AU Spectrum Series Announces Season of Christmas in Ragtime, Violinists from Carnegie to Nashville & Circus Feats

The DePue Brothers Band offering a vivid blend of classical, blues, rock and bluegrass music
10/23/13 ASHLAND, Ohio - The 34th annual Ashland University Spectrum Series will offer multiple main stage performances, daytime matinees for schools and senior facilities and free artist workshops in the 2013-2014 season.
The series begins by traveling back in time with the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra presenting their holiday program “'Round the Christmas Tree”; continues with the DePue Brothers Band offering a vivid blend of classical, blues, rock and bluegrass music; and closes with the highly physical and entertaining Zany Umbrella Circus as they perform “Cake.” 
For more than three decades, the Spectrum Series has brought world-class talent to Ashland, Ohio, by presenting nationally known artists and programs to provide thought-provoking programming while expanding the cultural perspectives of the audience. The Series strives to educate, entertain and inspire its audience members, and instill the belief that the arts are fundamental to our humanity as they build bridges between cultures and bring us together.  
By enhancing cultural experiences for the Ashland community and surrounding areas with administration from the Ashland University College of Arts & Sciences and supplemental funding from the Office of Student Affairs, the Series has been awarded additional grant support from the National Endowment for the Arts; the Ohio Arts Council with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans; and the Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, a program developed and funded by The Heinz Endowments, the William Penn Foundation, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency, and The Pew Charitable Trusts with administration by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. 
This diverse season of programs begins on Friday, Dec. 6, at 10 a.m. with a workshop on the history of early cinema and film underscoring. Rick Benjamin, leading conductor of music for silent film with more than 600 screenings to his credit, will lead participants on a journey to the early 20th Century when downtown Ashland was home to several silent movie houses as the cultural center for all ages in the community. At 1:30 p.m., Conductor Benjamin will lead the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra in an intergenerational matinee performance of “’Round the Christmas Tree” for area schools and senior citizen facilities. 
The Orchestra’s visit to Ashland will conclude with their main stage performance of “’Round the Christmas Tree” at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, in Hugo Young Theatre. This stylish and warm-hearted tribute to America’s Holiday musical traditions features familiar Christmas songs and carols from their original 19th century scores, along with novelties including a ragtime version of the “Nutcracker Suite” and sparkling instrumental and vocal soloists. As a finale, the Orchestra accompanies a screening of one of the world’s first Christmas movies from 1905 by Thomas Edison.
On Friday, March 14, the DePue Brothers Band arrives in Ashland while their percussionist Don Liuzzi offers a percussion/timpani clinic for area percussionists at 1 p.m. in the Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall. The next day, the band will offer a special afternoon concert for those in senior citizen facilities in Hugo Young Theatre, as they share their virtuosity and joy of music-making for all to tap their toes and sing-along.
The main stage concert will be held on Saturday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre featuring pieces from Pachelbel’s Canon in D to Rouse’s “Orange Blossom Special.” Coming together with banjo player Tony Trischka, guitarist Mark Cosgrove, percussionist Don Liuzzi and a variety of bass players, the four violinist DePue brothers have performed from Carnegie Hall to the Grand Ole Opry. 
This iconic musical family originating from Bowling Green, Ohio, is an entertainment powerhouse. Each brother is a classical virtuoso in his own right, and brings rich and diverse talents to their sound. As a family, they have been making music together for over 25 years. They were named Musical Family of America in 1989 by presidential decree, were the subject of a nationally televised PBS documentary in 1993, and two brothers (Jason and Zach) were featured in the documentary film titled “Music from the Inside Out” in 2005.
The Zany Umbrella Circus won’t be bringing their circus tent to Ashland, but will perform a school matinee on Friday, March 28, at 9 a.m., and an evening main stage performance at 7:30 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre. Their performances will showcase their original show “Cake,” which is a visual storybook acted onstage combining bold colors and 1950s era stylings.
The show focuses on a young child who anticipates an exciting birthday surprise, but things do not go as planned. Hijinks ensue as the family attempts to recover, discovering that magic can be found in mishap. This delightful and highly physical show integrates aerial, trapeze, clowning, mask work and other circus feats. The performers also will offer an acting master class on Thursday, March 27, at 10:50 a.m., which is free and open to the public. Participants will learn performance techniques for acting through a mask including neutral, larval and Commedia dell'Art masks.
Season tickets are now available for the above performances at the Ashland University Box Office. Season tickets include admission to all three mainstage shows with at least a 20 percent discount to single ticket prices. Season tickets for all three performances are $28 for adults; and $23 for senior citizens, non- Ashland University students and Ashland University faculty/staff. Single tickets are $15 for adults; $12 for senior citizens, non-Ashland University students, University faculty/staff; $10 for groups of 10 or more; and $2 for Ashland University students with ID.
To purchase season or individual tickets, contact the Ashland University Box Office by phone at 419-289-5125, or in person in the lobby of Hugo Young Theatre located at the corner of College Avenue and Grant Street. Hours are Monday through Friday, 12 to 6 p.m. Tickets are also available on-line at where additional fees apply. For more information, visit the Web site at or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419-289-5950 or
Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( 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. ###