Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Seven Recitals Performed in Less Than Three Weeks!

The Department of Music at Ashland University announces seven recitals which are scheduled over the next three weeks. From faculty and senior recitals to the fall honors recital, the concerts will offer performances by instrumentalists (flute, saxophone, organ, piano, cello, and guitar) and musical theatre vocalists. All of the following performances are free and open to the public.

The marathon of recitals begins on Sunday, November 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall with a faculty recital by flutist Jane Berkner. Ms. Berkner will perform with cellist Miles Richardson, pianist Susan Gregg and Stephen Aron on guitar. Primarily featuring flute and cello, the program will include Jean-Michel Damase's Sonate en Concert, Eric Lamb and Martin Rummel's arrangement of J.S. Bach's (Re)Inventions, Heitor Villa Lobos' Jet WhistleLake Wallenpaupack by Daniel Dorff and Danzas de le Abuela by Ricardo Iznaola.

There will be three separate recitals the following Sunday, November 8 beginning at 1 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall with a senior recital featuring music education major Jessica Barnhouse (Cambridge, Ohio). Miss Barnhouse will present her senior saxophone recital accompanied by pianist Susan Gregg and guest performers Jaylynn Buchmelter, trombone; Derek Rangel, guitar; her private instuctor Dr. Thomas Reed, guitar; and Polly Dexter, drums. Her program will include Giovannini's Rhapsody, J.S. Bach's Two Bourrées from Third Cello Suite, Darius Milhaud's Scaramouche, along with Gershwin's Summertime, Parker's My Little Suede Shoes and more.

At 4 p.m. in the Jack and Deb Miller Chapel, Dr. Timothy Guenther will present his faculty recital in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the reconstructed Olive Williams Kettering Memorial M. P. Möller Pipe Organ. The repertoire includes music by J.S. Bach, José Lidon, César Franck, Felix Mendelssohn, Paul Hindemith, Eunice Lea Kettering, Knut Nystedt, Paul Desmond, and Joseph Bonnet; and features the Ashland premiere of the Chorale Fantasia by J.S. Bach on “Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns hält”, BWV 1128, discovered in March 2008.

Returning to the Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m., senior applied vocal major Fatima Imani Smith will perform a musical theatre revue to fulfill her senior music project. Directed by Andrea Disch, accompanied by pianist Deb Logan, and assisted by tenor Jake Riley and baritone Deric Dove, Fatima will present her original show of "Musicals Throughout the Ages." Fatima studies voice privately with Stephanie Sikora.

On Sunday, November 15, senior instrumental music education major Rachel Crow (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) kicks the day off at 1 p.m. in the Recital Hall with her senior piano recital. Under the tutelage of her private instructor Susan Schoeffler, Rachel's program includes piano classics from Brahms' Rhapsody to Beethoven's Sonata (Op. 49, Nov.2), along with Rachmaninoff's Moment Musical, five movements from Prokofieff's Vision Fugitives and The Entertainer by Scott Joplin.

At 7:30 p.m. on November 15, saxophonist and instrumental music education major Shayne Smith (Bellevue, Ohio) will present his senior recital in the Recital Hall. He will be accompanied by pianist Susan Gregg and assisted by fellow sax players Michael Byndas, Derek Rangel, Jessie Barnhouse, Jaylynn Buchmelter, Jason Wolf and Nick Slinger. He will perform classic pieces by Robert Schumann and Jean Baptiste Singelee along with contemporary selections including Rudy Wiedoeft's Saxophobia, Dave Heath's The Celtic Concerto, and Little Gap, Pennsylvania by Charles W. Smith. Shayne studies privately with Dr. Thomas Reed.

