Paragon Ragtime Orchestra Brings America's Favorite Holiday Music to Ashland

Paragon Ragtime Orchestra Brings America's Favorite Holiday Music to Ashland

11/14/13 ASHLAND, Ohio - The 34th annual Ashland University Spectrum Series begins by traveling back in time to the 19th century with the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra presenting its holiday program titled “'Round the Christmas Tree” on Friday, Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre.

This stylish and warm-hearted tribute to America’s Holiday musical traditions features favorite selections from the theatres, ballrooms, grand mansions and humble hearthsides of the Victorian era. The production will include 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 to the concert, the Orchestra accompanies a screening of one of the world’s first Christmas silent films from 1905 by Thomas Edison.

In addition to the main stage concert, the Orchestra's conductor Rick Benjamin will present a free workshop on the history of early cinema and film underscoring on Friday, Dec. 6, at 10 a.m. on the Hugo Young Theatre stage. 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.

Area schools, senior citizen organizations and other groups are invited to a special one-hour matinee performance of “’Round the Christmas Tree” on Dec. 6 at 1:30 p.m. Admission for this intergenerational matinee performance is $2 per person. Reservations should be made directly with Tricia Applegate at 419.289.5950 to secure group seating.

Season tickets are now available for the entire Spectrum Series at the Ashland University Box Office. Season tickets include admission to all three main stage 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

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. 

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. ###