Friday, November 30, 2012

FALL SEMESTER CLOSES WITH HONORS RECITAL, WINTER FESTIVAL CONCERT & FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

The Ashland University Department of Music begins to wrap up the 2012 fall semester with three remaining performances including the Fall Honors Recital, Winter Festival Band Concert and the Festival of Lights which are all free and open to the public.

Fall Honors Recital: Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m., Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall
The Fall Honors Recital features performances from the department’s student instrumental and vocal musicians who accomplished exceptional work in the fall semester. 

Winter Festival Band Concert: Saturday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m., Hugo Young Theatre

Under the direction of Leonard Salvo, Ashland University Director of Bands, the Ashland Area Community Concert Band begins the concert with "Marche Lorraine" by French composer Louis Ganne followed by W. Francis McBeth's "Chant and Jubilo" which is a work in two contrasting movements including the melodic Chant and the explosive Jubilo featuring the lower brass and percussion sections.  Based on the well-known Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts",  the third piece of the program, "Chorale and Shaker Dance II" by American composer John Zdechlik, begins with the woodwinds introducing the theme followed by solos for flute, clarinet, saxophone and trumpet then ending with the brass sections playing the chorale while woodwinds perform the fiery obbligato.

AACCB then presents a special event featuring local storyteller Dave Kowalka reciting the story of "The Polar Express" as the ensemble performs the Concert Suite from the animated feature movie.  Written by Silvestri and Ballard and arranged by Jerry Brubaker, the featured songs include "Believe," "The Polar Express," "When Christmas Comes to Town" and "Spirit of the Season."  The Community Band concludes their portion of the concert with Warren Barker's "It's Christmas," a medley of holiday favorites including "Jingle Bells," O Come All Ye Faithful," "Joy to the World," "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "Deck the Halls," "Silent Night" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."

The 60-piece Ashland University Wind Ensemble, also under the direction of Salvo, performs “A Festival Prelude” by Alfred Reed which is a single movement piece with four distinct sections. The opening “Carol” sets a restrained and gentle mood then the chant from the trombones and trumpets climaxes into the “Antiphonal Chant” carried by the woodwinds. The rhythm picks up for the “Village Song,” which is presented in two bar phrases that rise and fall with the liturgy. The church bells herald the final “Cathedral Chorus” that builds in a steady crescendo, pausing for a soft and sonorous chorale, before continuing with the introduction of additional instruments until all of the colors and intensity of the celebration fill the hall.

The concert concludes with selections from the Ashland University Jazz Orchestra directed by visiting professor Ashley L. Summers.  Members of the Jazz Orchestra include saxophonists Trent Kimball, Amanda Hall, Jessica Barnhouse,Shayne Smith and Stephen Matis; trombonists William McDonald, Dylan Pyanowski, Benjamin Marbut and Chris Prichard; along with Hannah Phillips, Eileen Navratil and Katie Metz on trumpet.  The rhythm section consists of Kyle Gould, piano; Benjamin Schnell, bass; and Aaron Hill, drums.

Festival of Lights: Sunday, Dec. 9 at 7:00 p.m., Jack and Deb Miller Chapel
This annual candlelight service symbolizes Christ coming into the world. The story is communicated in verse and song with Scripture readings, traditional carols and seasonal choral music by the Ashland University Choir and Ashland Area Chorus directed by Dr. Ron Blackley, and the Ashland Area Chorus directed by Dr. Marla Butke. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.
Canned food for needy families of Ashland County will be collected at the event and donated to Associated Charities of Ashland.

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