Ashland University Presents Concert Honoring Area Junior High Instrumentalists

Ashland University Presents Concert Honoring Area Junior High Instrumentalists

3/19/13 ASHLAND, Ohio - In Celebration of Music in Our Schools Month, Ashland University Department of Music will host the annual Ashland County Junior High School Honors Band on Sunday, March 24, at 4 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre with the Ashland University Concert Band as the featured guest ensemble. Leonard Salvo, Ashland University director of bands, will conduct both bands.

Consisting of 75 members, the Ashland County Junior High Honors Band includes seventh and eighth grade students from Ashland, Crestview, Hillsdale, Loudonville-Perrysville and Mapleton middle schools. Members of the Ashland County Band Directors Association meet with Leonard Salvo 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 21, and Sunday, March 24, 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. The Junior High School Honors Band will perform following the University Concert Band’s program.

Guest artist Jeff Neitzke, xylophone, will be featured with the Concert Band in "Rainbow Ripples." Neitzke is the adjunct percussion professor at Ashland University and at Mt. Union College, and is also coordinator of the Canton Symphony Steel Band and Percussion programs.

As a performer, Neitzke has been a member of such orchestras as the Champaign-Urbana Symphony, Sinfonia da Camera, the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, the Akron Symphony Orchestra, and is currently the principal timpanist of the Ashland Symphony Orchestra. As well as his orchestral experience, Neitzke has been involved in several other musical organizations. Neitzke is a founding member of the Akron based Akros Percussion Collective, a contemporary percussion septet focused on performing seldom played and recently composed percussion works. He also has a strong world music background, and has performed in such steel bands as I-Pan Steel Groove, the 7 Mile Isle Steel Drum Band, and in 2002, with the Phase II Pan Groove under the direction of Len “Boogsie” Sharpe in the Trinidad National Panorama Steel Band Competition.

Neitzke has also been accompanying dance for several years, including the Cleveland State Dance Department and Dance Company. He regularly performs as a freelance percussionist in the Northeast Ohio area, encompassing jazz, funk, pop, chamber, contemporary music, and choral ensembles. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Illinois under Tom Siwe and Bill Moersch, and his Master’s Degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Akron under Dr. Larry Snider.

The combination of these two bands and guest percussionist make for a rewarding, exciting and satisfying musical experience for both the performers and the audience. Admission is complimentary and a recording can be ordered.

For more information about the concert or for a spring schedule of music department events, visit www.ashland.edu/music or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419-289-5950 or tapplega@ashland.edu.     

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2013, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###

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