Monday, February 20, 2012


The Department of Music at Ashland University presents a faculty recital with soprano Dione Bennett and pianist Pavlina Draganova on Sunday, February 26 at 5:00 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.

The concert program offers a "World of Colors" through the Latin rhythms of Xavier Montsalvage, the jazz fusion of Ricky Ian Gordan, the classical musings of Robert Owens, H. T. Burleigh, John Carter and Rosephanye Powell. Bennett will also highlight the poetry of Langston Hughes.

An established pedagogue, Bennett is in her eighth year at Ashland University and is an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). She expects the conferral of her doctorate in May from the University of Illinois where she studied with professor Cynthia Haymon. Further study has taken her to Graz, Austria with the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) where an Austrian newspaper said she was “the discovery of the evening”. A performer in such operatic roles as Micaela (Carmen), Bess (Porgy and Bess); Mimi (La Bohéme); Suor Genevieffa (Suor Angelica); and Lucy (Treemonisha); and such oratorio’s as Handel's Messiah, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Mass in C, Schubert's Mass in G, Dubois' Seven Last Words of Christ, and Mozart's Vespers, she has been featured with the Warren Philharmonic, Akron Symphony, Ashland Symphony, Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, Columbus Symphony, Eastern Illinois Symphony as well as Cleveland Opera and Opera Western Reserve. As an avid recitalist, she paired with pianist John Wustman singing Brahms, Berlioz, and Burleigh as well as a journey of the development of spirituals.

A native of Bulgaria, Mrs. Draganova is a staff accompanist at Ashland University and the principal pianist of Ashland Symphony Orchestra. She earned her first masters degree in piano performance from Pancho Vladigerov State Academy of Music, Sofia studying with Stela Dimitrova and the prominent Bulgarian piano duo Konstantin and Julia Ganev. After moving to the United States, she graduated with a masters in piano performance from The University of Michigan where she was a student of Louis Nagel. Mrs. Draganova has been on the faculties of the Music High School, Plovdiv; The Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts, Plovdiv; and Pancho Vladigerov State Academy of Music, Sofia. An active performer as a collaborative and solo musician, Pavlina has performed in major cities in Bulgaria, Michigan and Ohio, and appeared as a soloist with the Plovdiv Symphony Orchestra under Maesto Dobrin Petkov. As a member of the Michigan Music Teachers Association she performed at the organization's 120th State Conference.

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