Friday, March 23, 2012


Directed by Arie Lipsky, several faculty members from the Ashland University Department of Music combine their talents with Lipsky for a chamber ensemble recital on Sunday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital.  The performance is free and open to the public.

The program begins with the faculty wind quartet performing Gioacchino Rossini’s “Quartet No. 6 in B-flat” featuring Arie Lipsky on flute; Thomas Reed, clarinet; Ian Hoy, bassoon; and Michael Metcalf, horn.  A faculty trio with soprano Denise Milner Howell, cellist Arie Lipsky and pianist Megan Barth will then present Johannes Brahms “Two Songs, Op. 91.”  Combining many elements of jazz with ragtime, the faculty trio of Thomas Reed on clarinet; Arie Lipksy, cello; and Pavlina Draganova, piano will perform Paul Schoenfield’s “Café Music.”  The program will conclude with a sextet playing the four movement suite of Bohuslav Martinu’s jazz ballet “La Revue de Cuisine” including Prologue (Marche), Tango, Charleston and Final.  The sextet features violinist Jane Reed, cellist Arie Lipsky, clarinetist Thomas Reed, bassoonist Ian Hoy, Amanda Bekeny on trumpet and Pavlina Draganova, piano.

Known in the Ashland area as the music director and conductor for the Ashland Symphony Orchestra, Arie Lipsky is a native of Haifa, Israel, where he received extensive training as a cellist and flutist.  He holds degrees in Aeronautical Engineering and Music which he received before serving in the Israeli armed forces as a tank commander. After moving to the United States, Arie served as Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra and graduated from there with distinction.  During this period he also assumed conducting responsibilities with the Ohio Light Opera.  He moved to Buffalo, New York in 1984 to become the Philharmonic's principal cellist and, in 1990, also became the Resident Conductor, a position he held for twelve years.  Maestro Lipsky is currently in his fifteenth season as Music Director and Conductor of the Ashland Symphony Orchestra, and also in his eleventh season as Music Director and Conductor of the Ann Arbor (Michigan) Symphony.  


Ashland University Department of Music presents a spring choral concert featuring the Ashland University Choir, Chamber Singers and Women’s Chorus on Sunday, March 25, 4:00 p.m. at the  Jack and Deb Miller Chapel.  The performance is free and open to the public.

Directed by Stephanie Sikora with Holly Allan accompanying on piano, the Ashland University Women’s Chorus will perform Thomas Morley's "Fire, fire, my heart," Eric Rahoon's "She Weeps Over Rahoon" with Margaret Rickard assisting on English horn, the French Canadian lilting piece, "Reel a Bouche," with solos performed by Courtney Patton, Courtney McCreary, Elizabeth Papantonio, Danielle Rhonemus, Jennifer Holderman, Kelsey Myers, Susanna Strobel and Laura Huntington, and Joseph Martin's "The Awakening."

Under the direction of Rowland Blackley, the Ashland University Choir will be accompanied by bells and Timothy Guenther on organ for Charles Ives' "Psalm 90." Their pieces will also include Heinrich Schütz's "Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt" (For God so loved the world), Charles Villiers Stanford's Beati quorum via (Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord), the Scottish folk song "Loch Lomond" arranged by Jonathan Quick, and John Rutter's arrangement of the English folk song "Dashing Away with the Smoothing Iron."

The Ashland University Chamber Singers also directed by Dr. Blackley will present Romantic part songs by Stanford, MacFarran and Sir Arthur Sullivan; two madrigals by twentieth-century composer George Mabry and  Mozart's "Eine kleine Nachtmusik."


Ashland University Department of Music congratulates junior, voice-performance major Bret Cowden (United Local High School, Hanoverton, Ohio) for recent achievements based on his talent.  

In Akron Tuesday Musical Association's annual competition, Cowden was awarded second place in the voice area.  This scholarship program is widely recognized as one of the best in Northeastern Ohio. Since its inception in 1955, nearly 500 scholarships have been awarded in categories of voice, piano, strings, woodwinds, brass, organ and music education.

Bret also auditioned and was selected to participate in this summer's Johanna Meier Opera Theatre Institute in Spearfish, South Dakota.  Now in its fourteenth year, the institute selected 20 to 25 aspiring pre-professional opera singers from all over the United States and Canada for this unusual two-week program. Students are assigned roles in April and are asked to memorize their roles before arriving in South Dakota. World famous operatic soprano Johanna Meier is the artistic director, and the stage director is Bruce Donnell of the Metropolitan Opera and the Santa Fe Opera. Operatic conductor John Stewart is a former leading tenor at the Metropolitan Opera and in Europe who recently retired from teaching voice and opera at the University of St. Louis. New York pianists Charis Dimaris and Elizabeth Hastings serve as vocal coaches and accompanists. Melanie Palm provides instruction in movement and dance. By working in an ensemble atmosphere, student camaraderie develops an important understanding of future rapport with colleagues, coaches, and those in charge of opera production.

Studying under voice professor Stephanie Sikora, Cowden will present his junior recital at Ashland University with fellow voice major Brandy Kay Riha on Thursday, March 29, 7:30 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall.  He also will appear in the music department's annual Opera Scenes performances on Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14, 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall.  These events are free and open to the public.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


In Celebration of Music in Our Schools Month, Ashland University Department of Music will host the annual Ashland County Junior High School Honors Band on Sunday, March 18 at 4:00 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre with the Ashland University Concert Band as the featured guest ensemble.  Leonard Salvo, Ashland University Director of Bands, will conduct both bands. The concert is free and open to the public.

Consisting of 80 members, the Ashland County Junior High Honors Band includes seventh and eighth grade students from Ashland, Crestview, Hillsdale, Mapleton and Perrysville Middle Schools (Loudonville).  Members of the Ashland County Band Directors Association met with Leonard Salvo and Joe Barone, this year’s chairman and Loudonville-Perrysville’s band director, to plan the program.  The committee of band directors selects the honors band members based on merit and instrumentation needs of the band. Students meet at Ashland University on Thursday, March 15 and Sunday, March 18 to rehearse and present this program with music ranging from classical selections to traditional marches. 

The 65-member Ashland University Concert Band will open the concert with a cameo program of wonderful but unusual music chosen especially to highlight the day. The Junior High School Honors Band will perform following the University Concert Band’s program.

The combination of these two bands make for a rewarding, exciting and satisfying musical experience for both the performers and the audience. Admission is complimentary and a recording can be ordered.