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Spring 2014 Department of Music News


Band News
The band students have been extremely busy this fall. The Cardinal Marching Band had another successful season performing for a variety of events, which included numerous home football games, alumni receptions, and athletic recognitions. An especially noteworthy performance occurred on September 28 when the Cardinal Band was personally invited by Governor John Kasich to perform for a private event at the Governor's residence in Bexley, Ohio. On November 2, the Cardinal Band hosted its inaugural "High School All-Star Invitational", where the Band welcomed over fifty high school students into its ranks and performed for the sell-out crowd at the football game against cross town rival Capital University.

The Cardinal Band is also in the process of completing its 2014 Sampler CD, which will contain highlights from this past 2013 season, as well as hits from the upcoming 2014 schedule!

The Wind Ensemble was invited to perform at the Western International Band Clinic in Seattle, WA on November 22, 2013. The group flew to Seattle on November 19th and performed at Mount Si High School and at Mount Tahoma High School and had the opportunity to work with CW2 Scott Pierson, conductor of the 133rd Washington National Army Guard Band. The wind ensemble gave a beautiful performance at the conference performing for an audience of about 400 people. We would like to thank Gary Tirey, The Vida Clements Foundation, Dennis Davenport, OCMEA, KKP and the entire department for their tremendous assistance in this venture.

The band area will once again be hosting the High School Honor Band March 28-30, 2014. We are looking forward to having Gary Green, Director of Bands at University of Miami, as this year’s guest conductor. We look forward to hosting about 65 high school students for a terrific weekend of music making.

Choir News
This year's Concert Choir Tour will be to Chicago March 14-18, and will include the following performances: Sunday, March 9, 7 p.m. at Church of the Messiah in Westerville; Friday, March 14, 7:30 p.m. at Mechanicsburg United Methodist Church in Mechanicsburg; Saturday, March 15, 7 p.m. Oak Harbor High School in Oak Harbor; Sunday, March 16, 7 p.m. Grace United Methodist Church in Naperville, Illinois; Tuesday, March 18, 7 p.m. at Forest Park United Methodist Church in Ft. Wayne, IN; Wednesday, March 19, at 7 p.m. First Presbyterian Church in Marion, Ohio. We will be joined by the choirs of Gahanna Lincoln High School (March 9) and Oak Harbor High School (March 15), conducted by alumni Jeremy Lahman and Russ Raber. The choir will perform the premiers of works by two Otterbein faculty composers, Dr. Jenny Merkowitz and Dr. Gayle Walker.

Musical Theatre Happenings
Our spring musical is The Full Monty. Based on the 1997 film, The Full Monty follows a gang of out-of-work steel mill workers in Buffalo, NY, who decide to provide some “special” entertainment for their wives and the community in order to make some quick cash. These blue-collar men will strip for cash, a la the Chippendales, even without the rock-hard abs and chiseled jawlines. Watch as these lovable characters prepare for their big performance while working through their issues of stage fright, poor self-image, and anxiety and finding strength in their friendship and families. Click here for performance dates and ticket information.

The Otterbein Singers, under the direction of music department chairperson Dennis Davenport, will present a concert dedicated to the music of Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz, on Saturday, April 5, at 8 p.m., at Church of the Master UMC. Join us for choral selections, solos and small ensembles celebrating the music of shows like Godspell, Pippin, Children of Eden, Wicked and more!

Orchestra News
With Dr. Bates on sabbatical in Spring 2014, Mr. Steven Wedell will step up to the podium to lead the Otterbein University String Orchestra in programs of great stylistic variety. The concerts in February and May will both be at Grace Lutheran Church, the orchestra’s usual performance venue. Jena Huebner, assistant principal bass of the CSO will take charge of the bass studio this spring, and Mr. Doug Wright will teach string methods.

Piano Area News
We’ve had a very busy and productive semester in the piano area at Otterbein University. This year was remarkable for the size of the incoming piano class, with six freshman pianists joining the program. We are hoping to match or increase the size next year so please spread the word! We have some changes to our program this year as well: Dr. Suzanne Newcomb is now in charge of a chamber music class for our pianists. Every semester pianists will gain valuable ensemble experience, to help hone their skills for a working career in music after graduation. Next year our program will feature another new class, taught by Dr. Richard Lopez, that focuses on improvisation, harmonization and other functional skills for piano majors. Congratulations to last year’s graduating pianists, Michael Ferrara and T.C. Kincer. Michael is now enrolled at Bard College, where he is pursuing a graduate degree in conducting. T.C. is now working as a staff accompanist at Otterbein University.

Westerville Symphony at Otterbein University
The Westerville Symphony at Otterbein University is collaborating with the Otterbein University Choral staff and students for the first time in three years this spring. The two groups will be producing the rarely-produced A Sea Symphony, composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams, on Saturday, May 10 at 8 p.m. The final concert of the Symphony’s 2013-2014 season, A Sea Symphony (Symphony No. 1) combines Westerville’s two finest music groups to perform this very difficult, but awe-inspiring, work. Audience members can look forward to being swept away by this epic nautical masterpiece. Over a dozen Otterbein alumni from the Symphony are joining five Otterbein choirs at their alma mater, in Cowan Hall.

Continuing a long-standing tradition in the Westerville community, the Otterbein University combined choirs will join forces under the direction of Dr. Gayle Walker. Students in the Otterbein Concert Choir, Camerata, Otterbein Singers, Otterbein Women’s Chorale and the Otterbein Vocal Ensemble will lend their voices for the latest great collaboration between these two organizations. A Sea Symphony will be performed on Saturday, May 10 at 8 p.m. in the Fritsche Family Theatre in Cowan Hall, located at 30 S. Grove St., Westerville, Ohio. For ticket information, visit the Westerville Symphony website, or call 614-899-9000.