Thursday, December 5, 2013


The 34th annual Ashland University Spectrum Series begins by travelling back in time to the 19th century with the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra presenting their holiday program 'Round the Christmas Tree on Friday, December 6, 7:30 p.m. at Hugo Young Theatre.

This stylish and warm-hearted tribute to America’s Holiday musical traditions features favorite selections from the theatres, ballrooms, grand mansions and humble hearthsides of the Victorian era. The concert will include familiar Christmas songs and carols from their original 19th century scores, along with novelties including a ragtime version of the Nutcracker Suite and sparkling instrumental and vocal soloists. As a finale to the concert, the Orchestra accompanies a screening of one of the world’s first Christmas silent films from 1905 by Thomas Edison.

In addition to the main stage concert, the Orchestra's conductor Rick Benjamin, will present a free workshop on the history of early cinema and film underscoring on Friday, December 6 at 10 a.m. on the Hugo Young Theatre stage.  Benjamin, leading conductor of music for silent film with more than 600 screenings to his credit, will lead participants on a journey to the early 20th Century when downtown Ashland was home to several silent movie houses as the cultural center for all ages in the community.  

Area schools, senior citizen organizations and other groups are invited to a special 1-hour matinee performance of 'Round the Christmas Tree on December 6 at 1:30 p.m. Admission for this intergenerational matinee performance is $2 per person.  Reservations should be made directly with Tricia Applegate at 419.289.5950 to secure group seating.

Season tickets are now available for the entire Spectrum Series at the Ashland University Box Office.  Season tickets include admission to all three mainstage shows with at least a 20 percent discount to single ticket prices.  Season tickets for all three performances are: $28 for adults; and $23 for senior citizens, non- Ashland University students and Ashland University faculty/staff.  Single tickets are: $15 for adults; $12 for senior citizens, non-Ashland University students, University faculty/staff; $10 for groups of 10 or more; and $2 for Ashland University students with ID.

To purchase season or individual tickets, contact the Ashland University Box Office by phone at 419-289-5125, or in person in the lobby of Hugo Young Theatre located at the corner of College Avenue and Grant Street.  Hours are Monday through Friday, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Tickets are also available on-line at where additional fees apply. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Under the direction of Leonard Salvo, Ashland University Director of Bands, the Ashland Area Community Concert Band (AACCB) and Ashland University Wind Ensemble present their annual Winter Festival Concert on Saturday, December 7, 7:30 p.m. at the University’s Hugo Young Theatre.  Featuring music celebrating the holiday season and reflecting on the events of December 7, the concert is free and open to the public.

The 40-piece Ashland University Wind Ensemble is comprised of the outstanding wind and percussion players at the University and from the community.  The ensemble begins Saturday's concert with Anthony Iannaccone's "Plymouth Trilogy" comprised of three contrasting movements including a saxophone solo, followed by Hymn of St. James by Reber Clark which is based on the hymn "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence." The Wind Ensemble concludes their portion of the program with Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride," one of the world's most popular pieces of Christmas music.

After a brief intermission, the 55-member Ashland Area Community Concert Band takes the stage. Established in 1993, the ensemble is designed for both university students and members of the Ashland community to continue their musical study and creative activity.  In 1995, it was recognized by Cleveland's WCLV FM as "one of Ohio's finest Community Concert Bands."  The Band begins their program with "Midway March" by John Williams followed by Claude T. Smith's arrangement of "God of Our Fathers."  The third piece of the program includes selections from Lionel Bart's delightful musicalOliver! including Consider Yourself, Where Is Love, I'd Do Anything and Who Will Buy. The Band will then perform Robert Palmer's "Overture on a Southern Hymn" which is based on one of the most popular Southern folk hymn tunes "Wondrous Love."  The concert concludes with Robert Sheldon's arrangement A Most Wonderful Christmas which includes Winter Wonderland, I'll Be Home for Christmas, Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


After a one year absence due to a faculty study leave, the local holiday favorite TubaChristmas returns to Ashland University's Hugo Young Theatre on Saturday, December 7 at noon.  The concert is free and open to the public and invites area tuba, euphonium and baritone players to perform.  Musician registration will begin at 10:00 a.m. followed by a rehearsal at 10:20 a.m.  

TubaChristmas is an idea conceived by Harvey Phillips, Professor of Tuba at Indiana University. Mr. Phillips wanted to demonstrate to the public what a beautiful sound a mass ensemble of tubas and euphoniums could make and to provide an opportunity for fellow low brass players to celebrate the season with the community. TubaChristmas is dedicated to the memory of Mr. William J. Bell.  It’s a fun, holiday tradition the whole family can enjoy.

The registration fee for participating musicians is $10.00 and includes a 2013 TubaChristmas button.  The TubaChristmas carol book is also available for $10.00. Musicians are asked to bring their own folding stand. 

