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Music Education Majors Receive Student Teaching Scholarships

The Edward E. MacTaggart Department of Music of Marietta College is proud to announce that senior music education majors, Nicholas Giebel ’11, and Mary Rizzardi ’11 , both from Pittsburgh, PA, were each awarded scholarships from the Ohio Foundation for Music Education, a division of the Ohio Music Education Association. Scholarships are awarded annually to assist music education students during their student teaching semester. Recipients were chosen through an application and essay competition. This year, four scholarships were awarded.

Giebel, an instrumental music education major, is student teaching at Marietta High School and Marietta Middle School under band directors, Ernie Cornell and Nick Marzola. Rizzardi, a vocal music education major, is student teaching with Elizabeth Thacker, choir director at Marietta High School and Marietta Middle School and with J. D. Benson, music teacher at Phillips Elementary School.

Marshall Kimball, advisor for the local chapter of the Collegiate Music Educators National Conference and also the state advisor for the Ohio Collegiate Music Educators National Conference, commented, “We are very pleased that two of our music education majors received these scholarships. Both individuals are very deserving and will represent the OFME well during their student teaching experience.”

“That two of the four scholarships for the state of Ohio went to Marietta College Music Education students speaks highly not only of the quality of our music education program, but of the students and faculty working in it,” says Dr. Daniel Monek, chairman of the Department of Music. “Both of these students are to be commended for the many years of hard work that these awards represent.”

Seven Marietta College Music Students Chosen for OPCICA Honor Band

The Edward E. MacTaggart Department of Music at Marietta College had seven student members of their Wind Ensemble selected to perform in the Honor Concert Band for the Ohio Private College Instrumental Conductors Association’s 24th annual Honor Band Festival, January 21-23, at Ashland University. The weekend was composed of rehearsals conducted by various directors from around Ohio. The festival concluded with a concert by the honor ensembles in the Hugo Young Theatre at Ashland University.

Marshall Kimball, Director of Bands at Marietta College, is President of the Ohio Private College Instrumental Conductors Association and serves as chair of the Honor Concert Band. Students chosen from Marietta College Wind Ensemble were; Jane Thomson’13 (Marietta, OH) French horn, Bridget Dean’12 (Rochester, MN) French horn, Greg Snyder’11 (Coolville, OH) alto saxophone, Caleb Drennon’14 (Parkersburg, WV) baritone saxophone, Ben Reese’13 (Marietta, OH) Clarinet, Hannah Tumolo’14 (Pittsburg, PA) trombone, and Peter Krutschnitt’12 (Brunswick, OH) Percussion. Students are nominated by their home college conductor.

Guest conductors for the honors ensembles are chosen from the participating institutions, thereby giving students an eclectic experience with conductors of different style, background, and technique. Peter Krutschnit, a music performance major, stated that the festival “was a great chance for us to meet other students and rehearse with several directors, all with different conducting styles. As a future professional percussionist, I try to learn as much from all of the people I meet at these events.” Guest conductors included: Robert Gibson, Ohio Dominican University, David Turrill, Muskingum University, Charles Bates, Ohio Northern University, Richard Elliott, The College of Mount St. Joseph and Brandon Jones, Wittenberg University

Marietta College Music Departments Celebrates the Legacy of J.S. Bach

Regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time and a pillar of the musical era that became known as the Baroque, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) and his music helped to form the foundation of the today’s Western music and from February 21st to February 27th, the Edward E. MacTaggart Department of Music and the Esbenshade Series at Marietta College holds a celebration of the music and influence of this pantheon of music history.

During the weeklong celebration, the department’s professors will be introducing work and projects about the music and life of Bach in their courses. “We hope this is the beginning of an annual event in which we explore and celebrate the music of a single composer across our curriculum,” says Department Chairman, Dr. Daniel Monek. “By its very design the week’s events lead students from study to performance and will help students not only experience all aspects of Bach’s music, but to see the many ways in which he still influences our music making today and to experience that music making with some of the world’s best performers.” The week will conclude with a series of concerts and masterclasses sponsored by both department and the Esbenshade series.

