Thursday, December 14, 2017

Students Place at Ohio NATS Competition

Congratulations to the Ashland University voice students of Denise Milner Howell who participated in the Ohio NATS competition at Youngstown State University. Accompanied by Deb Logan, freshman Gabriella Carr was awarded 3rd place overall in the Lower College Women and Men's Musical Theatre category, and post-secondary student Katie Harrigan was awarded 2nd place in High School Musical Theatre. They are both now eligible to compete at the Great Lakes Regional Competition in March 2018.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Festival of Lights Holiday Services, Dec. 10

Ashland University will officially begin its observance of the holiday season with the 27th annual Festival of Lights on Dec. 10 in Ashland University’s Jack and Deb Miller Chapel, located at the intersection of King Road and College Avenue.

The 7 p.m. candlelight service, which is free and open to the public, symbolizes Christ coming into the world. The story is communicated in verse and song. It will include Scripture readings by Jim and Margaret Hess, traditional carols, and seasonal choral music by the Ashland University Choir and Women’s Chorus, and the Ashland Area Chorus. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

The Ashland University Choir is under the direction of Dr. Rowland Blackley, director of choral activities and professor of music, while Elizabeth Slade directs the Ashland Area Chorus and Julie Strebler-Renner, the Women’s Chorus. Dr. Timothy Guenther and Susan Gregg will accompany the choirs on organ and piano.

Musical selections will feature original works and settings of carols by a variety of composers including Clausen, Mendelssohn, Rutter, Vaughan Williams, Pinkham, Saint-Saens, and Whalum.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Winter Festival Band Concert, Dec. 9

The Department of Music at Ashland University presents its annual Winter Festival Band Concert on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre. The concert will feature the Ashland University Symphonic Band directed by Joseph Lewis Jr., Ashland University Director of Bands, and the Ashland Area Community Concert Band (AACCB) under the direction of Leonard Salvo. The concert will offer a program of classic compositions for concert band along with some holiday favorites. The concert is free and open to the public.

The Ashland University Symphonic Band is comprised of the outstanding wind and percussion players at the University. The ensemble begins Saturday's concert with Procession of Nobles, the fifth piece based on the opera-ballet Mldada by Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov; followed by Minnesota Portraits by Samuel R. Hazo, which includes three movements depicting snapshots of Minnesota in winter. The band’s third piece is an instrumental adaptation by Eric E. Whitacre of his a cappella choral work Lux Aurumque. The Symphonic Band's program concludes with Leroy Anderson's holiday classic Sleigh Ride.

After a brief intermission, the 65-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. The Community Band’s program begins with T'is a Gift by Anne McGinty, which was composed as a tribute to three band members who lost their lives aboard TWA Flight 800; followed by John Philip Sousa’s most melodic and best-written marches, Fairest of the Fair; and the fifth movement of Robert Russell Bennett’s Suite of Old American Dances titled Rag. The Community Band will finish the concert with two collections of some of the most popular Christmas carols and songs in A Most Wonderful Christmas and Christmas Music for Winds, which includes holiday favorites from Jolly Old St. Nicholas to Angels We Have Heard on High, Silent Night and more.

Fall 2017 Honors Recital, Dec. 7

On Thursday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall, the best instrumental and vocal performances of fall 2017 are showcased in this end of the semester tradition. Vocalists include Gabriella Carr, Sami Eron, Alli Lange, Maya Rickard and Rebecca Young. Instrumentalists are Kailyn Buyok (violin), Nikolaus Psota (trumpet), Emily Schordock (horn) and Michael Woode (piano). Free and open to the public.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Student Ensembles Concert, Dec. 5

Several chamber ensembles present the culmination of their semester rehearsals in a joint concert including brass, saxophone, string and percussion ensembles. The Student Ensembles Recital will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall. Free & Open to the Public

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Wigton Featured in News Article

The Ashland Times-Gazette (11/27/2017) recently published a "This Week's Personality" story about Loudonville native, Ashland University Music education major and AU Band member Jennifer LeeAnn Wigton. Along with her recent accomplishments in band, the article also mentions those who have influenced her success in music going all the way back to elementary school when her music teacher was another AU music graduate, Megan Routh. READ ARTICLE

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Holiday Jazz Concert, Dec. 4

The Ashland University Department of Music will present an Ashland University Jazz Concert on Monday, December 4 at 7:30 pm in Hugo Young Theatre. The concert is free and open to the public.

Under the direction of Dr. Scott Garlock, the concert will offer pre-concert music from a jazz combo followed by jazz standards performed by the Ashland University Jazz Orchestra (AUJO) and the 2nd annual AUJO Alumni Band. For any alumni who are interested and available to participate, a rehearsal will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 29 from 7-9 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall.

In addition to jazz standards, the Ashland University Jazz Orchestra's program will include selections from the ensemble's new holiday CD recording which features vocals by Cathi Muckle and is titled "AUJOy to the World." The CDs will be available for purchase at the concert and are $15 each.

The 2017-2018 AUJO roster includes saxophonists Jason Wolf, Derek Rangel, Josh Thompson, Lauren DeBracy and Ariane Hill; Nik Psota, Branden Barber, Jennifer Wigton and Emily Shordock on trumpet; trombonists Eric Watt, Hannah Drake and Frank Stanek; while the rhythm section consists of pianist and percussionist Stefan Jonsson, Alex Trotter on piano, Emily Ebert on bass, guitarist Dominic Febbo and vocalist Gracie Fumic.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Mayor-Elect Miller Celebrity Tubist for TubaChristmas, 12/2

The local holiday favorite TubaChristmas returns to Ashland University's Hugo Young Theatre on Saturday, December 2 at noon with Ashland City Mayor-Elect Matt Miller, as the "Celebrity Tubist." 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 and includes a 2017 TubaChristmas button. The TubaChristmas carol book is also available for $20. Musicians are asked to bring their own folding stand.

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

Monday, November 20, 2017

Jazz Alumni Invited to Rehearse & Perform

Dr. Scott Garlock invites all AU Jazz alumni to a rehearsal for the 2nd annual AUJO Alumni Band on Wednesday, Nov. 29 from 7-9 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall. The rehearsal will prepare the alumni band to perform at the Ashland University Jazz concert on Monday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre. For more information, contact Scott at

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Hannah Wise Presents Senior Vocal Recital, Nov. 19

The Ashland University Department of Music announces a senior recital by senior mezzo-soprano Hannah Wise on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.