For more information, contact Professor of Music Dr. Scott Garlock at 419.289.5134 or, or visit and


The Department of Music at Ashland University is presenting two student ensembles recitals in December.  Both of the concerts are free and open to the public and are held in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall in the Center for the Arts (formerly known as the Arts & Humanities Building).

The student ensembles recitals begin on Tuesday, December 3 at 7:30 p.m. with a brass ensemble instructed by Michael Metcalf, a percussion ensemble instructed by Jeff Neitzke, and a flute ensemble instructed by Lindsey Goodman.

On Wednesday, December 4 at 7:30 p.m., the featured ensembles will include clarinet and saxophone ensembles led by Dr. Thomas Reed, a string ensemble directed by Jane Reed, and a trumpet ensemble instructed by Amanda Bekeny.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Dr. Marla Butke, associate professor of music, recently presented "Dalcroze Eurhythmics: Guiding Effective Plastique Animée Experiences" at the American Orff Schulwerk Association's National Conference in Denver, Colo., with colleague, Dr. David Frego, professor of music from UTSA.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


The award-winning Ashland University Jazz Orchestra (AUJO) will be hosting a free Winter Festival concert in Hugo Young Theater on Monday, November 25 at 7:30 p.m. Directed by Dr. Scott Garlock, the concert will feature three sets of music including a set of Christmas music for big band performed by AUJO, a few selections by Dr. Garlock's student jazz combo, and closing with  the Jazz Orchestra  performing big band music in several styles.

The Jazz Orchestra’s first set will include holiday favorites such as “Auld Lang Syne,” “Let It Snow, Let It Snow,” and a “Here Comes Santa Claus “ medley.  The student jazz combo’s program includes  “All of Me” arranged by Dick Lieb, “Speak Low” arranged by Roger Holmes and Herbie Hancock’s “Canteloupe Island.”  AUJO’s final portion  of the concert features Mike Tomaro’s  arrangement of Dizzie Gillespie’s “Birk’s Work,” “The Chicken” arranged by Kris Berg, and Frank Mantooth’s arrangement of “Centerpiece.”

Monday, November 11, 2013


The annual Invitational High School Choral Festival returns to Ashland University on Saturday, November 16 which culminates in a public concert at 3:45 p.m. in the Jack and Deb Miller Chapel. Presented by the Department of Music, the concert is free and open to the public. 

Three Ohio high schools will engage in a day of musical and educational activities led by Dr. Rowland Blackley, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities, and Dr. Timothy Guenther, Adjunct Instructor of Music and University organist. Participating choirs include Lexington High School Choir directed by Paul Dawson, Lake High School Madrigal Singers (Cortland) directed by Bonnie Chronister, and Triway High School Choir (Wooster) directed by Stan Willis. For the public concert, musical selections will be performed by each high school choir followed by a combined piece performed by all of the choirs and the Ashland University Choir.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


The Ashland University Department of Music presents two student recitals within the next week. On Sunday, November 10 at 7:30 p.m., clarinetist Alexandria VanScoy presents her senior recital.  Then on Wednesday, November 13 at 7:30 p.m., several student musicians will be featured in the fall semester honors recital.  Both recitals are free and open to the public, and are held in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall.

For her senior recital, Miss VanScoy will be assisted by pianist Emily Grabinski. Alex is a graduate of Huron High School and is majoring in music education.  She studies clarinet privately with Dr. Thomas Reed, Music Department Chair and Professor of Music.

The Honors Recital will showcase the department’s student musicians who accomplished exceptional work in the fall semester from instrumentalists and vocalists.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Ashland University Department of Music presents a faculty recital by Thomas Reed, Professor of Music and Music Department Chair, and pianist Susan Gregg on Thursday, October 31, 7:30 p.m., in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall located down the hall from Hugo Young Theatre in the Center for the Arts.  The concert is free and open to the public.

The recital begins with Dr. Reed on clarinet performing pieces including one of Witold Lutoslawski's most popular works Dance Preludes which is based on Polish folk dances, and Camille St. Saens' cherished Sonate for Clarinet. After a brief intermission, Dr. Reed will switch to the saxophone for jazz selections with Lanny Gooding, piano; Tim Powell, bass; Rich Moore, drums; Scott Garlock, trombone; and Amanda Bekeny, trumpet. Music may include Nica's Dream, The Nearness of You, Samba de Orfeu, Too Close for Comfort, 4:30 Blues, and Jumpin' at the Woodside.