On Wednesday, November 18 Thursday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m.,the best of Fall 2015 perform at the Fall Honors Recital in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall. Students who accomplished exceptional musical work during the semester will showcase their vocal and instrumental talents as selected by their private teachers.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Alumnus Mark Stringer Shares Touching Madrigal Memory

As the Department of Music prepares to celebrate the 40th Annual Madrigal Feaste, all former jesters for the event were invited to be our guests for this year's milestone. Alumnus Mark Stringer let us know that he is unable to attend the anniversary celebration, but shared the following story with us which captures the impact of the Madrigal Feaste on him personally as well as the true essence of the Holiday season.

I think back to the AU Madrigal Feasts fondly, as I had the privilege to sing in three of them and be the jester at one. I've even preached about the Madrigal Feaste for the UU congregation I serve. Here's the story I shared a few years back. Thought some of you might enjoy:

As a student at Ashland University, I had the privilege to sing every December as a member of a madrigal troupe. We worked all fall, learning traditional carols and English music from the 16th century and doing our best to grow beards…the men, that is…to prepare for a week of performances at the annual Madrigal feast.

Each night, over the course of several days, my fellow madrigals and I would dress in mock-ups of Renaissance garb, complete with goofy hats, tights, and ill-fitting footwear, and attempt to entertain about 200 people who paid to consume Cornish game hens, applaud at the arrival of some kind of flaming dessert soaked in rum, and hear music of the season.

One of the highlights of the night for me was the final set of more traditional Christmas music, culminating with a performance of “Silent Night.” The troupe would sing the first verse in German, then the audience with lit candles in hand, would join in signing the remainder in English. It was always a touching moment.

Over the four years I participated in the feasts, I grew quite fond of the tradition. My family enjoyed it, as well, making the hour-long drive from their home in Akron one night each December to participate. One year, though, my mother had been suffering one of her frequent and crippling bouts with depression and it was unlikely that she would be able to attend.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Jazz at the Nest Returns Oct. 13

Led by Dr. Scott Garlock, Professor of Music, the award-winning Ashland University Jazz Orchestra (AUJO) will present a free public concert on Tuesday, October 13 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 at this free public concert. The "Monday Night Not Football Combo" will provide pre-concert music beginning at 7 p.m. 

The AU Jazz Orchestra's portion of the program will include pieces selected from Tom Reed's arrangements of Duke Ellington's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" and Count Basie's "Boogie Woogie/One O'Clock Jump;" along with favorites by Stan Kenton, Cole Porter, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and other big band legends. A few contemporary pieces will also be showcased including Justin Haynes' "Jelly Roll Meets James" and "Mean Mr. Marvin" as well as Garlock's "Hope."

Friday, October 2, 2015

Fuhrmann Publishes Book About Foreign Opera at London Playhouses

Dr. Christina Fuhrmann, Professor of Music, announces the publication of her new book "Foreign Opera at the London Playhouses" now available through Cambridge University Press.

In the early nineteenth century over forty operas by foreign composers, including Mozart, Rossini, Weber and Bellini, were adapted for London playhouses, often appearing in drastically altered form. Such changes have been denigrated as 'mutilations'. The operas were translated into English, fitted with spoken dialogue, divested of much of their music, augmented with interpolations and frequently set to altered libretti. By the end of the period, the radical changes of earlier adaptations gave way to more faithful versions.

In the first comprehensive study of these adaptations, Dr. Fuhrmann shows how integral they are to our understanding of early nineteenth-century opera and the transformation of London's theatrical and musical life. This book reveals how these operas accelerated repertoire shifts in the London theatrical world, fostered significant changes in musical taste, revealed the ambiguities and inadequacies of copyright law and sparked intense debate about fidelity to the original work.
  • Sets operatic adaptations within the complex context of theatre and opera in early nineteenth-century London
  • Provides an appendix of all operas adapted for the playhouses during this period, including those that have never been studied before 
  • Charts critical reactions to operatic adaptations, as well as changing standards for fidelity to the original opera
Dr. Fuhrmann's other publications include articles in Nineteenth-Century Music Review and Gender, Sexuality and Early Music and a volume on Romanticism and Opera. Her critical edition of Henry Bishop's adaptation of The Marriage of Figaro was published in 2012.