As a music education major, Hannah Wise (Hartville) will perform with pianist Deb Logan and tenor Jacob Poiner. Her program will begin with classical pieces by W. A. Mozart, Claude Debussy and Johannes Brahms, while the second half features musical theatre selections by Gilbert & Sullivan, Allan Menken, Michael Mitnick and Cinco Paul.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Veterans Being Recognized at Saturday's Football Game

Attention Military Veterans: The Ashland University Marching Band invites you to join us on the Ashland University football field at halftime for this Saturday's (Nov. 11) game to recognize you for your service. Kick off is 1 p.m. Please RSVP to Joe Lewis at

Monday, November 6, 2017

Madrigal Feaste Tickets Still Available

Tickets for the 42nd Annual Madrigal Feaste at Ashland University are still available for the 6:30 p.m. performances slated for Wednesday, November 29 through Sunday, December 3 in Redwood Hall. Although the Saturday evening show is sold out, there are currently:
  • two full tables and four partial tables available for the Wednesday performance; 
  • Thursday has 15 seats available in various increments at different tables; 
  • Friday only has four single seats at different tables; 
  • and the closing night performance on Sunday has 28 seats remaining at different tables. 
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, Butler and Wenches 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 2017 Madrigal Feaste Chamber Singers feature Corey Turpin and Hannah Wise as the King and Queen, along with the members of their royal court including Drew Berlin, Sami Eron, Gracie Fumic, Elisha Hofer, Rachel Kelly, Jacob Markley, Seth Morrison, Jacob Poiner, Anna Rivero, Cole Rucker, Emily Sycks and Rebecca Young. Jessica Dupee will serve as the Jester leading her cast of Players including Ivey Buffenmyer, Nik Demers, Tristan Peterman, Maya Rickard, Jake Riley and Will Taylor. The court butler will be played by Jacob Ellis.

Tickets for the event are $28 for adults; $24 for groups of 10 or more; and $18 for children under 12. A special $11 ticket is available to Ashland University students for the Wednesday performance only. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available upon request at the time of ticket purchase. Due to preparation of meals, tickets are not available at the door.

To purchase tickets, call the Ashland University Box Office at 419-289-5125, Monday through Friday, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.; or purchase online 24/7 at

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Reed Performs Concert of Songs & Dances, 11/5

The Department of Music at Ashland University announces a concert of Songs & Dances by Dr. Thomas Reed on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 5 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall in the Center for the Arts.

For his 33rd consecutive annual faculty concert at Ashland University, Dr. Reed will perform on clarinet and soprano saxophone with pianist Susan Gregg, violinist Jane Reed, percussionist Andy Pongracz and Gary Davis on trumpet. His concert program is comprised of contemporary compositions and arrangements of songs and dances including:
  • Darius Milhaud's "Suite, op. 157b" which is inspired by a baroque dance suite with a jazz rhythmic style
  • Paul Bowles' "Music for a Farce" consisting of 8 sections of "slap-stick"-like music with chase scenes and corny sentimental music
  • Catherine Hoover's arrangement of John Dowland's three Elizabethan lute songs in "Ayres"
  • Dave Heath's expressive and exciting "Concerto for Soprano Saxophone: The Celtic"
Reed is professor of music and chair of the departments of music and theatre at Ashland University where he has taught since 1986 in a number of areas including applied woodwinds, music theory and jazz studies. 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 CDs 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. The quartet released their first CD in 2015. He holds degrees from The Ohio State University, the University of Michigan and the University of Akron.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

High School Students Invited to 'Pursue Their Passion' with AU Music & Theatre

Ashland University Departments of Music and Theatre invite high school students to 'Pursue Their Passion' at an experiential opportunity on Saturday, November 11 beginning at 1 p.m. The event is free and open to any high school student interested in learning more about music and/or theatre at Ashland University.

Registration is due by Friday, November 3 with limited spaces available. Participants can register online at

At 'Pursue Your Passion,' high school students will spend an afternoon and evening with the faculty and students from the Music and Theatre Departments. Participants will explore music and/or theatre through breakout sessions led by Ashland faculty; attend a live stage performance of Euripides' classic Greek drama The Trojan Women; as well as socialize and dine with current students at AU's award-winning dining facility. Visitors can also have the total AU experience with an overnight stay in a residence hall.

Attendees can elect to participate in two of the following sessions led by AU music and theatre faculty including:

  • AU Marching Band Performance: Enjoy the halftime show by the AU Marching Eagles at Jack Miller Stadium during the home football game against Saginaw Valley.
  • How Does Blues Work? The twelve-bar blues or “blues progression” is one of the most common chord progressions in popular music. Come harness the blues as it applies to other musical genres! Bring your instrument or voice, or have a seat at one of our many pianos and we will consider the basic concept of the blues, and then play and improvise together. Any level of musicianship is welcome!
  • PANIC - Auditioning and Interviewing for University Theatre Programs: So you want to major or minor in Theatre and the school wants you to prepare an audition or interview. In this workshop, we will explore what makes a great audition and interview; what materials need to be collected and prepared; and how to craft a professional theatrical resume. If you have a memorized monologue, we can coach you on making it stronger. 
  • Act Before You Think: The Values of A First Rate Actor: Maybe your parents taught you to think before you act? Now, let’s act before we think! Explore the inspiring values of a first rate actor that give the beginning thespian a solid base from which to grow and develop his or her talent. These values will come alive through the experience of group exercises and simple scene work. 
For more information about the 'Pursue Your Passion' event, contact Dr. Teresa Durbin-Ames at or 419.289.5821.

Choral Concert Presents Three Vocal Ensembles, Oct. 29

The Ashland University Choir, Women's Chorus and the Ashland Area Chorus present a fall choral concert program ranging from a sacred cantata to madrigals, contemporary songs about the strength of women, spirituals and compositions from early English composers. The eclectic concert will be held on Sunday, October 29 at 4 p.m. in the Jack and Deb Miller Chapel and is free and open to the public.

Dr. Rowland Blackley, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities, will conduct the University Choir. Their portion of the program will include “Rejoice in the Lamb,” a cantata by Benjamin Britten with text by Christopher Smart. This highly dramatic work ultimately focuses on all things worshipping their Creator, venturing from near silence to rollicking dance, from seeming chaos to quiet serenity. Organist for the piece is Dr. Timothy Guenther, while vocal soloists include Grace Fumic, Hannah Wise, Corey Turpin and Michael Cowan. The Choir will also sing "Ecco mormorar l’onde" by Claudio Monteverdi. This famous madrigal is an extended and evocative description of a sunrise, with poetry by Torquato Tasso, a sixteenth-century Italian writer. To round-out their portion of the concert, the choir will present “Her Sacred Spirit Soars” by the living composer Eric Whitacre. It is a structurally complex but sonically astounding piece that divides into fourteen different voice parts at times.