Dr. Reed joined the Ashland University faculty in 1986. He is a member of the Akron Symphony and Ashland Symphony, was a long-time member of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, and has performed on clarinet or saxophone with the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Blossom Festival Orchestra, Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic, Youngstown Symphony, Blossom Festival Band and the Jazz Unit. He has been soloist with the Akron, Mansfield and Ashland Symphonies and performs on recordings from the Akron Symphony, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and the Paul Ferguson Jazz Orchestra. His clarinet CD “Mutually Inclusive” was released in 2008 on Capstone Records. He is also a founding member of IRON TOYS, a woodwind quartet that performs original repertoire for saxophones, clarinets and flutes. He holds degrees from The Ohio State University, the University of Michigan and the University of Akron.

Friday, October 25, 2013


AU Director of Bands Leonard Salvo was presented the honorary title of Kentucky Colonel by the State of Kentucky at the band reception/reunion at homecoming on October 12. Former band members Jay & Kim Hartz presented the award as representatives of the State of Kentucky. 

Commissions for Kentucky Colonels are given by the Kentucky Governor and the Secretary of State to individuals in recognition of noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to a community, state or the nation.  

To obtain a Kentucky Colonel Commission, an applicant must be recommended by an individual who holds a Colonel Commission. AU Graduate and Band Alumnus Jay Hartz who serves as deputy chief of staff for Senate Republicans for the State of Kentucky nominated Mr. Salvo.  

Among the ranks of the Kentucky Colonels are distinguished leaders such as Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Reagan and English Prime Minister Winston Churchill, volunteer firemen and teachers - people from all walks of life who have performed in an extraordinary manner. 

The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels does not appoint or commission Kentucky Colonels. That can only be done by the sitting Governor of the Commonwealth. Only the Governor knows the reason for bestowing the honor of a Colonel’s Commission on any particular individual. One recent Governor made this comment about the qualities he considered, “Each time I have the pleasure of bestowing a membership to this exceptional organization on an individual, the great tradition established by Kentucky’s first governor, Isaac Shelby, lives on. The name Kentucky Colonel has become synonymous with strength of character, leadership and dedication to the welfare of others. Just as Isaac Shelby declared his trusted militia members to be his Kentucky Colonels, I see in you those things that place others above self."

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Led by Dr. Scott Garlock, Professor of Music, the award-winning Ashland University Jazz Orchestra will perform a wide variety of selections at a free public concert on Tuesday, October 15 in the Hawkins-Conard Student Center’s Eagles Nest at 7:30 p.m. Audience members are welcome to grab a snack, enjoy a beverage and relax to the live music of AUJO at the Nest. 

Pieces in the program include Alan Menken's Beauty and the Beast, George Gershwin's Fascinating Rhythm, and several arrangements by Tom Reed of classic jazz tunes from George Gershwin, B.B. King, Duke Ellington and Ray Charles. Other possible tunes include Jersey Bounce, Just a Closer Walk, Lullaby of Birdland, Moten Swing and Stompin' at the Savoy.

Members of the AU Jazz Orchestra include vocalist Katie Mounts, saxophonists Michael Byndas, Jason Wolf, Steve Matis, Jessie Barnhouse, Shayne Smith, Mandi Hall and Joel Paige. The brass section includes trombonists Jaylynn Buchmelter, William McDonald, Fatima Imani Smith, Rachel Crow, Eileen Navratil, Chadwick Applegate; tubist Ben Bushong; along with Andy Bartelheim, Matt Saunier, Alex Sandwisch, Hannah Phillips and Eileen Navratil on trumpet. The rhythm section consists of Steve Morsher, drums; DR Haught, guitar; and Ben Schnell, bass.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Ashland University’s Fall Choral Concert features three University vocal ensembles including the Ashland University Choir, Ashland University Women’s Chorus and Ashland Area Chorus on Sunday, October 13, 4 p.m. at the Jack and Deb Miller Chapel.  The performance is free and open to the public. 

Dr. Rowland Blackley, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities will conduct the Ashland University Choir performing the sparkling and joyful Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi, one of the most beloved pieces in the choral repertoire. The AU Choir will be joined by student soloists and the Ashland Chamber Orchestra.  They will also present a set of unaccompanied motets. 

The Ashland University Women's Chorus, directed by Dr. Marla Butke, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Music Education, will perform a variety of pieces including the Israeli folk song Hava Nashira, Bel Piacere from G. F. Handel's opera Agrippina, and contemporary pieces such as Andrea Ramsey's Heaven Unfolding with cello, Brain Tate's exhuberant Gate, Gate which is based on a Buddhist mantra, and John Rutter's The Lord Bless You and Keep You

Newly appointed conductor of the Ashland Area Chorus, Elizabeth Slade, will make her concert debut with the ensemble performing pieces by Duruflé, Rachmaninoff and Rutter as well as a new arrangement of a traditional American hymn commissioned for the Chorus.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Ashland University Department of Music presents a faculty recital by adjunct instructor of flute Lindsey Goodman on Sunday, October 6, 3 p.m., in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall.  The concert is free and open to the public.

