Ashland University Department of Music concludes an eventful 2013-2014 academic year and the 26-year tenure of Professor Leonard Salvo as Director of Bands on Sunday, May 4, 4:00 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre with the annual Variable Winds Band Concert. Under the direction of Salvo, the Ashland University Concert Band and Ashland Area Community Concert Band will perform a program including pieces of celebration and song 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, open to the public and is a wonderful opportunity to congratulate Mr. Salvo on his retirement.
The concert begins with the Ashland Area Community Concert Band performing John Williams' Midway March which was composed for the classic World War II motion picture Midway, followed by James Curnow's Freedom Road which is a set of variations based on the spiritual "Follow the Drinkin' Gourd." The third piece, Shenandoah, is described by composer Frank Ticheli as the "mood ranges from quiet reflection, through growing optimism, to profound exaltation." The Community Band concludes its portion of the concert with Songs of Earth, Water, Fire and Sky by Robert W. Smith who drew upon authentic Native American dances and chants as inspiration.
After a brief intermission, the Ashland University Concert Band begins their portion of the concert with James Curnow's Fanfare and Flourishes for a Festive Occasion which is based on Marc-Atoine Charpentier's "Te Deum." The concert continues with Gustav Holst's Second Suite in F for Military Band performed in four movements. The first movement is a march using several English folk tunes followed by the ballad Song Without Words for the second movement, and Song of the Blacksmith for the third. The fourth and final movement, Fantasia on the Dargason, is based on an English country-dance tune with each section of the band exchanging the tune back and forth in variation. The AU Concert Band will then perform Edwin Franko Goldman's The Chimes of Liberty, one of the great patriotic marches of our time; and conclude with Chorale and Shaker Dance including variations of the well known Shaker hymn, Simple Gifts.
Leonard Salvo has served as director of bands at Ashland University since 1988. During that time he grew the Eagle Marching Band from 17 members to 85, and founded the Ashland Area Community Concert Band. In addition to his work with the University concert band, wind ensemble, community concert band and marching band, he taught courses in conducting and music education.
Before coming to Ashland, he held positions at Indiana State University as assistant director of bands, and as assistant band director for the University of Toledo.
Mr. Salvo also spent 17 years in the public schools of Michigan. During that time, bands under his direction gained a national reputation through performances for the Mid-West International Band & Orchestra Clinic (Chicago), The Mid-East Conference on Instrumental Music (Pittsburgh), The Midwestern Conference on School Vocal and Instrumental Music (Ann Arbor) and the Eastern Michigan Contemporary Music Festival, Karel Husa composer/conductor (Ypsilanti, MI).
Ensembles under his direction have received critical acclaim from some of the nation’s most respected composers and conductors including Robert Page, Donald Erb, Anthony Iannaccone, Claude T. Smith, William D. Revelli, H. Robert Reynolds, John Whitwell, Harry Begian, Mark Kelly and Karel Husa.
With a Bachelor of Music Education from Eastern Michigan and a Master of Music degree from The University of Michigan, Mr. Salvo was also honored by The Music Department of Eastern Michigan University as an Outstanding Alumnus and was invited to serve as visiting lecturer and conductor. An active member several professional organizations he has twice been elected to serve as president of the Ohio Private College Instrumental Conductors Association. He takes an active role in campus life and has been recognized as the Outstanding Advisor for Student Organizations at Ashland University for his work with the Kappa Kappa Psi Honorary Band Fraternity and university bands.
At the 2013 Ashland University Homecoming, Mr. Salvo was presented the honorary title of Kentucky Colonel by the State of Kentucky by former band members Jay & Kim Hartz 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.