Directed by Ashland University alumna Julie Strebler-Renner, the Women's chorus' selections will follow a theme of strength and hope including  "Be Like the Bird" by Abbie Betinis based on her perseverance through cancer treatments, "Warrior" by Kim Baryluk in response to violence against women, Deborah Lutz's African American spiritual "O Nata Lux" and Barbara Baker's gospel "The Storm Is Passing Over." Susan Gregg is the piano accompanist for the Women's Chorus as well as the Ashland Area Chorus.

For the Ashland Area Chorus, director Elizabeth Slade has selected songs by 16th and 17th century English composers Thomas Tallis, Thomas Morely and Orlando Gibbons.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Homecoming to Feature ‘An Evening with Cathi Muckle’ Concert

As part of Ashland University’s Homecoming celebration on Oct. 13, Ashland University will host a tribute concert titled, “An Evening with Cathi Muckle,” that will take the audience back to another era with the most memorable songs of “The Greatest Generation” as she sings selections from the songbook of George and Ira Gershwin.

The concert, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Myers Convocation Center on the AU campus, will feature Cathi Muckle, the daughter of Betty Clooney, who is Rosemary Clooney’s sister.

Muckle, a professional singer and educator who lives in Las Vegas, actually toured with her legendary aunt and even recorded “The Coffee Song” with Rosemary Clooney and has sung over 300 commercial jingles.“We are very excited to be able to offer this special concert event again this year as part of our homecoming celebration,” said Dr. Carlos Campo, who is slated to emcee the event. Campo is the brother of Muckle.

Muckle will be accompanied at the event by an all-star AU Jazz ensemble that will also feature Ashland University Music faculty, alumni and current students including AU Professors of Music Thomas Reed and Scott Garlock, alumni Steve Berry and Paul Martin, and students Nik Psota and Derek Rangel.

The concert will also offer the new Ashland University Jazz Orchestra’s “AUJOy to the World” Christmas CD featuring Cathi Muckle. The CD, which features nine Christmas songs with Cathi on vocals, will cost $15 each. Those not attending the concert who would like a CD can purchase them at the AU Bookstore on campus after Oct. 13.

The event is open to the public and general admission tickets for the event are $10 for adult and $5 for senior citizens, students and AU employees. In addition, a VIP package at $25 per ticket will include a 6:30 p.m. private upscale cocktail reception with the artist. Sales of the limited number of VIP packages will end Oct. 6.

Those with questions or wanting tickets can contact the AU Box Office at 419.289.5125 or go online at Doors for the concert open at 7 p.m. and a cash bar will be available at the event.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Elizabeth M. Pastor Endowed Scholarship Fund, which was established in 1992 by friends of Liz Pastor, AU Trustee's Distinguished Professor. The scholarship is awarded annually to a deserving full-time undergraduate student enrolled studying for a bachelor of arts in music with piano as the major instrument or music education majors with piano as their chosen instrument.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Jazz at the Nest Debuts Holiday CD & Takes Donations for Puerto Rico

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 10, 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 event will offer sales of the ensemble's new holiday CD recording, which features vocals by Cathi Muckle and is titled "AUJOy to the World." CDs are $15 each. In addition, AUJO will accept freewill donations for the Puerto Rico relief efforts.

The concert will offer an eclectic mix of old and new including some classic big band arrangements including Lerner & Loewe's “Almost Like Being in Love,” George and Ira Gershwin’s “Fascinating Rhythm,” Freddie Green’s “Down for Double,” and “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby” by Kahn and Donaldson. More contemporary pieces will include Al Horney’s “Hipper by the Dozen,” Sergio Mendez’s “So Many Stars” and Mike Barone’s “Yo Yo.”

The 2017-2018 AUJO roster includes saxophonists Jason Wolf, Derek Rangel, Josh Thompson, Lauren DeBracy and Ariane Hill; Nik Psota, Branden Barber, Jennifer Wigton and Emily Shordock on trumpet; trombonists Eric Watt, Hannah Drake and Frank Stanek; while the rhythm section consists of pianist and percussionist Stefan Jonsson, Alex Trotter on piano, Emily Ebert on bass, guitarist Dominic Febbo and vocalist Gracie Fumic.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Madrigal Sales Begin Monday, Sept. 25

Tickets for the 42nd Annual Madrigal Feaste go on sale to the public on Monday, September 25 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 purchases online at which does include higher processing fees. Patrons can also go in person to the box office window located in the lobby of Hugo Young Theatre at the corner of College Avenue and Grant Street or call the box office at 419.289.5125. Please be advised that phone lines are expected to be busy. Discounted tickets for children can only be purchased directly through the box office and not online.

Ashland University Department of Music produces the annual Madrigal Feaste which is slated for Wednesday through Sunday, November 29 - December 3, 2017. All performances begin at 6:30 p.m. 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, Butler and Wenches 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 2017 Madrigal Feaste Chamber Singers feature Corey Turpin and Hannah Wise as the King and Queen, along with the members of their royal court including Drew Berlin, Sami Eron, Gracie Fumic, Elisha Hofer, Rachel Kelly, Jacob Markley, Seth Morrison, Jacob Poiner, Anna Rivero, Cole Rucker, Emily Sycks and Rebecca Young. Jessica Dupee will serve as the Jester leading her cast of Players including Ivey Buffenmyer, Nik Demers, Tristan Peterman, Maya Rickard, Jake Riley and Will Taylor. The court butler will be played by Jacob Ellis.

Tickets for the event are $28 for adults; $24 for groups of 10 or more; and $18 for children under 12. A special $11 ticket is available to Ashland University students for the Wednesday performance only. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available upon request at the time of ticket purchase. Due to preparation of meals, tickets are not available at the door.

Friday, September 1, 2017

2017-2018 Arts Guide Released

The College of Arts & Sciences at Ashland University has released its annual Arts Guide which highlights multiple arts events for the 2017-2018 academic year. The Arts Guide offers a comprehensive view of the Ashland University Theatre season, Department of Music recitals and special events, and Coburn Art Gallery exhibitions. Arts patrons are encouraged to use the Arts Guide as they plan their cultural events as a one-stop reference guide which includes events from August 28 to May 18.

