New Director Takes Over Ashland Area Chorus

New Director Takes Over Ashland Area Chorus

7/29/13 ASHLAND, Ohio - After 15 years of existence, the Ashland Area Chorus will see its first change in directorship this fall. Dr. Ron Blackley, professor of music at Ashland University, is passing the baton to Elizabeth Slade, adjunct instructor of music at Ashland University.

An Ashland resident since 2006, Slade teaches musicianship classes at AU, directs the choir and leads worship music at First United Methodist Church, and has frequently sung with the Ashland Area Chorus.

Slade received her bachelor’s degree in music and French from the University of Virginia and her master’s degree from Harvard University. She has conducted numerous choruses on the east coast, including the Mary Baldwin College Choir and the Virginia Women’s Chorus.

In addition, she has an extensive background as a professional chorister, soloist and teacher of voice.

The AU Department of Music is pleased to have found a conductor with such a fine background, and looks forward to many years of Libby Slade's leadership of the Ashland Area Chorus,” Blackley said.

Thriving on a mission of singing great music beautifully, the ensemble performs regularly as part of Ashland University choral concerts, annually in collaboration with the Ashland Symphony Orchestra, for the Ohio Choral Directors Association, and by invitation with the Central Ohio Symphony.

Singers have come from the greater Ashland area, but also Richland, Medina, Wayne, Holmes and Crawford counties as well. The group sings both accompanied and a cappella choral music mainly drawn from the classical canon.

Rehearsals for the 2013-2014 season of the Ashland Area Chorus will commence on Monday, Aug. 19, at 7 p.m. in Room 242 of the Center for the Arts on the Ashland University campus and are open to all interested singers. For further information, contact Slade at or 419-685-5460.

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 ( 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. ###