Monday, April 23, 2012


The Ashland University Department of Music presents its final choral concert of the year featuring three vocal groups performing popular favorites from Gershwin to James Taylor and Stevie Wonder on Sunday, April 29, 4:00 p.m. at the Jack and Deb Miller Chapel.  The concert features the Ashland University Chamber Singers, Women's Chorus and is free and open to the public.

Under the direction of Stephanie Sikora with assistance by pianist Holly Allan and a jazz combo with D R Haught, Ben Schnell and Aaron Hill, the Women's Chorus will perform Pat Ballard's 1954 Billboard chart hit Mister Sandman, Bobby Darin's classic hit Beyond the Sea as arranged by Holly Allan, Rsephanye Powell's spiritual Still I Rise, and Ron Jeffers I Have Had Singing. The Women's Chorus also will feature senior members Alaina Bosak, Helena Marshall, Laura Huntington, and Lindsay Hartke on the Gershwin for Girls Medley.

The Chamber Singers, directed by Rowland Blackley, will present Gene Puerling's arrangement of A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square which was made famous by the Manhattan Transfer, James Taylor's Lonesome Road, Icarus by Ralph Tower, and Ysaye Barnwell's Wanting Memories.

The concert will also introduce the student-led a capella ensemble Surround Sound as they perform three popular songs including Neil Diamond's I'm a Believer, Stevie Wonder's Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours, and This Love as performed by Maroon 5.  

Surround Sound also will present a late evening concert with an extended program on Sunday, April 29, 8:30 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.

The 10-member ensemble will present a program of Billboard chart hits and an original composition which have been arranged for a capella by Deke Sharon or Surround Sounds' Brandy Riha. Songs to be performed include Stevie Wonder's Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours, Natasha Bedingfield's Unwritten, Neil Diamond's I'm a Believer as performed by The Monkeys, I'm Yours/You Belong with Me as performed by Jason Mraz and Taylor Swift, This Love as performed by Maroon 5, I Want You Back as performed by The Jackson 5, and Precipitation, an original song by Brandy Kay Riha and Kirstan Orgel. 

Performers in Surround Sound are Adam Stuart Beckwith (Vermilion High School, Vermilion, Ohio); Julie Bontempo (North Olmsted High School, North Olmstead, Ohio); Michael Kahle (Pandora-Gilboa High School, Pandora, Ohio); Brandy Riha (Geneva High School, Geneva, Ohio); Emily Springer (River Valley High School, Marion, Ohio); Caleb Stout (North Adams High School, Winchester, Ohio); John Fielding (Glen Oak High School, Canton, Ohio); Marisa Carafelli, Don Haught and Andrew Shaffer (Wooster High School, Wooster, Ohio).

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


The Ashland Area Community Concert Band (AACCB) and Ashland University Concert Band, both under the direction of Ashland University Director of Bands Leonard Salvo, will perform a joint concert on Sunday, April 22 at 4:00 p.m. in the University's Hugo Young Theatre.  The concert is free and open to the public.

The concert will begin with the Community Band performing Howard Cable's
arrangement of The Shield of Freedom March, the signature tune for the movie of the same name, followed by Gustav Holst’s Second Suite in F for Military Band.  This suite in four movements uses English folk songs and folk dance tunes throughout. Third Suite by Robert Jager includes three movements titled March, Waltz and Rondo. The final two pieces performed by AACCB are Arthur Benjamin's Jamaican Rumba, a light music piece full of attractive ideas and catchy rhythms; and his First String Quartet (Pastorale Fantasia) which was awarded a Carnegie Prize in 1924. 

After a brief intermission, the Ashland University Concert Band will take the stage
with Gustav Holst's three-movement Suite No. 1 in E-Flat, and continue with Robert Russell Bennett's five-movement Suite of Old American Dances which opens with Cake Walk, then the Scotch round dance Schottische, the pre-cursor to the Fox Trot Western One-Step, then the Wallflower Waltz and ending with the bright, syncopated Rag.  Guest soprano saxophonist Thomas Reed will perform with the band on his composition Shades of Blue, which he wrote in 2000 for the Ashland University Concert Band.  The work is cast in a single movement but outlines four major sections: an introduction, a jazz waltz, a jazz ballad and a closing allegro.  Following the presentation of the outstanding band member scholarship, recognition of the senior members and the playing of the Ashland University Alma Mater, Remember, the band will conclude their program with W. Francis McBeth's The Sea Treaders (In Calm and Storm). Commissioned by the United States Naval Academy Band for its 150th anniversary celebration, the work portrays the sea in both calm and storm in two connected movements.

Music Department Alums Meet at OMEA Conference

Julie Strebler-Renner, Val Alley, Ann Teschler, Geoff Zimmerly,
Sarah McGrady, Karen Mahoney, Len Salvo

The annual Ohio Music Education Association Conference was a busy time for Ashland music grads.  About 25 alums attended the weekend conference February 16-18 in Columbus, and many we able to join us for our alumni reception.  