Inside the Arts Guide, patrons will find descriptions of each event, information about the University's various venues, ticket prices and ordering information.  The publication also lists various Web and Facebook pages for patrons to visit throughout the year for up-to-date schedules including additions and changes which occasionally occur with live events.

Highlights of the Arts Guide include:
  • Department of Music's 42nd Annual Madrigal Feaste and Maplerock Jazz Festival along with many recitals and concerts performed by the University's award-winning students, highly acclaimed faculty and world-renowned visiting artists.
  • Ashland University Theatre's season themed "Building Bridges" reminds us to think of, respect and care for others and those who may not be like ourselves. From the ancient Greeks in the classic drama The Trojan Women, to today's young adults trying to navigate the blurry line between the virtual and real worlds in the new play Leveling Up, and the fantastical and magical world of Dr. Seuss in the musical Seussical - the theatre season will provide opportunities to better understand ourselves and others with performances that encourage dialogue about challenges in our world today.
  • Coburn Gallery's exhibitions focusing on the work of nationally known contemporary artists as well as Ashland University art faculty and students in various mediums including sculpture, drawing, found objects and more.
  • Art experiences for high school students through the Pursue Your Passion Day with the Departments of Music and Theatre, and the art studio experience with the Art Department.
For a copy of the 2017-2018 Arts Guide, contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419-289-5950 or The Arts Guide can also be accessed online at, or at any of the department Web pages or Facebook pages. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Area Chorus & Community Concert Band Announce Fall Schedules

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 Monday, August 28, Ashland Area Chorus rehearsals are held on Monday evenings from 7-8:45 p.m. in Room 242 of the Center for the Arts. Initially meeting on Tuesday, September 12, 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 nineteenth season, the AAC is dedicated to a mission of learning great music and singing it beautifully. The chorus is open to all singers from Ashland and surrounding counties and includes Ashland University faculty, staff and students as well as other singers from the wider community. Though no formal audition is required for membership, AAC members must be pitch accurate (sing 'on key') and be able to learn and perform their parts successfully. Previous choral experience is helpful.

AAC's theme this semester is Sing We and Chant It! Music from the Heart of England, featuring madrigals by William Byrd, Thomas Morley and Orlando Gibbons, and sacred works by Thomas Tallis, Imogene Holst, and Ralph Vaughan Williams. In addition to performances in AU's Fall Choral Concert on October 29 and Festival of Lights on December 10, the Ashland Area Chorus will be singing an extended prelude and service music at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Cleveland on Sunday, December 3 at the 5:30 p.m. Mass.

The Ashland Area Community Concert Band begins its twenty-fifth 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 performance at the University with the Ashland University Concert Band on Saturday, December 9.

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 in AAC and AACCB is open to all adults. Students still in high school may also participate with the permission of the ensemble's director.  A nominal membership fee of $25 for adults and $15 for high school students is requested and payable by the fourth week of rehearsals to continue participation in either ensemble for the semester. The membership fee is payable at the Ashland University Box Office via phone at 419.289.5125 or online at by clicking on the "Buy Single Tickets" icon.

For further information, contact the Chorus’ director Libby Slade at or (419) 685-5460; or Community Band director Leonard Salvo at

Monday, August 21, 2017

Choir Tour to Germany Featured in Accent Magazine

The 2017 spring choir tour to Germany is featured in the fall issue of the Ashland University alumni publication, The Accent Magazine. The article travels with the choir from their departure from the Detroit airport to their arrival in Frankfurt, and then to Berlin where they performed their first concert. The tour continues to Wittenberg, birthplace of the Reformation, where AU choir alumna Stephanie Rickel Woods (2011) attended one of their concerts. The choir also went to Eisleben, Martin Luther's birthplace, and Leipzig where Johann Sebastian Bach composed and worked for most of his career. The visit to Germany ended with an unexpected tourist day in Frankfurt.

As summarized by music education major Jacob Poiner (Wellington, Ohio), “Choir is more than just the music…Choir is about the friendships and relationships just as much. Getting to experience such a fairy tale trip in the country where my family heritage lies with my friends was a life changing trip.”

You can view the full article online at

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Lewis Named Director of Bands

Joseph Lewis, Jr., has been named the Director of Bands at Ashland University where he will direct the Ashland University Eagle Marching Band and the Ashland University Symphonic Band. He received his Bachelor’s Degrees in Music Education and Music Performance (Bass Trombone) in 2006 from The Ohio State University and a Master’s Degree in Music Education from Bowling Green State University in 2015. Prior to his appointment at Ashland University, Mr. Lewis was the Director of Bands at Northeastern Local (Tinora) Schools in Defiance, Ohio. His performing experience includes playing bass trombone with The O’Jays, The Temptations, The Toledo Jazz Orchestra, The Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra, The Rick Brunetto Big Band, and The Joey Thomas Big Band. Mr. Lewis is also a Chief Warrant Officer in the Ohio Army National Guard and the Commander of the 122nd Ohio Army National Guard Band in Columbus, Ohio. “Chief” Lewis has been a member of the 122nd Army Band since 2000 and is currently serving.

Monday, June 26, 2017

On a European Tour with the AU Choir

Every four years, under the direction of Dr. Rowland Blackley, Ashland University Director of Choral Activities, the Ashland University Choir elects to spend their spring break on a European tour. Blackley emphasized, “There are many reasons that the University Choir travels to Europe every four years, but one of the most important is that the students get to sing choral music in the types of venues where it sounds best, and where it was meant to be performed."

For eight days in early March, the 2017 destination was Northern Germany to correlate with the observance of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. With the Reformation primarily beginning in Wittenberg by Martin Luther, many sites important to Luther and the early Reformation were included in this tour along with visits to other historical and cultural sites such as the Berlin Wall, the Holocaust Memorial and cities influenced by Johann Sebastian Bach and Felix Mendelssohn. Accordingly, the choir performed in Berlin, Wittenberg, Eisleben and Leipzig.

From the Motor City to the Old Country 
With a flight from Detroit to Frankfurt on the first day, the second day began with a short flight to Berlin for a two-night stay. 

“All the students on the trip were born after the Berlin Wall fell, so the tour guide emphasized and expanded on that history and its impact on everyone at the time,” Blackley explained. 

On the first day in Berlin, the group visited the Reichstag (meeting place of the German parliament), the Brandenburg Gate, the famous “Checkpoint Charlie” (best-known crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War), the Berliner Dom (Cathedral), and enjoyed a river cruise of Germany's dynamic capital.