Featuring the world premiere of Judith Shatin's Penelope's Song for flute and electronics, which was commissioned by and dedicated to Lindsey -- the recital is electroacoustic with electronics and acoustic flute playing hand-in-hand to create a chamber music experience with only one performer. Lindsey has presented over 15 of these performances in six states over the past five seasons.  

An avid performer of new music, “flutist Lindsey Goodman appears to know no fear in tackling the most demanding music” (Tribune-Review). A strong advocate for emerging composers and electroacoustic or multimedia works, Lindsey is an active commissioner of new pieces, and has given over fifty-five world premieres, including nineteen solo and chamber compositions written especially for her.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


2012 Madrigal Players
Tickets for the 38th Annual Madrigal Feaste go on sale to the public on Monday, September 23 at 12 p.m.  Patrons are reminded that this is a very popular event and the box office will be incredibly busy.  For immediate service, the box office recommends that patrons come to the box office window located in the lobby of Hugo Young Theatre at the corner of College Avenue and Grant Street or order online at (additional fees apply for online orders).  Patrons can also call the box office at 419.289.5125, but phone lines are expected to be busy. 

Ashland University Department of Music produces the annual Madrigal Feaste which is slated for Wednesday through Sunday, November 20 – November 24.  All performances begin at 6:30 PM in Redwood Hall.

Directed by Dr. Rowland Blackley, director of choral activities, the Madrigal Feaste is a dinner theater based in sixteenth-century England with constant entertainment provided throughout the evening.  The Ashland University Chamber Singers perform ceremonial music, Christmas carols and madrigals while the Madrigal Players present a new comedic play along with improvisational theatrics.  Fanfare trumpeters, the Court Jester and Butler round out the cast. Performer costumes are designed as authentic reproductions of period apparel; and the four-course meal culminates in flaming bread pudding.

The 2013 Madrigal Feaste Chamber Singers feature Derek Jackenheimer as the King and Erin Lingenfelter as the Queen along with their court including Sam Diemer, Deric Dove, Christopher Goffos, DR Haught, Emily Jeppesen, Grace Keller, Jacob Markley, Christian Neely, Courtney Patton, Jacob Poiner, Andrew Shaffer, Emily Springer, Katie Stone, Caleb Stout and Alex VanScoy. Led by Hilary Rheinheimer as the Jester, the Madrigal Players are Mason Adams, Kim Lennox, Zach Lindesmith, Zach Manthey and De’Andre Peterson.

Tickets for the event are $26 for adults; $15 for children under 12; and $23 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 at the time of ticket purchase. Due to preparation of meals, tickets are not available at the door.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Ashland University Department of Music and the Ohio Chapter of the Dalcroze Society of America is offering several Dalcroze workshops throughout the year beginning this Saturday, September 7. 
September 7       Terry BoyarskyTeaching Artist for Young Audiences
                             "Dalcroze and Quick Reaction Exercises

January 11          Dr. Marla Butke, Dr. Ron Blackley, Ashland University
                             "Improving Aural Skills Through Eurhythmics”
April 12               Larry Doebler, ret. Director, Choral Activities, Ithaca College
                             “Connecting to the Music Through Dalcroze Eurhythmics”
                             featuring a demonstration choir

COST:  $95 for all 3 workshops and membership to DSA OR
               $25 for each individual workshop OR             
               $10 for each individual workshop – college students

GRADUATE CREDIT: There is an additional fee of $200 for 1 hour of graduate credit (due on April 12/payable to Ashland University). Must attend all 3 workshops plus reflection session on September 7, 1:00-1:30 pm. Assignments: Reflection papers and 2 lesson plans

Walk-ins are welcome, but registration can be submitted in advance to:
Ohio Chapter of DSA, c/o Karen Dhyanchand,
7464 Angel Dr, North Canton, OH 44720.  

Marla Butke, Ph. D., Associate Professor of Music, Ashland University
Dalcroze Society of America Ohio Chapter President
Dalcroze Certified Teacher
Dalcroze Society of America Research Chair
Cell 614-581-4746 •

Sunday, September 1, 2013


The Department of Music at Ashland University begins its fall semester concerts at the Ashland County Fair with the University Marching Band leading the Parade of Bands at the grandstand on Sunday, September 15 at 2:00 p.m. under the baton of Leonard Salvo, Director of Bands.

