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Music Faculty Achievements


Jim Bates enjoyed several guest conducting engagements through the last year including the New Albany (OH)/Gahanna Lincoln Orchestra Festival last spring, the OMEA District 4 Music Festival and the Harry Alexander Music Festivals in spring 2014. At the end of September Jim served as the guest conductor for Classical Mandolin Society’s En Masse Orchestra during their convention in Regina, Canada. As part of that performance his new mandolin orchestra arrangement of Canadian Folk Melodies was premiered. He led the Westerville Symphony in its Holiday program in December. During the summer 2013 he was on the conducting faculty of the Interlochen Arts Camp for the 15th summer! Jim also served as a clinician for the Central Ohio String Invitational and the Kentucky Music Educators Orchestra Contest in Louisville, KY. He presented two clinic sessions at the American String Teachers Association’s national conference last spring in Providence, RI and will present sessions at ASTA again this spring and at OMEA this February. As a performer he plays with The Early Interval and has performed on the Early Music Columbus’ subscription series as part of their 12th Night Celebrations and spring concert series. Dr. Bates continues to play in the Westerville Symphony as principal bass, and is a conductor for the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestras. He serves locally on the board of the Friends of Early Music, is an elected board member of the Ohio String Teachers Association, and is on the national board of The Classical Mandolin Society of America. Dr. Bates will be his spring 2014 sabbatical with a research trip to Vienna, Austria.

Dr. Amy Chivington attended the NACADA, The Global Community for Academic Advising, National Conference in Arizona last summer. She represented the Personnel Committee at the conference and is a member of the Advising Committee at Otterbein. She has been promoted by Pearson to Supervisor of the EdTpa initiative and facilitates the evaluation of porfolios required for perfoming arts licensure nationally. Dr. Chivington is the advisor for Ottertuned, a new student run acappella group that sings throughout Central Ohio and supports music education and raises funds for community charities.

Voice instructor Jamie Flora will be performing the role of Laurie in Mark Adamo's 1998 opera, Little Women. He will perform this in March with Opera on the James in Lynchburg, VA. Mr. Flora has been hired to perform Alfredo in Verdi's masterwork La Traviata in Vermont with Opera Company Middlebury. This is a reengagement with this company as he worked there in 2012. The performances will take place in October.

In the summer of 2013, flute professor Dr. Kimberlee Goodman presented a lecture recital at the College Music Society's International Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In July of 2013 Dr. Goodman once again taught a course for the Lifelong Learner's program presented at Central Ohio Technical College in Pataskala. This course and program are geared towards students ages 60 years and older. Dr. Kimberlee Goodman performed along with Dr. Jennifer Merkowitz at the National Flute Association convention in New Orleans, Louisiana in August. The duo performed "Phyllotaxis" for flute and MAX/MSP composed by Merkowitz. And in November of 2013 Dr. Goodman presented a presentation at the FALCON conference for part time and adjunct faculty in Indianapolis, IN entitled "From Paperless to Nirvana".

In November, Katie Graber presented a paper at the national conference of the Society for Ethnomusicology called "The Race of Bel Canto." It focused on perceptions and performances of race, nationality, and sociocultural evolution in nineteenth-century opera.

Lori Kay Harvey, a former member of the voice faculty at Otterbein and current musical director of the musical theatre program, will venture out from the piano bench back to the stage this Spring to play the lead role of Diana Goodman in the Pulitzer Prize and three time Tony award winning musical, Next to Normal. The musical tells the story of a suburban family dealing with a mother's escalating bipolar disorder.  The production will be produced by SRO Theatre Company and will run at the Van Fleet theatre in downtown Columbus from March 13-22. The production will be directed by Mark Seamon, an associate professor of theatre at Denison University, and music directed by an Otterbein alum, Bryn Sowash. 

Jesse Heetland completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in trumpet performance and pedagogy at the University of Oklahoma in April of 2013; his dissertation is titled "An Annotated Bibliography of Published Compositions for One Trumpet and Organ, 1998-2008." During the summer, he engineered the final mix of Columbus' Mayor Coleman's rap "I Can," which received national exposure. He also wrote and produced a jingle for Moo Moo Express Car Wash, which will air on local Columbus TV stations in the spring of 2014.

Jack Jenny continues as a percussionist with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. Especially memorable performances this past year included Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps and Ravel’s Rapsodie espagnole (a collaboration with BalletMet), Berlioz’s Symphony fantastique, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection”), Lieberson’s Neruda Songs, and Messiaen’s Les Offrandes Oubliées under Jean-Marie Zeitouni; Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, and Prokoviev’s music from his ballet Romeo and Juliet under Michael Stern; and in the summer Picnic-with-the-Pops series, performances with Kansas and Pink Martini. Dr. Jenny also performed this year with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra and he once again judged the composition competition, senior division, of the Ohio PTA Reflections Program.

Dr. Jennifer Bernard Merkowitz, Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition, had a number of new works and performances this year.  In February 2013, Joseph Van Hassel, percussionist, presented a guest recital at Otterbein of works that he had commissioned, including Merkowitz’s And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon. Mr. Van Hassel went on to perform the program at numerous colleges around Ohio.  Isaac Uses the Computer, a one-minute piece for solo flute, was selected for Jacqueline Martelle’s “15 Minutes of Fame” concert at Jan Hus Presbyterian Church in New York City on May 12.  In August, Dr. Merkowitz and Dr. Kimberlee Goodman traveled to New Orleans, LA for a performance of Phyllotaxis (2009) for flute and electronics at the National Flute Association Convention. Finally, this fall Dr. Merkowitz completed her sabbatical project, a piece for Concert Choir using texts of former Otterbein professor and children’s poet J. Patrick Lewis.  As part of her sabbatical, she spent two weeks in residence at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Amherst, VA to immerse herself in composing. The piece will be premiered at Concert Choir’s March 9 concert and will be part of their spring tour to Chicago.

