"Club Swing" Show Celebrates Big Band Era Through Theatre And Music

"Club Swing" Show Celebrates Big Band Era Through Theatre And Music

2/13/13 ASHLAND, Ohio - The 2012-2013 Ashland University Spectrum Series continues with the nationally acclaimed vocal ensemble Five by Design and its eight-piece big band performing their "Club Swing" show on Tuesday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m. at Hugo Young Theatre.

Produced by the College of Arts and Sciences, Ashland University’s premiere Spectrum Series presents internationally recognized figures in the arts to enhance cultural experiences for the University community and surrounding areas. The Spectrum Series is made possible with support from The Ohio Arts Council with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans, and the Ashland University Activities Budget and Chartering Committee.

Five by Design's production of "Club Swing" celebrates the songs, events and personalities that defined American popular culture during the Swing era. Enchanting audiences by deftly blending music and theatrics effortlessly, the show follows the rise and fall of the big band era from 1937-1955 at the fictional Hotel Crosby, “where the music’s hot, the drinks are cool, and the legend lives forever.”

A long forgotten neon sign flares to life illuminating palm trees and the art deco bar magically restoring Club Swing to her former splendor. So check your coat and grab a seat for a night of unparalleled delight at the fabulous Club Swing from the frenetic-paced opening of Benny Goodman’s “Bugle Call Rag” to the show’s blockbuster finale of Louis Prima’s “Sing, Sing, Sing.”

Premiering in 2001 in Baltimore, “Club Swing” was filmed at Eau Claire's State Theatre (Wisconsin) and broadcast over the Wisconsin Public Television Network in August 2012. The show is currently on a Midwest Tour in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas and Ohio. The Minnesota-based Five By Design includes Lorie Carpenter-Niska, Catherine Farr-Scott, Kurt Niska, Michael Swedberg and Terrence Niska. Four of the members have been singing together since 1986. The group’s familial ties include brothers Terrence and Kurt Niska and the husband-wife duo of Kurt and Lorie Niska and childhood collaborator, Michael Swedberg.

In addition to their evening performance, Five by Design will present a vocal fundamentals and singing as a business workshop on Monday, March 4, from 10 to 11:50 a.m., in room 242 of the Center for the Arts (formerly Arts and Humanities Building). The workshop is free and open to the public. Based on their 15 years of touring experience with not a single missed performance, the vocal ensemble will speak to the importance of vocal health and developing vocal fundamentals including topics of diet, vocal exercises, breath support and vowel formation. They will also share some of the resources for developing the business side of a career and talk about the importance of a balanced education.

Tickets for the evening performance are $15 for adults; $12 for senior citizens, students, Ashland University faculty and staff; $10 for groups of 10 or more; and $2 for Ashland University students with identification. All tickets can be purchased through the Ashland University Box Office at 419.289.5125, noon to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, or online (additional fees apply) at www.ashland.edu/tickets.

For more information about the Spectrum Series’ performances and workshops, visit www.ashland.edu/spectrum 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.