Also in September, the Department of Music is pleased to present a guest artist recital with the Iron Toys saxophone and woodwind quartet on Monday, September 23, 7:30 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall.  Founded in 2004 by Tom Reed, Rich Shanklin, George Shernit and Howie Smith, the quartet performs a diverse repertoire blending classical, jazz and avant-garde styles. Because of the doubling skills of its members, the group has over twenty instruments available for any given performance. This concert is free and open to the public.
For more information about the music department and its performances, visit the Web site at or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419-289-5950 or Also available is the College of Arts & Sciences 2013-2014 ARTS GUIDE offering a comprehensive listing of the year's music, theatre, Spectrum and Coburn Gallery events.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Two community music ensembles at Ashland University, Ashland Area Chorus (AAC) and Ashland Area Community Concert Band (AACCB) announce their fall schedules including rehearsals, concerts and membership requirements.  Beginning August 19, Ashland Area Chorus rehearsals are held on Monday evenings from 7-8:45 p.m. in Room 242 of the Center for the Arts (formerly the Arts and Humanities building). Initially meeting on Tuesday, September 3, the Community Band rehearses on Tuesday evenings from 7:30-9 p.m. in the Center for the Arts' Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall.

Entering its sixteenth season, the Ashland Area Chorus is a non-auditioned mixed choir of about 65 singers from Ashland, Richland, Medina, Wayne, Holmes and Crawford Counties.  The fall semester’s repertoire will include pieces by Duruflé, Rachmaninoff and Rutter as well as a new arrangement of a traditional American hymn commissioned for the Chorus.  The Chorus will participate in the Ashland University fall concert, October 13, and the annual Festival of Lights on December 8. For membership, previous choral experience is helpful and encouraged. 

The Ashland Area Community Concert Band begins its twenty-first season and is for those that loved playing in band in high school or college and want the opportunity to play again. Performances for the ensemble this fall include a concert at the Ashland County Fair on Tuesday, September 17, and a performance at the University with the Ashland University Concert Band on Saturday, December 7. Requirements for membership are the ability to play a wind or percussion instrument (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.

Membership to AAC and AACCB is open to anyone.  However, students still in high school must have permission by the ensemble's director.  A nominal membership fee of $25 is requested and payable by the fourth week of rehearsals to continue participation in either ensemble for the semester. The membership fee is payable through the Ashland University Box Office at 419.289.5125 or online at 

For further information, contact the Chorus’ new conductor Libby Slade at or (419) 685-5460; or Leonard Salvo, Director of Bands, at 419-289-5132 or  

Monday, July 29, 2013


After fifteen years of existence, the Ashland Area Chorus will see its first change in directorship this fall.  Dr. Ron Blackley, Professor of Music at Ashland University, is passing his baton to Elizabeth Slade, Adjunct Instructor of Music at Ashland University.

An Ashland resident since 2006, Libby teaches musicianship classes at AU, directs the choir and leads worship music at First United Methodist Church, and has frequently sung with the Ashland Area Chorus.  Libby received her Bachelor's degree in Music and French from the University of Virginia and her Master's degree from Harvard University.  She has conducted numerous choruses on the east coast, including the Mary Baldwin College Choir and the Virginia Women's Chorus.  In addition, she has an extensive background as a professional chorister, soloist and teacher of voice. The AU Department of Music is pleased to have found a conductor with such a fine background, and looks forward to many years of Libby Slade's leadership of the Ashland Area Chorus.
Thriving on a mission of singing great music beautifully, the ensemble performs regularly as part of Ashland University choral concerts, annually in collaboration with the Ashland Symphony Orchestra, for the Ohio Choral Directors Association, and by invitation with the Central Ohio Symphony.  Singers have come from the greater Ashland area, but also Richland, Medina, Wayne, Holmes, and Crawford counties as well.  The group sings both accompanied and a cappella choral music mainly drawn from the classical canon.

Rehearsals for the 2013-2014 season of the Ashland Area Chorus will commence on Monday, August 19, at 7:00 pm in Room 242 of the Center for the Arts on the Ashland University campus and are open to all interested singers.  For further information, contact Libby at

Friday, May 3, 2013


Ashland University Department of Music concludes a busy semester of live music with the annual Variable Winds band concert under the direction of Leonard Salvo and guest conductor Arie Lipsky on Sunday, May 5, 4:00 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre.  With performances by the Ashland University Concert Band and Ashland Area Community Concert Band, the program includes pieces of celebration and songs along with an opportunity to recognize senior Concert Band members for their dedication and contribution to the AU Band program. Admission to the concert is complimentary and open to the public.

