish at Mentor Public Schools and The University of Akron.  As the principal drum set instructor at The University of Akron, Gonder has also been on the faculty at Kent State University, Lakeland Community College, Cuyahoga Community College, Youngstown and Cleveland State Universities.  He  has extensive performance and recording experience with The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, Glen Miller Orchestra, and Ernie Krivda Fat Tuesday Big Band as well as jazz artists including Wynton Marsalis, Mel Torme and Maria Schneider.

All of the above performances are held in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall, and are free and open to the public.  For more information about these recitals, visit the Web site at or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419-289-5950 or

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Based at Ashland University, the Ashland Area Chorus (AAC), a non-auditioned mixed choir of about 70 singers announces its fourteenth anniversary season.  The fall rehearsal schedule begins Monday, August 22 and continues every Monday night from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM at Ashland University in the Center for the Arts (formerly the Arts and Humanities building), room 242. 
For the 2011.2012 season, the Chorus will perform a program of American music at the University’s Fall Choral Concert on October 16 and participate in the annual Festival of Lights event on December 11.  On April 28, 2012 the AAC will perform Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Ashland Symphony Orchestra and the Ashland University Choir.
Under the direction of Ashland University Director of Choral Activities Dr. Ron Blackley, the chorus is open to the Ashland community and surrounding areas including singers from Ashland, Richland, Medina, Wayne, Holmes, and Crawford counties participating.  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. 
The AAC has performed regularly in Ashland University choral concerts, with the Ashland Symphony Orchestra (ASO) and for the Ohio Choral Directors Association.  Recent appearances have included subscription concerts with the ASO (including Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and the Verdi Requiem) and the summer pops concert in the park at Guy C. Myers Memorial Band Shell. 
Current members should encourage their talented friends and neighbors to attend the first rehearsal and make a vocal contribution to this fine musical organization.  For further information, contact Dr. Ron Blackley, Ashland University director of choral activities, at or (419) 289-5114. 

Ashland Area Community Concert Band Begins Rehearsals Sept. 6

The Ashland Area Community Concert Band (AACCB), led by Ashland University’s Director of Bands Leonard Salvo, announces its fall schedule beginning with rehearsals on Tuesday, Sept. 6, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall at Ashland University’s Center for the Arts.

The fall schedule continues through the fall with rehearsals every Tuesday evening, a concert at the Ashland County Fair on Tuesday, Sept. 20, and a concert at the University on Thursday, December 8.

Members of the Ashland area community and adjoining communities who play band instruments are encouraged to become members of this exciting part of the Ashland musical community. AACCB is for those that loved playing in band in high school or college and want the opportunity to play again.
Requirements for membership are the ability to play a wind or percussion instrument, particularly percussion, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon and French horn (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. Students still in high school must have permission of the conductor. Continuing education or college credit is available.                                                                                                          

For more information, contact Leonard Salvo, Director of Bands, at 419-289-5132 or