The Berlin Dom (Cathedral) was one of the many sites visited
by the AU Choir on their first day of sightseeing in Germany.
On day two in Berlin, the choir toured Museum Island, a vast museum complex and a UNESCO World Heritage Site including the Pergamon Museum, which contains three world-class art collections. They saw the Nikolaikirche, the oldest church in Berlin, the Holocaust Monument and then had some free time on the Unter den Linden, the best-known and grandest street in Berlin.

The choir performed their first concert in Germany that evening at Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, a famous landmark of western Berlin. It was built between 1891-1895, but badly damaged during a bombing raid in 1943. The current structure was attached to the damaged spire and grand floor of the old church.

Home of the Reformation & an AU Alumna
The AU Choir poses with the Martin Luther statue outside
of Stadtkirche (Town Church) in Wittenberg.
On day four of the tour, the choir travelled to Wittenberg for a guided walking tour with a visit to the Lutherhaus (home of Martin Luther for most of his adult life), and then to the Stadtkirche (considered the mother-church of the Reformation) where the choir gave a mid-day concert. They then visited the Schlosskirche, which became the center of the Reformation when Luther affixed his famous 95 theses to the door in 1517. The day concluded with a visit to the Melanchthon House, former home of the humanist, reformer and editor of the Augsburg Confession.

As chance would have it, AU Choir alumna, Stephanie Rickel Woods (B.A. Religion, 2011), was in Wittenberg at the same time as the choir. It is apparent that Ashland University had a major impact on her life, not the least of which, was meeting her future husband, David Woods (B.Ed Integrated Mathematics, 2012) in choir, after talking to him when they served together at the annual Madrigal Feaste.

Now in pursuit of her Ph.D. in Church History at Boston University (BU), Stephanie was travelling as a teaching assistant with a seminar group through BU that was visiting Reformation sites. When her group was in Eisleben, she saw a poster for the AU Choir performance later in the week. She emailed Dr. Blackley for their itinerary and arranged for the entire BU group to attend the Stadtkirche concert. Stephanie then joined the AU group for the rest of their Wittenberg tour.

AU Choir alumna Stephanie Rickel Woods captured this
photo of the choir’s performance in Stadtkirche
“Seeing the AU choir in Germany, I was intensely proud of my alma mater. When you go to a small school in the Midwest like Ashland, you don’t expect to see or hear big things about your school nationally or internationally. No one in my group had ever heard of Ashland, so they were ambassadors for a great school. Moreover, the sound of the choir resonating in the Stadtkirche was glorious. I had heard a concert there two days before and it didn’t compare to the beauty of the AU choir.  I have always been incredibly thankful for my time at Ashland, and seeing these students represent us so well made me even more proud. Sitting in the audience, I had multiple Germans come up and ask me where the group was from, and I enjoyed being able to tell them about Ashland. It was also an incredible taste of home in a foreign country. Hearing the choir made me feel like I was at home even in a foreign country.”

From Luther to the Masters of Classical Music
The highlight of the tour was singing at St. Thomas in
Leipzig where Bach served for most of his career. 
The next day began with westward travel to Eisleben to visit Luther's birthplace, as well as the house where he died in 1546. The choir performed that afternoon at the St. Petri-Pauli-Kirche (St. Peter and Paul Church), which is the church where Martin Luther was baptized in 1483. After the concert, the tour continued on to the musical city of Leipzig for a guided walking tour of the Old Town Hall, the Market Square, the Gewandhaus concert hall and the Bach Museum prior to the tour’s most exciting event at St. Thomas Church.

While the choir sang in four beautiful churches, all of historical significance, the high point was St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. This was where Johann Sebastian Bach composed, directed and taught music for most of his career.  On this sixth day of their tour, the University Choir performed a concert, including a major work by Bach in St. Thomas where Bach wrote most of his church music. 

The choir poses with the Bach statue outside of St. Thomas.
Following the Choir’s performance, Dr. Timothy Guenther, Adjunct Instructor of Music and University Organist, had the amazing opportunity to play a half-hour recital on the pipe organ in St. Thomas where Bach was the organist for 27 years.

Detour to Frankfurt
The scheduled itinerary for the final full tour day in Germany included Magdeburg, where Luther lived for some time as a schoolboy and later preached important sermons in St. John's Church, to be followed by a flight to Berlin for the final night of the tour.

During an unexpected trip to Frankfurt on the last day of tour,
some students took advantage of a river cruise.
(l-r: Jacob Poiner, John Margida, Melissa Haber,
Brian Nguyen Le, Sami Eron, Rebecca Young, Kayla Gowdy)
However, due to an employee strike at the Berlin airport that cancelled all of their flights, the tour company arranged for the choir to depart directly from Frankfurt instead. Although there was no time at the beginning of the trip to tour Frankfurt, this opened the door for students to complete their souvenir shopping, enjoy another river boat cruise and visit more historical sites in one of Germany’s major cities. It was an unexpected change with a positive benefit, and a great finale to a rewarding and life-changing journey for the choir and everyone that they reached.

As summarized by music education major Jacob Poiner (Wellington, Ohio), “Choir is more than just the music…Choir is about the friendships and relationships just as much. Getting to experience such a fairy tale trip in the country where my family heritage lies with my friends was a life changing trip.”

For more photos of the tour and to view a video of Dr. Guenther playing the Bach-organ, visit the website at or the Facebook page at

This story will appear in the upcoming issue of the Accent Magazine.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Community Band Plays Fathers Day Concert

Once again, the Guy C Myers Memorial Band Shell will present the Ashland Area Community Concert Band under the direction of Leonard Salvo for its annual Fathers Day Concert on Sunday, June 18 at 8 pm. The concert will include patriotic favorites, Highlights from My Fair Lady as well as guest clarinet soloist Tom Reed on Cavallini's Adagio and Tarantella Solo for Clarinet and Band. The concert is free and open to public with freewill donations accepted. Held rain or shine, call the rain site hotline at 419.281.3018 after 5 p.m. the day of the concert to see if it is relocated to Hugo Young Theatre.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Guenther Plays Bach-organ in Germany

While on the Ashland University Choir tour in Germany this spring, Dr. Timothy Guenther, Ashland University organist, had the opportunity to play the Bach-organ at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany. Bach was the choir director at St. Thomas and he is buried there. Enjoy this short snip-it of Dr. Guenther on the Bach-organ.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Ashland Area Chorus Invites Locals to Sing in ASO Pops Concert

The Ashland Area Chorus (AAC), a non-auditioned mixed choir of 40-60 participants, invites local singers to join them for the short summer session and to perform with the Ashland Symphony Orchestra. The 4-week rehearsal schedule meets for four consecutive Mondays including: June 5, 12, 19, 26. Each rehearsal is from 7-8:30 p.m. at Ashland University in Room 242 of the Center for the Arts. The session will conclude on Sunday, July 2 with a live performance of light, popular, and patriotic tunes with the Ashland Symphony Orchestra for the Pops In the Park concert at Brookside Park Band Shell.