The concert begins with the Ashland Area Community Concert Band under the direction of Mr. Salvo performing Vaclav Nelheybel's High Plains, a concert march in the European Style which was commissioned to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the High Plains Band Camp and its founder/director H.G. Palmer.  The second piece, Jubilance, An Overture by Caesar Giovannini is a contemporary musical portrayal of exultation and of depression.  The music has an insistent drive, a restless energy that speaks especially of the hectic life of the modern world. The one exception to the general restlessness is the broad, singing melody in the middle of the piece with the flutes then the clarinets, horns and lastly saxophones while various percussion instruments are also prominent as a kinetic, rhythmic thrust to propel the listener through the piece. AACCB continues with Air for Band by Frank Erickson and concludes its portion of the concert with Sea Song Fantasy by John Wasson which was commissioned by Symphonicity (the Symphony Orchestra of Virginia Beach) and premiered for the opening of their new concert hall in November 2007. The work features a wide variety of sea shanties in various styles, ranging from well known melodies to more obscure songs of the sea. All are combined into an exciting work featuring virtually every instrument and family in the ensemble.
After a brief intermission, the Ashland University Concert Band begins their portion of the concert under the direction of Mr. Salvo with Donald Grantham's Exhilaration and Midnight Cry from Southern Harmony which has a somewhat exotic sound to modern audiences with harmonizations that are regarded as inventive, unique, and powerfully representative of the American character. The concert continues with Percy Grainger's Lincolnshire Posy, which has been recognized as a cornerstone of the wind band repertoire. Commissioned by the American Bandmasters Association and premiered at their convention with the composer conducting, "This bunch of 'musical wildflowers" is based on folksongs collected in Lincolnshire, England in six movements of which the Concert Band will present four including the first, second, fifth and sixth (Lisbon, Horkstow Grang, Lord Melbourne and Lost Lady Found, respectively).

Guest conductor Maestro Lipsky will then direct Procession of Nobles by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov which was transcribed for concert band by Erik Leidzen. With an opening brass fanfare announcing the entry of the nobility in this cortege from the opera "Mlada," woodwinds provide the regal flourishes that embellish the work. In his capacity as Artist in Residence for Ashland University, Lipsky's duties include working with students, performing groups and addressing classes in the Department of Music.  As guest conductor, the AU Concert Band looks forward to his expertise, energy and enthusiasm. This is a true benefit of our music students, music program and the entire community. Arie is a truly world-class musician, and it is a rare opportunity for our students and faculty to work closely with someone of his stature.
Mr. Salvo returns to the conductor's podium for Variations on a Korean Folk Song by John Barnes Chance. While stationed with the U.S. Army in Korea in the late 1950s, Chance became fascinated by the popular folk melody “Arirang,” using it as the basis for his Variations on a Korean Folk Song. “Arirang” is a traditional Korean song of love and heartbreak, possibly originating 1000 years ago. The pentatonic theme is heard at the outset of this composition and is contrasted with five variations. In 1966, this piece received the Ostwald Award from the American Bandmasters Association. To close the concert, the AU Concert Band will perform Esprit de Corps by Robert Jager. Based on The Marines' Hymn, this work is a fantasy-march, as well as a tribute to the United States Marine Band. Full of energy and drama, the composition has its solemn moments and its lighter moments.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


The Ashland University Department of Music presents the spring honors recital on Wednesday, May 1, 7:30 p.m. at the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall in the Center for the Arts (formerly known as the Arts & Humanities Building).  The concert will showcase the department’s student musicians who accomplished exceptional work in the spring semester from instrumentalists including piano, percussion, guitar, trumpets and flute, to vocalists and an opera scene. The concert is free and open to the public.

Featured instrumentalists include seniors Ian Dively, trumpet; and Eddie Carney, piano; and Spencer Stadnik, guitar; juniors Andy Bartelheim, trumpet; Steve Morsher, percussion; and sophomore Devyn Renninger, flute.  Vocal performances will feature seniors Brandy Kay Riha, soprano; freshman Fatima Imani-Smith, soprano; along with a vocal ensemble performing a scene from the Pirates of Penzance including seniors Bret Cowden, baritone; Derek Jackenheimer, tenor; Katie Vargo, soprano; and Emily Plank, mezzo-soprano.

Monday, April 29, 2013


Under the direction of Dr. Scott Garlock, the Award-Winning Ashland University Jazz Orchestra performs their final concert of the year at the festive Eagle's Nest on Tuesday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m.  Grab a snack and beverage, sit back and enjoy some great Jazz tunes in a relaxed atmostphere. Free & Open to the Public.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


The Department of Music at Ashland University is proud to present the choral and orchestral masterpiece by the beloved romantic composer Johannes Brahms. Directed by Dr. Rowland Blackley, the Brahms German Requiem will be performed by the Ashland University Choir, Ashland Area Chorus and Ashland Chamber Orchestra on Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 PM in Hugo Young Theatre.

Over 120 musicians will fill the Hugo Young Theatre stage while featuring soloists Stephanie Sikora, soprano and Brian Keith Johnson, baritone. A German Requiem, To Words of the Holy Scriptures, Op. 45 (Ein deutsches Requiem, nach Worten der heiligen Schrift) was composed by Brahms between 1865 and 1868. Many believe the piece was inspired by the death of Brahms' mother in 1865 which caused him much grief as well as lingering feelings over Robert Schumann's death in 1856. Comprised of seven movements and in the German language derived from the German Luther Bible, Brahms Requiem is a sacred but non-liturgical work with a message of hope for the living who must deal with and accept death.