On February 24, the concert series begins with a performance by Tempesta di Mare (7:30pm in McDonough Auditorium). Tempesta di Mare performs baroque music on baroque instruments with what the Philadelphia City Paper describes as “zest and virtuosity that transcends style and instrumentation” and is the first and only American Baroque group to record with the prestigious British label Chandos. The group will present a program of instrumental works by Bach and his contemporaries.

On February 25 (7:30pm in McDonough Auditorium), Marietta College welcomes the return of soprano, Julianne Baird with harpsichordist, John Andrew Bailey. Dr. Baird has been hailed as a “national artistic treasure” (New York Times) and as a “well-nigh peerless performer in the repertory of the baroque,” and with over 130 recordings to her name is one of the world’s ten most recorded classical artists. Her recital, entitled Music for Hearth and Home: An Evening in the Home of J.S. Bach features music by Bach, his wife and sons and Bach’s most famous contemporary, Georg Frederic Handel.

On February 26 (10am in Hermann Fine Arts, room 217), Julianne Baird will present a masterclass with Marietta College’s vocal performance students on the music of Bach and his contemporaries.

On February 27 (7pm at St. Mary’s Catholic Church) to celebrate the conclusion of the week, the Marietta College Concert Choir and Oratorio Chorus will join forces with the River Cities Symphony Orchestra to present an evening of music by Bach including two of his Brandenburg Concertos under the direction of RCSO music

Marietta College Collegiate Music Education Association Chapter Receives National Recognition

The Edward E. MacTaggart Department of Music at Marietta College is pleased to announce that MENC: The National Association for Music Education has recognized its Collegiate Music Education Chapter for Collegiate Membership Chapter Growth. In a letter from the National MENC President Barbara L. Geer and the organization's National Collegiate Chairperson Richard C. Sang, the chapter was applauded for demonstrating “a level of dedication to the benefit of its members' professional development.”

According to chapter advisor, Marshall Kimball, “This is the second time our chapter has been recognized having received a similar recognition in 2008. It says a great deal about the quality of our music education majors and their commitment to training for the profession and interest in music as it enriches the lives of students everywhere.

The month of March has been nationally designated as Music In Our Schools month and the department's chapter has several events planned for the month to make people more aware of the importance of music in the overall education of students. The month long celebration and advocacy for the music education began on March 16 with a music advocacy discussion event with Linda Collins, Executive Director of Ohio Alliance for Arts Advocacy.

Marietta College CMENC chapter president, Casey Mercer (Music Education, '11) said, “We are excited about the growth of our chapter and the interest and activity level of all the members. Everyone takes a very active role and we are receiving great training for our future profession.”

“This recognition of the growth of our collegiate music education chapter represents more than just the continued expansion of our music education program,” says department chairman, Dr. Daniel Monek. “ It and the many Music in Our Schools months events organized by our students is an acknowledgement of the programs commitment to engage our students with their profession and to provide them with the tools necessary to become successful leaders in their profession.”


Marietta College Instrumentalists Chosen for Intercollegiate Concert Band

Five members of the Marietta College Wind Ensemble were recently selected to perform in the College Band Directors National Association North Central Division Intercollegiate Concert Band. The students chosen for this honor include Casey Mercer, alto saxophone (Wingett Run, OH), Greg Snyder, tenor saxophone (Coolville, OH), Jane Thomson, French horn (Marietta, OH), Julia Dreyer, oboe (Middleburg Heights, OH), and Bridget Dean, French horn, (Rochester, Minnesota).

The members of the band are chosen from colleges representing the states of Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. These instrumentalists will rehearse and perform under the baton of Myron Welch, retired Director of Bands and Professor of Music at the University of Iowa. Following three days of rehearsals, the Intercollegiate Concert Band will perform the final concert at the College Band Directors Nationals Association North Central Division Conference held on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois from February 25-28.

According to Marshall Kimball, Director of Bands and Instrumental Activities, "Marietta College has never been represented in this ensemble and the selection of these musicians gives serious recognition to the growth of the instrumental program and the quality of our students. Most of the colleges and universities represented in this ensemble are large schools but Marietta Colleges still has the second highest number of students selected for the ensemble with only the University of Wisconsin having more.”

“I think it will be a great experience to participate in ICB. We will get to meet fellow musicians from all over the division and expand on our experiences, skills, and musicianship” stated Bridget Dean.

The Edward E. MacTaggart Department of Music congratulates all of the students selected for this honor.