The Chorus is open to the entire Ashland community and beyond, with previous singers travelling from Richland, Medina, Wayne, Holmes, and Crawford counties. Previous choral experience is helpful and encouraged. While there are no strict age limits, singers under 18 must be approved by the director.  There is no cost to the singer for the summer session.

The AAC performs in several concerts each year on the AU campus and with the Ashland Symphony Orchestra. Recent appearances have included a stand-alone presentation of the Dvořák Mass in D Minor, subscription concerts with the ASO (including Orff’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah), Ashland University choral concerts (including Handel's Messiah and the Brahms Requiem) and summer pops concerts in the park.

Current members should encourage their talented friends and neighbors to attend the first summer rehearsal to join this unique community opportunity. For further information, please contact the AU Director of Choral Activities, Dr. Ron Blackley, at or (419) 289-5114. Or, simply show up on June 5.

Friday, May 19, 2017

AU Music Releases Promo Video

Enjoy and share the new promotional video for Ashland University Music featuring the Ashland University Band performing the Ashland University Battle Song.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Guenther Guest Soloist for Ashland Musical Club

Featuring Ashland University organist Dr. Timothy E. Guenther as the guest soloist, the Ashland Musical Club will present its spring Scholarship Benefit Recital at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 14 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 508 Center Street in Ashland. The program is “A Celebration of Lutheran Organ Music” in celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the constituting of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians (ALCM).

Composers on the first portion of the program represent the first several hundred years after Martin Luther’s Reformation of 1517, and include Georg Boehm, Dieterich Buxtehude, Michael Praetorius, Johann Sebastian Bach, Johann Ludwig Krebs and Anton Wilhelm Leupold. After intermission, more recent composers will be featured including Herman Kuenster, Flor Peeters, Harald Rohling, Paul Manz, F. Melius Christiansen, Jan Bender, Charles Ore, Richard Wienhorst, David Cherwien and Jeffrey Blersch.

The recital is open to the public and a donation will be taken to benefit the club's scholarship fund. A reception will follow.

The Ashland Musical Club was founded in 1900 by some of Ashland's most prominent women to promote good music and music education.  Now open to men as well, it is affiliated with the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs and the National Federation of Music Clubs. One of the ways it aids music education is with a scholarship awarded each year to an Ashland County graduating senior. Each year the club sponsors a scholarship benefit recital with all donations going to the scholarship fund. The Ashland Musical Club scholarship fund began in the early 1940s and many of the persons who are currently active in Ashland's musical life were recipients of this scholarship. Any Ashland County graduating senior may audition for the scholarship.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

University Choir & Ashland Area Chorus Perform with Ashland Symphony

The Ashland University Choir and Ashland Area Chorus will perform Beethoven's Choral Fantasy, op. 80 with the Ashland Symphony Orchestra (ASO) this Saturday, April 29, 7:30 p.m., in Archer Auditorium at Ashland High School.

For its final concert of its 47th season, the ASO will feature showstoppers from Beethoven and Rossini in their program themed Bravo Beethoven. The concert welcomes back pianist Roman Rabinovich as part of the Elizabeth Pastor Series of Guest Pianists who will also perform Beethoven's "Piano Concerto in C minor, No.3, op.37."  The program also includes Rossini's "William Tell Overture".

Tickets are available for purchase weekday mornings at the Symphony Office in Room 147 of the Center for the Arts, by calling 419.289.5115 or online at They can also be purchased on weekday afternoons at the AU Box Office by calling 419.289.5125, and at the door of the concert.

Three Vocal Ensembles Featured in Spring Choral Collage Concert, April 30

The Ashland University Choir, Chamber Singers, and the Women's Chorus present a spring choral concert program of an eclectic mix from American compositions to spirituals and a cappella pieces. The "Choral Collage Concert" will be held on Sunday, April 30 at 4 p.m. in the Jack and Deb Miller Chapel and is free and open to the public.

Dr. Rowland Blackley, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities, will conduct the University Choir and Chamber Singers. After their spring tour in Germany and a concert with the Ashland Symphony Orchestra, the University Choir has prepared three great works by American composers for their final concert of the year. The selections include  Randall Thompson's The Last Words of David (text from Biblical book of II Samuel), Z. Randall Stroope's Amor de mi Alma   (text by 16th century poet Garcilaso de la Vega) and Eric Whitacre's With a Lily in Your Hand (text by 20th century poet Garcia Lorca).

The Chamber Singers will sing Six Chansons written by twentieth century German-turned-American composer Paul Hindemith. Based on the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, the texts deal with natural or pastoral topics. The select-ensemble will also perform three foundational spirituals including Rockin' Jerusalem by André Thomas, Lily of the Valley by Wendell Whalum and Ain'-a That Good News by William L. Dawson.   

Directed by Kimberly Wolbert, the Women's chorus will also perform a spiritual as they sing Mark Hayes' arrangement of Go Down Moses. Other selections include Six Chansons, A Natural Woman
 by Deke Sharon and Anne Raugh, and Omnia Sol (Let Your Heart Be Staid) by Z. Randall Stroope as a senior tribute for the graduating members.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Spring Honors Recital, Monday, Apr. 24

Scheduled for Monday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall, the Honors Recital showcases students who accomplished exceptional musical work during the semester and are selected by their private vocal and instrumental teachers. Students will also be recognized with end-of-the-year department awards.

Performers include:

Vocalists: Andrea Disch, Gracie Fumic, Elisha Hofer, Sarah Napier, Rebecca Young

Instrumentalists: Chanel Bluntschly & Michael Byndas (saxophone), Alex Trotter (piano), Jaylynn Buchmelter & Cody Henderson (trombone)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Jazz at the Nest Returns April 25

Led by Dr. Scott Garlock, Professor of Music, the award-winning Ashland University Jazz Orchestra (AUJO) will present a free public concert on Tuesday, April 25 in the Hawkins-Conard Student Center’s Eagles Nest at 7:30 p.m. The Just Friends jazz combo will provide pre-concert music beginning at 7 p.m.