Dr. Blackley, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Ashland University, has previously presented several large choral and orchestral works including Handel’s Messiah in 2005 and 2010 while also collaborating with the Ashland Symphony Orchestra's performances of Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and the Verdi Requiem. While conducting the University Choir, Chamber Singers and Ashland Area Chorus, he also teaches in the areas of conducting and music education. He co-directs the major opera workshop productions and has served as conductor and music director for several Ashland University theatrical productions.

Stephanie Sikora, Professor of Music and Head of the Voice Area at Ashland University, has been sharing her musical talents with audiences throughout Ohio and the Midwest for numerous years. She has sung over 100 performances with Cleveland Opera on Tour, and has appeared in Cleveland Opera’s main stage productions of The Merry Widow, Hansel and Gretel, Mikado, and Die Fledermaus. She has been a guest soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Festival and has performed with the Reading Symphony, Canton Symphony, Mendelssohn of Pittsburgh, Ashland Symphony, Akron Lyric Opera Theatre, Firelands Symphony, The Singers’ Club and the Robert Page Cleveland Singers. Holding degrees from The Ohio State University, The University of Akron, and the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Ms. Sikora has recently become sought after as an adjudicator at such prestigious competitions as the Tuesday Musical Scholarship Auditions and the Irma M. Cooper Opera Columbus Vocal Competition.

Brian Keith Johnson has performed many roles in opera from Figaro in il barbiere di Siviglia to Ford in Falstaff. As a member of Actors’ Equity Association, he has also performed a variety of musical theatre roles ranging from Jim in Big River to Father/God in Children of Eden. He has appeared as a soloist with orchestras across the US in repertoire that ranges from Bach's Magnificat and Mozart's Requiem to Brahms's A German Requiem and Orff's Carmina Burana. Mr. Johnson received his bachelor's degree from the University of Akron, and has also studied abroad at the New Opera Academy of Rome and at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.  

Reserved seating tickets for the performance are $7.00 for adults; $5.00 for senior citizens, non-Ashland University students, Ashland University faculty and staff; and $1.00 for Ashland University students. To purchase tickets, call the Ashland University Central Box Office at 419-289-5125, Monday through Friday, 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM., visit the Box Office located in the lobby of Hugo Young Theatre at the corner of Grant Street and College Avenue, or order online at (additional fees apply).

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Ashland University Department of Music presents two evenings of "Magic, Marriage & Merriment" with opera scenes from Mikado to The Pirates of Penzance and The Most Happy Fella. The performances which are free and open to the public are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 19 and 20, 7:30 p.m. at the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall. 

Under the direction of Stephanie Sikora, Associate Professor of Music and Head of the Voice Area in the Department of Music at Ashland University, this annual event features vocal performances from twelve student singers. The female cast includes sopranos Rachel Gollhart, Fatima Imani Smith, Erin Lingenfelter, Colleen Mathias and Katie Vargo along with mezzo-sopranos Emily Plank and Grace Keller. Male singers include tenors Derek Jackenheimer, Christopher Sherer and Caleb Stout; baritone Andrew Shaffer; and bass-baritone Bret Cowden. 

With scenes from eight different operas each evening, the program presents scenes from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute and Abduction from the Seraglio, Lehar's The Merry Widow, Strauss' Die Fledermaus, Loesser's The Most Happy Fella and Gilbert & Sullivan's Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance.

Monday, April 8, 2013


The Department of Music at Ashland University offers a full slate of free concerts in April from its music majors. From vocalists and an a cappella ensemble to a pianist, percussionist and horn players, the end of the year performances offer something for everyone. All of the following recitals are free and open to the public and are held in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall in the Center for the Arts (formerly known as the Arts & Humanities Building).

On Sunday, April 7 at 5:00 p.m., senior vocalist Bret O. Cowden (Paris, Ohio) presents his paper discussing Mozart's use of the baritone and buffo bass fach, the ways that Mozart differentiates between the two fachs (or voice categories), and interpretations by the original singers as well as modern singers' interpretations. Cowden will demonstrate the above findings by performing four arias, one aria from each role discussed. 

At 7:30 p.m. on April 7, Surround Sound, the student-run a cappella group, performs their annual showcase. The program's music selection includes recent hits such as Michael Buble's Just Haven't Met You Yet and Bruno Mars' Just the Way You Are, as well as older tunes including And So It Goes by Billy Joel and Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours by Stevie Wonder. 

Soprano Brandy Riha presents her senior recital on Sunday, April 14 at 5:00 p.m. accompanied by pianist Deb Logan. Brandy is a graduate of Geneva High School and studies privately with Denise Howell.

