Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Spring Choral Concert to Feature A Cappella and Folk Music

The Ashland University Chamber Singers, the Women's Chorus and the a cappella ensemble Surround Sound present their spring choral concert on Sunday, May 1 at 4 p.m. in 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 Chamber Singers as they perform selections made famous by the best singing groups of their generation while tracing some of the history of the a cappella pop/jazz choral movement over several decades. 

The Chamber Singers will sing Ward Swingle's arrangement of J. S. Bach's Bourree made popular by the Swingle Singers, and Java Jive by Drake and Oakland as arranged by Shaw and sung by the Manhattan Transfer; to Daryl Runswick's arrangement of Paul McCartney's Blackbird as performed by the King’s Singers; Peter Eldridge's Come Home as sung by New York Voices; and Peder Karlsson's Gøta as recorded by the Real Group.

Continuing with the a cappella-theme, the student-led a cappella ensemble Surround Sound will perform three tunes including Bastille's Pompeii, Meghan Trainor's Dear Future Husband and George Ezra's Budapest. 

Directed by Elizabeth Slade, the Women's Chorus will perform from a different genre including folk tunes from the British Isles and Latin America, along with a piece by French composer Maurice Duruflé. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Jazz at the Nest Tonight at 7:30 p.m.

The Ashland University Jazz Orchestra conducted by Dr. Scott Garlock will perform its final concert of 2015/2016 tonight, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the Eagles Nest.

At the free/public concert, audience members are welcome to grab a snack, enjoy a beverage and relax to the live music of AUJO at the Nest. The program will include jazz standards such as Duke Ellington's In a Sentimental Mood, Stevie Wonder's Isn't She Lovely and George and Ira Gershwin's Summertime along with more contemporary pieces from Justin Haynes, Rich Shanklin and Paul Ferguson.

Members of the AU Jazz Orchestra include vocalists Fatima Imani Smith and Ariel McCleary; saxophonists Michael Byndas, Jason Wolf, Derek Rangel, Jessie Barnhouse, Chanel Buntschly and Shayne Smith. The brass section includes trombonists Jaylynn Buchmelter, Cody Henderson, Rachel Crow and Sean Strader; along with Hannah Phillips, Alex Sandwisch, Nik Psota and Tyler McFarland on trumpet. The rhythm section is comprised of Alex Trotter, piano; Dan Pflueger, guitar; Emily Ebert, bass; and Darren Allen, drums., alto sax.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Variety of Recitals to Close Spring Semester

The Department of Music announces a variety of recitals to close the spring semester, including small ensembles such as brass, saxophone, string, percussion and jazz combos, as well as vocal soloists. All of the concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall and are free and open to the public. 

On Thursday, April 21, various jazz combos under the direction of Dr. Scott Garlock and Jeff Neitzke will perform a joint student ensembles recital along with a low brass ensemble also directed by Dr. Garlock.

Another student ensembles recital will be held on Monday, April 25, and will feature a brass ensemble under the direction of Michael Metcalf, a saxophone ensemble led by Dr. Thomas Reed, a percussion ensemble led by Mr. Neitzke and a string ensemble directed by Jane Reed.

The final recital of the semester features the best of spring 2016 at the Honors Recital on Monday, May 2. Students who accomplished exceptional musical work during the semester will showcase their vocal and instrumental talents as selected by their private teachers.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Bach Vesper Service Set for Sunday

Choral and instrumental musicians from Trinity and the Ashland University Music Department will join forces on Sunday, April 17 at 4 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 508 Center Street in Ashland, to present the twelfth in a series of Bach Vesper services, patterned after the order and flow of a Lutheran service from Bach’s day.

Featured music includes Bach's Cantata #43, God Goeth Up with Shouting and selections from the Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D. Dr. Rowland Blackley, Ashland University Director of Choral Activities will direct the choir and orchestra and Dr. Timothy Guenther Ashland University organist will be at the organ. Pastor Michael Koch of Trinity will preach. Ashland University students singing solos include soprano Gracie Fumic, alto Hannah Wise, tenor Jacob Poiner, and bass Jake Riley.

“The music of the great Lutheran musician Johann Sebastian Bach is often viewed as great art - which it is - but the spiritual aspects of Bach’s settings of the Gospel are often ignored. We hope this worship service will allow the true voice of Bach’s music to speak in the context for which it was written,” said Ron Marenchin, Coordinator of Music Ministries at Trinity.

The service is open to the public. A freewill offering will be received. A reception will follow. Staffed child care for children ages five and under will be available. The church building is accessible to persons with handicapping conditions. For more information see the church's website at

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Cappella Group, Surround Sound, Presents Showcase

The student-led contemporary a cappella group Surround Sound housed through the Ashland University Department of Music presents its annual concert on Sunday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall. The performances is free and open to the public.

This year's showcase concert will feature many contemporary pop hits including Bastille's Pompeii, Meghan Trainor's Dear Future Husband, Adele's Someone Like You, George Ezra's Budapest along with arrangements made popular by Billy Joel and Pentatonix. A couple of the pieces are arrangements written by one of the group's founding members and AU alumna Brandy Kay Riha.

Surround Sound is currently comprised of thirteen vocalists including Madeleine Beck (Brunswick), Drew Berlin (Barberton), Hayden Coey (Greenwich), Ruth Chilcote (Ashland), Deric Dove (Newark), Karissa Magnacca (Wadsworth), Kayla Phares (North Kingsville), Jacob Poiner (Wellington), Emily Sparks (Greenwich), Emily Sycks (Bluffton), Eryn Tramel (Medina), Alexander Trotter (Vineyard Haven, Massachusettes) and Hannah Wise (Hartville).

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Opera Scenes to Journey Through G&S

Ashland University Department of Music presents two evenings of opera scenes which will take audiences on a journey through some of W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan's most-loved comic operas. The performances which are free and open to the public are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16, 7:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre at Ashland University.

With scenes from five different Gilbert & Sullivan operas each evening, the program presents scenes from The Pirates of Penzance, Patience, The Gondoliers, Ruddigore and The Mikado. Under the direction of guest artist Sandra Ross, this annual event features vocal performances from student singers. This year's female cast includes sopranos Abigail Brady (Geneva), Gracie Fumic (Avon), Elisha Hofer (Sandusky) and Fatima Imani Smith (Copley) along with mezzo-sopranos Grace Keller (Perrysville) and Hannah Wise (Hartville). Male singers include tenor Jacob Poiner (Wellington) and baritones Deric Dove (Newark) and Darion Dow (Bedford Heights).

Equally at home on both operatic and musical theater stages, Ms. Ross has performed with Cincinnati Opera, Cleveland Opera, Central City Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Opera North, Sorg Opera and nine seasons with the Ohio Light Opera. Some of her favorite roles have been Orlovsky, Carmen and Cherubino. In Hamburg, Germany Ms. Ross appeared for 2 years as Madame Giry in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s The Phantom of the Opera. A frequent concert soloist Ms. Ross has performed works including Howard Shore’s Lord of the Rings Symphony, under the direction of the composer, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Prokofieff’s Alexander Nevsky, Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s Mass in Bflat Major, Handel’s Messiah and Vivaldi’s Gloria, with organizations including the orchestras of Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Ashland, Toledo and Youngstown. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio Ms. Ross holds a bachelors degree from Heidelberg University and a masters degree from the New England Conservatory where she studied with the renowned Ed Zambara.