Megan Routh
We were proud to see three of our graduates, Geoff Zimmerly, Megan Routh, and Trishah Snowden present clinics at OMEA. This is a significant honor for them, and shows the fine careers our graduates are developing.  Megan and Geoff teach in the Loudonville-Perrysville School District, and Trishah in the Nordonia Schools.

 Trishah Snowden's presentation was titled “Engaging Tweeners: Creative Projects and Activities for the General Music Classroom.”  Megan Routh and Geoff Zimmerly gave a joint presentation titled “From General Music to Ensembles: Molding the K-12 Musician,” and Routh also presented “ Creating a Seamless General Music Classroom: Tips and Techniques for New Teachers.”

Dennis Terlaak, Chris Simmons, Rachel Blenman,
Aly Horn, Jim Slike, Margo Trinter, Melanie Gardner,
Mandy Stahlecker, John Grimm
Karen Ebert, Neil Ebert, Dave Wolbert, Kim Wolbert

Music faculty members Ron Blackley, Marla Butke, Scott Garlock,  Tom Reed, and Len Salvo attended the conference as well.  We thank the A.U. Alumni Office and Jeff Alix, Director of Alumni and Parent Relations for assistance.

Josh Wortman, Cassie Bull, Beth Wortman,
Katy Klein, Marla Butke

Trishah Snowden

Friday, April 13, 2012


The award-winning Ashland University Jazz Orchestra will perform a wide variety of selections at a free public concert on Tuesday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hawkins-Conard Student Center’s Eagles Nest.

Led by Ashland University Associate Professor of Music Dr. Scott Garlock, the program will be selected from pieces including Bob Washut's "Leap of Faith," Matt Harris' "Mambo de Memo," Bobby Timmons "Dat Dere," Thad Jones' "Big Dipper" and Mike Tomaro's "Pump It Up." Piano soloist Jon Barko will be featured on Bob Curnow's "Promise of Dreams" while vocalist Katie Vargo sings B.B. King's "Caught a Touch of Your Love," and Bob Curnow's arrangement of "I'll be Seeing You." Dr. Garlock will be featured on trombone for Frank Mantooth's arrangement of "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most."  

Thursday, April 5, 2012


The end-of-the-semester rush begins with numerous student recitals presented by the Ashland University Department of Music.  From senior recitals to various student ensembles and an honors recital, all of the following recitals will be held in the Center for the Arts’ Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall unless otherwise noted.  All recitals are free and open to the public.

Beginning on Sunday, April 15 at 5:00 p.m., a senior recital will feature mezzo-soprano Lauren Massaro who studies with vocal instructor Dione Bennett.  Accompanied by pianist Pavlina Draganova, Massaro will perform works by Franz Schubert, Giovanni Pergolesi, Robert Schumann, Edward Elgar, John Ireland and more.  She is a graduate of Norwayne High School (Creston, Ohio), and is a vocal music education major. 

Also on April 15 at 7:30 p.m., pianist Kara Mitchell-Mumea will present her senior recital under the direction of Trustees Professor Elizabeth Pastor.  Kara is a piano performance and philosophy major from Butler, Ohio.

The Ashland University percussion ensemble directed by Jeffrey Neitzke and various jazz combos directed by Scott Garlock will perform a joint recital on Wednesday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Soprano Chanae Curtis presents her senior recital on Sunday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m.  A vocal student of Dionne Bennett, Chanae is a graduate of Cleveland Heights High School.

On Tuesday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m., the University brass, string and woodwind ensembles will present a joint recital at the Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium.  Michael Metcalf directs the brass ensemble while Lindsay Brown leads the strings and Tom Reed directs the woodwinds.

The spring honors recital is slated for Wednesday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. which showcases the department’s student musicians who accomplished exceptional work in the spring semester.

The final performance of the semester will be performed by the University's newest music ensemble Surround Sound on Sunday, April 29 at 8:30 p.m.  Advised by Rowland Blackley, Surround Sound is a student vocal a cappella organization that was formed last year. 


Ashland University Department of Music presents two evenings of music, romance and fun with opera scenes from The Magic Flute to The Marriage of Figaro and La Traviata.  The performances which are free and open to the public are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14, 7:30 p.m. at the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall.

Under the direction of Stephanie Sikora, Professor of Music and Head of the Voice Area in the Department of Music at Ashland University, this annual event features vocal performances from fifteen student singers. The female cast includes sopranos Jessica Blake, Chanae Curtis, Rachel Gollhart, Kara Minton, Brandy Riha and Katie Vargo along with mezzo-soprano Susie Strobel.  Male singers include tenors Jordan Black, Derek Jackenheimer, Chris Sherer and Caleb Stout; baritones Christopher Goffos and Andrew Shaffer; and bass-baritones Bret Cowden and John Fielding.

With scenes from six different operas each evening, the program presents scenes from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute, Donizetti’s Elixir of Love, Strauss' Die Fledermaus, Lehar's The Merry Widow and Verdi's La Traviata