Join us as our amazing seniors perform their final AUJO concert. The concert will also premiere Dr. Garlock's Second in Line for Pumpernickel.

Audience members are welcome to grab a snack, enjoy a beverage and relax to the live music at this free public concert.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Spring Band Concert Celebrates Senior AU Band Members

Ashland University Department of Music presents its final band concert of the 2016-2017 academic year on Saturday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre with the annual Spring Band Concert. The Ashland Area Community Concert Band under the direction of Leonard Salvo, and the Ashland University Concert Band directed by Gary Ciulla will perform and senior Concert Band members will be recognized for their dedication and contribution to the AU Band program. Admission to the concert is complimentary, open to the public 

The Ashland Area Community Concert Band (AACCB) will open the concert with Prelude on an Old English Hymn op. 67 by Robert Sheldon which is based on the famous hymn All Creatures of Our God and King; followed by Vincent Persichetti's Pageant, a commissioned piece for the American Bandmaster's Association. The Community Band will then be joined by guest clarinetist Dr. Thomas Reed to perform Ernesto Cavallini's Adagio and Tarantella Solo for Clarinet and Band. AACCB will close their portion of the concert with the Nathan Hale Trilogy by James Curnow which was inspired by three significant points in the life of this legendary American hero from the Revolutionary War. 

After a brief intermission, the University Concert Band will perform a program beginning with the very popular and traditional march The Boys of the Old Brigade by American composer W. Paris Chambers, followed by David Holsinger's Nilesdance which is built on the expected ostinato and variations on a whimsical 13 1/2 beat melodic dance song. The band will then travel to Austria with Franz von Suppé’s Light Cavalry Overture from his operetta Light Cavalry. The concert will conclude with the simple charm of traditional Irish music with Jay Bocook's Kirkpatrick's Muse 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Student Ensembles Recital, April 19

On Wednesday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall, several student chamber ensembles perform including the saxophone, brass and string ensembles under the direction of Dr. Thomas Reed, Michael Metcalf and Jane Reed, respectively. Mr. Jeff Neitzke will lead the jazz combo on the program as well. The concert is free and open to the public.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Low Brass Senior Recitals, Navratil & Henderson, Apr. 9

Eileen Navratil and Cody Henderson will present their senior recitals on Sunday, April 9 with Navratil taking the stage at 5 p.m. on the euphonium and Henderson at 7 p.m. on trombone. Both will be accompanied by pianist Mark Koehler, The concerts are free and open to the public.

Eileen Navratil (Spokane, Washington) is a music performance major and political science minor. She assisted by saxophonist Jason Wolfe. Her recital program includes Michael A. Fisher's arrangement of Camille Saint-Saens' Romance Op. 36, Concerto for Bass Trombone by Elizabeth Raum, Maid of the Mist by Herbert L. Clarke, Piece Concertante by Samuel Rousseau, Variations on a March of Shostakovich by Arthur Frackenpohl along with movements 4 and 7 of Vladislav Blazhevich's Concert Duets for Two Trombones.

Cody Henderson (Bellevue) is a business administration major with an applied music minor. Selections for his concert are Sonata for Trombone and Piano by Richard A. Monaco, Pastorale for Tenor, Bass Trombone and Piano by Eric Ewazen, Sonata for Bass Trombone by Patrick PcCarty and Slippery Gentlemen by Harold L. Walters.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Bluntschly Junior Saxophone Recital, April 6

On Thursday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m., junior environmental science major and music minor Chanel Bluntschly (Ashland) will perform her junior recital on alto saxophone with pianist Susan Gregg. Her program will include Georg Philipp Telemann's Fantasia in A minor, Tableaux de Provence (Picture of Provence) by Paule Maurice, Laughing Gas by Jascha Gurewich, Valse Sonia and Saxophobia by Rudy Wiedoeft as well as Aleksandr Glazunov's Concerto in E-flat Major, Op. 109. The concert is free and open to the public.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Buchmelter Senior Trombone Recital, 3/26

Music education major Jaylynn Buchmelter (Wintersville) will perform her senior trombone recital on Sunday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall. She will be accompanied by pianist Mark Koehler and joined by guest performers Stefan Jonsson, piano; Garrett Rangel, bass; and Steve Berry, drums. Her program will be comprised of classic pieces such as Schubert's Winterreise  along with jazz selections including Horace Silver's Nira's Dream. The concert is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Choral Concert Presents Songs of Hope and Renewal

On Sunday, March 26 at 4 p.m. in the Jack and Deb Miller Chapel, a spring choral concert will present a program titled "Deep Peace: Songs of Hope and Renewal." The concert will feature selections from the Ashland University Women's Chorus under the direction of Kimberly Wolbert, and the Ashland Area Chorus, directed by Elizabeth Slade, along with a joint performance by the two ensembles at the end of the concert of John Rutter's A Gaelic Blessing.

Accompanied by Susan Gregg on piano, the Women's Chorus will sing Jubilate Deo by Rebecca te Velde, Pur Ti Mior edited by Dr. Ann Small and Hope Is the Thing with Feathers by Susan LaBarr based on the text by Emily Dickinson. A special ensemble comprised of Victoria Miller, Keeleigh Myers, Morgan Tinnirello along with soloist BeBe Ciupak and percussionist Dave Wolbert will perform the traditional Swahili song Nishike mkono Bwana as arranged by Alex Gartner.

Ashland Area Chorus will present Carl Schalk's arrangement of Mendelssohn's Grant Peace, We PrayUbi caritas, No.1 from Quatre motets sur des thèmes grégoriens by Maurice Duruflé, Alice Parker's arrangement of Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal, and Moses Hogan's I'm Gonna Sing 'Til the Spirit Moves In My Heart featuring tenor soloist Tyler McKinney. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Kelly & Wise Junior Recital, 3/23

On Thursday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m., music education majors Rachel Parfitt Kelly (Columbus) and Hannah Wise (Hartville) will perform their junior recital in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall. Both sopranos will be accompanied by pianist Deb Logan and joined by guest vocalists Jacob Markley, baritone and Jacob Poiner, tenor. The program will include several musical theatre selections from shows such as Mame, White Christmas, Cinderella, Shrek, The Addams Family, Seussical, Spamalot and more. The concert is free and open to the public.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Ashland Co. Middle School Instrumentalists Recognized

In Celebration of Music in Our Schools Month, Ashland University Department of Music will host the annual Ashland County Middle School Honors Band on Sunday, March 19 at 4:00 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre. The Ashland University Concert Band will be the featured guest ensemble conducted by Gary Ciulla, Ashland University Director of Bands. Lori Ciulla, former director of bands at Copley-Fairlawn Middle School, will conduct the middle school honors band.