During 2013, Saxophone Instructor and Jazz Area Coordinator Jay Miglia performed several concerts with the Black Swamp Saxophone Quartet, including a world premiere at the International Composers Guild Symposium. His concert appearances also include multiple shows around the Midwest with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, Direct Energy, and a concert tour of Washington state with the Otterbein Wind Ensemble. Jay completed arranging commissions from Pete Mills and Lisa Imondi, and appeared on her CD, A Million Miles. Jay stayed busy as an educator as well, appearing at Denison University, the Chamber Music Connection, and high schools and music retailers around central Ohio to perform masterclasses. He adjudicated saxophone auditions for the OMEA All-State Jazz Ensemble, and continued his long relationship as a teacher for the Columbus Jazz Arts Group and the Cranbrook Academy in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Dr. Suzanne Newcomb continues performing in several of Columbus’ local orchestras. One highlight was last year’s New Albany Symphony Orchestra concert, where she played harpsichord in between cellists David Finckel and Luis Biava in the Vivaldi Double Concerto. She also performed in First Community Church’s concert celebrating Benjamin Britten’s 100th birthday, playing for tenor C. Andrew Blosser in Canticle II and with orchestra and the Columbus Children’s Choir in Psalm 150. Suzanne attended the Frances Clark Piano Pedagogy Conference in Chicago in July 2013 as well as the Ohio Music Teachers Association Conference at CCM in September. She continues to adjudicate for the annual Columbus Symphony Orchestra Young Musician’s competition.

On March 23, Nick Ross, Director of Keyboard Studies, presented a paper on Haydn, Mozart and the golden section at the CMS regional conference in Dayton, Ohio. In June Ross organized the first Otterbein Summer Music Experience, a summer camp resigned for high school students. During the summer, Ross also completed the first draft of a book on the golden section in piano music, during a break from piano playing while recovering from an injury. On October 19, Ross performed Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor with the Westerville Symphony conducted by Peter Stafford Wilson. Most recently, the first concert in a series of collaborations with Irish artist Maurice Quillinan was presented at Otterbein University on January 15, in which Ross played solo works by Debussy and Kent Holliday. This program will be played throughout Ireland in the academic year 2014-15, beginning with a series of concerts in the Galway Arts festival in July.

Dr. Caroline B. Salido-Barta is an active member of the Ohio Music Teachers Association-Central East District, where she currently chairs for the Solo & Ensemble Recitals and recently was a conductor for Pianorama in November 2013.  She also continues to be an active orchestral pianist with the Central Ohio Symphony in Delaware, Ohio.  She has also served as judge for Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra's Concerto Competition since 2009, the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs and the Solo & Ensemble Contests in the Columbus area.  Recent performances include an all-Bach recital sponsored by the Marion Palace Theater's Palace Cultural Arts Association, held in Marion, Ohio.  In addition as of September 2013, she was appointed music director and pianist/organist for St. Paul United Church of Christ near Merion Village. Dr. Salido-Barta continues to teach from her private piano studio, The Piano Arts Studio, with regular recitals throughout the year.

Margaret Underwood, Director of Bands, has been invited to present at the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) North Central Regional Conference at Ball State University in February 2014. Dr. Underwood will be one of the presenters in the Chosen Gems session, where she will be conducting the Ball State University Wind Ensemble. Dr. Underwood will also be guest conducting honor bands in Marion and Lima, OH. In November, she traveled with the wind ensemble to Seattle, WA to perform at the Western International Band Clinic. While there she worked with the Mount Si and Mount Tahoma high school bands. Dr. Underwood's work on Robert Kurka's The Good Soldier Schweik Suite was recently cited by Frank Battisti in his book Winds of Change II.

Director of Choral Activities Gayle Walker has completed her sabbatical composition, a three movement work for chorus entitled "Three Songs on the Poetry of Paul Lawrence Dunbar. The work will be premiered by the Otterbein Concert Choir on Sunday, March 9, Church of the Messiah in Westerville, at 7:00pm. The choir will also perform the work on their tour to Chicago March 14-19. This spring, Dr. Walker was elected President of the Central Division of the American Choral Directors Association, and has since been busy planning the 2016 ACDA Central Division Conference. On February 6 she will present "Into Intonation: Prepare Your Choir to Sing in Tune" at the Ohio Music Education Association Conference.

In May 2013, Jennifer Whitehead of the voice faculty received her Doctorate of Musical Arts from The Ohio State University in voice with a singing health specialization. In addition to her duties teaching voice at Otterbein, Dr. Whitehead often speaks on vocal health topics and frequently collaborates with the OSU vocal health clinic in helping to rehabilitate singers recovering from vocal injuries.

In July 2013, guitar instructor Karl Wohlwend, with flute instructor Dr. Kimberlee Goodman, released The Frame, a new recording featuring a commission by composer Garrett Ian Shatzer as well as works by Carulli, Feld, Takemitsu, and Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Mr. Wohlwend was also invited to teach and perform at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music's Summer Classical Guitar Workshop. He maintains an active free-lance teaching and performing schedule around Central Ohio, and is the director of Jazz/Improvisation workshops for the Chamber Music Connection. In October, he appeared with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra in a performance of Friderich Gulda's Concerto for 'Cello and Wind Orchestra, featuring cellist Mark Moskovitz. Mr. Wohlwend has recently completed a recording of 19th-century guitar duets with noted guitarist and scholar, Stanley Yates. The recording will be available in the summer of 2014.