At 7:30 p.m. on April 14, senior Eddie Carney performs his piano recital
assisted by soprano Madeline Beer and the Drop of a Hat Players. His program includes pieces by Debussy, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Gershwin, Sondheim and Richard Taylor's Cathy's Prayer from Whistle Down the Wind. Eddie is a graduate of Madison High School of Lake County.

Music education major Ian Dively of Berlin, PA presents his senior trumpet recital on Saturday, April 20 at 1:30 p.m. assisted by pianist Sue Gregg and Dr. Amanda Bekeny, trumpet. He will perform pieces by Purcell, Riisager, Vivaldi and Arutiunian.

At 4:00 p.m. on April 20, percussionist Stephen Morsher and Andrew Bartelheim, trumpet, present their junior recital assisted by pianist Sue Gregg, and percussionists Jake Lange, Hailey Sulti and Jeff Neitzke. Both are music education majors with Stephen graduating from Bellevue Senior High School and Andrew from Wooster High School.

Several student ensembles will present a joint recital on Sunday, April 21 at 5:00 p.m. including the brass ensemble directed by Michael Metcalf, a sax trio led by Dr. Thomas Reed, string quartet with Jane Reed and the percussion ensemble under the direction of Jeff Neitzke.

Under the direction of Dr. Scott Garlock, the Ashland University Jazz Orchestra will perform their final concert of the year at the Eagles Nest in the Hawkins-Conard Student Center on Tuesday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m.

The spring honors recital will feature the best student performances of the semester on Wednesday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m.


Several Ashland University voice students were award winners at the Ohio NATS (National Association of teachers of Singing) competition held April 6, 2013 at Kent State University.  With over 300 performers and their voice teachers attending, all participating students performed before judges and received comments regarding their singing. At the awards presentation, Ashland University's name was called out three times:

  • Johanna Regan, student of Stephanie Sikora - 2nd place, Upper College Musical Theatre category 1
  • Katie Mounts, student of Denise Howell  - 2nd place,Upper College Musical Theatre category 2
  • Fatima Imani Smith, student of Stephanie Sikora - 1st place, Freshmen College Women Category II

Friday, March 22, 2013

CLARINET LESSONS by Katie Stone - in Spanish

En su oficina, mi profesor se sienta en el escritorio. Mira hacia abajo, a través de sus gafas, a sus apuntes. Yo, nerviosamente, monto mi clarinete y me pregunto si había practicado lo suficiente. El maestro levanta la vista de sus apuntes y me pide que toque las escalas de “B”. Rezo un poco y empiezo a tocar. Al principio, desempeño muy bien y gano confianza. Inesperadamente, durante la cuarta y última escala, ¡se me olvida el resto de la escala! ¡Todo mi cuerpo se calienta con vergüenza! Él permanece callado mientras yo concentro muy rápido. En segundos, recuerdo las notas y completo la escala. ¡Qué vergüenza!

El doctor Reed enseña lecciones de clarinete y saxofón en la Universidad de Ashland. También, es el director del departamento de música. Está a cargo de profesores y muchas programas en el departamento y trabaja muy duro. Fuera de la universidad, participa en numerosos grupos musicales incluyendo la Sinfónica de Ashland.

El profesor Reed, mi instructor de clarinete, puede intimidarnos a nosotros, sus estudiantes durante nuestras lecciones. El profesor sabe muchas cosas de música, especialmente del clarinete. Sus estudiantes pensamos al principio de sus sesiones que estamos tocando bien. Sin embargo el doctor Reed consigue decir por lo menos cinco detalles que estamos haciendo mal y podemos mejorar. Por otro lado, su manera amigable de explicar calma a sus estudiantes de música y nos hace sentir mejor. El doctor Reed tiene mucha paciencia. A pesar de su personalidad amable, nosotros, los estudiantes del doctor Reed, tenemos miedo cuando lo vemos.

La apariencia física del doctor Reed es simple. Tiene cabello corto y gris, gafas largas, y una sonrisa amable. Se viste muy profesional cada día con corbatas y camisas de vestir. El profesor es un poco alto, pero no mucho. Tiene una cara redonda con un bigote corto y una barba corta así como cejas arqueadas.

He aprendido mucho del Doctor Reed durante mi tiempo en la Universidad de Ashland. Mi profesor sabe mucha información sobre la música y el clarinete y yo he crecido como música a causa de sus enseñanzas. Recomiendo que cualquier persona que quiera aprender sobre la música debería ir a hablar con él.

Katie Stone is a junior music education major from Sarasota, Florida. In addition to studying the clarinet, and performing with the Ashland University Band and Choir, Katie studies Spanish and Portuguese. She is participating in the Study Abroad program, spending a semester in Brazil. We thank Katie for providing her writing for us, and we thank her Spanish professor at Ashland, Dr. Jennifer Rathbun.