Consisting of 75 members, the Ashland County Middle School Honors Band includes seventh and eighth grade students from Ashland, Crestview, Hillsdale, Loudonville-Perrysville and Mapleton Schools.  Members of the Ashland County Band Directors Association meet with Gary Ciulla and Ashland's Martin Kral, this year’s chairman, to plan the program. The committee of band directors selects the honors band members based on merit and instrumentation needs of the band. Students meet at Ashland University on Thursday, March 16 and Sunday, March 19 to rehearse and present this program with music ranging from classical selections to traditional marches.

The 65-member Ashland University Concert Band will open the concert with a cameo program of wonderful but unusual music chosen especially to highlight the day including Keith Brion's arrangement of John Philip Sousa's The Pathfinder of Panama, Prelude of Band by Claude T. Smith, The Ascension by Robert W. Smith, and Movement IV of Divertimento for Winds and Percussion by Roger Cichy. 

The combination of these two bands make for a rewarding, exciting and satisfying musical experience for both the performers and the audience. Admission is free and open to the public.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Bergeron Headlines Maplerock Jazz Festival

Ashland University’s award-winning jazz program is proud to present the 2017 Maplerock Jazz Festival slated for Friday, March 17. Along with free performances by area high school jazz ensembles from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the event presents a main stage concert at 7:30 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre which features one of the most sought-after musicians in the world, jazz trumpeter Wayne Bergeron.

Bergeron will perform as the headliner of the Jazz Festival's evening concert which will open with the Ashland University Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Scott Garlock. Dan Pugach, drums; Jay Miglia, saxophone; and Chris Anderson, trombone will join Bergeron as guest artists on the evening program. When asked about hosting an artist of Bergeron's magnitude, Garlock exclaimed, "We are ecstatic to host and present the World's Greatest high trumpet player. Everyone wants him and he is coming to Ashland. He is also a great entertainer on the microphone, too." 

From his early career years as the lead trumpet chair with Maynard Ferguson’s band, Bergeron earned high marks from Maynard who remarked, “Wayne is the most musical lead trumpet player I’ve had on my band.” 

His endless list of performance and recording credits have soared ever since.  As a sideman, Bergeron’s list of recording credits reads like a who’s who in contemporary jazz and pop, running the stylistic gamut from Ray Charles to Green Day, Beyoncé, Barbra Streisand, Michael Buble, Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, Earth Wind & Fire, The Pussy Cat Dolls, Chicago, Rosemary Clooney, Barry Manilow, Lee Ann Womack and more. 

He has worked on over 350 TV and motion picture soundtracks including Moana, Frozen, Bridge of Spies, Despicable Me 1 & 2, Marley & Me, Get Smart, Superman Returns, The Simpson’s Movie, Dreamgirls, Hairspray, Catch Me if You Can, and South Park.  His featured trumpet solos can be heard on the motion pictures La La Land, Minions, Jersey Boys, The Incredibles, Rocky Balboa, The Green Hornet and The Rat Pack, just to name a few. A short list of his numerous TV credits include NBC, ESPN & TNT sports themes, the major entertainment award shows, Entertainment Tonight Theme, Family Guy, Jeopardy, America’s Funniest Home Videos, King of the Hill and Hey Arnold.

Bergeron has been principle trumpet at the Pantages Theatre for over 15 years and is regularly featured with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. He has done guest appearances with the L.A. Philharmonic, The New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra. Maybe Grammy winning composer and bandleader, Gordon Goodwin said it best, “Wayne is a once in a lifetime lead trumpet player.”

Joining Bergeron is Brooklyn-based drummer and composer Dan Pugach, who is originally from Israel and served his mandatory three-year military duty as the drummer of the Air-Force Orchestra. Described as “Rock-solid on drums" by Frank Alkyer in Downbeat magazine, Pugach works full-time as a drummer among artists that vary in genres. His work has gained him a reputation of one of the most versatile and sought-after drummers in New York City. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Berklee College of Music and his Master’s from the City College of New York.

Guest saxophonist Jay Maglia performs regularly in the Famous Jazz Orchestra and Columbus Jazz Orchestra and is a member of the Black Swamp Saxophone Quartet, one of the few enduring professional saxophone quartets in the United States While pursuing his degrees in jazz and classical saxophone performance from the University of North Texas, he performed on several recordings with instrumental and vocal jazz ensembles including the acclaimed One O'Clock Jazz Band. Maglia has held teaching positions in saxophone and jazz studies at the University of Toledo, Bowling Green State University, Ohio Northern University and the Toledo School for the Arts, and is currently on the faculties of Otterbein University and Capital University.

Trombonist Chris Anderson has played in idioms spanning classical, Latin, jazz and gospel. In addition to writing and performing many different styles of music, He has won various local and national competitions and has performed with groups including the Canton Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and the Jazz Heritage Orchestra. Anderson currently works with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District through the All-City Arts Program and is an instructor at The Music Settlement and Cuyahoga Community College. 

These four guest artists will workshop directly with the eight high school bands that will perform earlier in the day in Hugo Young Theatre. After each high school band performs their 30-minute concert, the guest artists will meet with the band and offer their expertise to strengthen the ensemble and individual musician's performance. The Jazz Festival's afternoon performances begin at 11:30 a.m. with the Rittman High School Jazz Band, followed at 12 p.m. with Ashland High School Jazz Band BHudson High School Jazz Ensemble II at 12:30 p.m., Lake High School Jazz Band at 1 p.m., Ashland Jazz Band A at 1:30 p.m., Hudson Jazz Ensemble I at 2 p.m., Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School Jazz Ensemble at 2:30 p.m., and Galion High School Jazz Band presents the final high school performance at 3 p.m.

The afternoon performances are free and open to the public while tickets for the evening concert are available through the Ashland University Box Office at 419.289.5125, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, or online (additional fees apply) at  Tickets for the evening concert are $10 for adults; $5 for senior citizens, non-Ashland University students and Ashland University faculty and staff; and free for Ashland University students.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Junior Recital: Nikolaus Psota, trumpet

Junior criminal justice and psychology major Nikolaus Psota of Hinckley will perform a trumpet recital accompanied by pianist Susan Gregg. His concert program will include G. F. Handel's Aria con Variazion, Trumpet Concertos by Joseph Haydn and Alexander Goedicke, and Halsey Stevens' Sonata for Trumpet and Piano. The concert is free and open to the public.