Assistant Music Professor and Music Education students launch Music Ensemble Research Project

Assistant Professor of Music Marshall C. Kimball and seven music education students recently launched a nationwide survey for a research project entitled “Attitude Toward Continued Music Ensemble Study K-12” at the Ohio Music Education Association Professional Development Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio on January 28, 2010.

Students involved in this research project are Casey Mercer (Wingett Run, OH), Greg Snyder (Coolville, OH), Olivia Wilson (Mechanicsville, MD), Mary Rizzardi (Latrobe, PA), Nick Giebel (Pittsburgh, PA), Peter Krutschnitt (Brunswick, OH), and Jessica Taulbee (Reynoldsburg, OH).

The goal of this research survey is to compile reasons why individuals choose to begin instrumental and/or vocal ensemble study and then later decide to either discontinue study or continue with study, even beyond graduation for high school and/or college. “This has been an interest of mine in recent years as I have watched the declining numbers in various music ensembles in the public and private school sector. Directors of performing ensembles are faced with students dropping from ensembles every year and also realize that the reasons given are often not the true reason. Through this anonymous survey it is hoped that we can collect enough “honest” data to come up with some of the principal reasons for the dropout rate. Just as important in the survey are questions to acquire information on what has kept other individuals involved in music ensembles through high school, college and perhaps adult life. It is hoped that through this accumulation of a large sampling we can develop a list of reasons on both ends of the spectrum. Perhaps with this collection of responses, ensemble directors/music educators can look at the research data and then objectively examine their programs and re-evaluate where changes might be necessary and important,” commented Professor Kimball.

The initial release of the survey has created a wide spread interest in the topic and the desire for the results to be sent to some of the participants, especially music educators. The survey had over 1000 respondents ranging from California to New Hampshire in just the first two weeks of its release, with 250 requests for the final data. The survey was principally released through electronic media, including e-mail and Facebook.

When asked about why this is important to the music education majors Assistant Professor of Music, Marshall Kimball stated, “When our music education majors graduate, they will be faced with this problem in their own programs. Perhaps information gathered through this project will be helpful in minimizing this issue for them. All teachers make mistakes and must learn from them. It is my hope that our music education majors will learn from this data how to prevent the loss of students and in the process be able to positively affect more students with music.”

Chairman of the Department, Dr. Daniel Monek, said that “the work done in this project by Professor Kimball and some of our Music Education students is an important representation of the emphasis our program places on leadership and advocacy in the profession. It gives our students first hand experience on collecting and analyzing research data as well as how to apply that data to their work in the profession.”

At the completion of the research project, the final goal is to present the research findings in a clinic and/or poster session at the Ohio Music Education Association Professional Development Conference in Cincinnati in January 2011 and to pursue other avenues and conferences for the release of the data.

Marietta Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble members chosen for OPCICA Honor Bands

Nine Marietta College student members of the instrumental band program were recently selected be in honor bands for the Ohio Private College Instrumental Conductors Association (OPCICA) 23rd Annual Honor Band Festival Weekend held from January 23-24 at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University in Mt. Vernon, OH.

Theodore Cunningham (Parkersburg, WV) who plays baritone saxophone was Marietta College's representative in the OPCICA Honor Jazz Ensemble. Performing with the OPCICA Honor Concert Band were Jane Thomson (Marietta, OH) on French horn, Casey Mercer (Wingett Run, OH) on alto saxophone, Julia Dreyer (Middleburg Heights, Ohio) on oboe, Nick Giebel (Allison Park, PA) on trumpet, Greg Snyder (Coolville, OH) on tenor saxophone, Paul Paslay (Utica, OH) on trombone, Darren Simmons (Marietta, OH) on trumpet and Peter Krutschnitt (Brunswick, OH) on percussion.

The Honor Concert Band and Honor Jazz Ensemble rehearsed on the campus of Mt. Vernon Nazarene University on Saturday, January 23 and Sunday, January 24. Following the rehearsals the honors festival weekend concluded with a concert by both ensembles in the R. R. Hodges Chapel/Auditorium at Mt. Vernon.

“OPCICA offers us a chance to immerse ourselves in our art,” says music education major Nick Geibel. “It creates an environment in which we can simply be musicians, giving us an opportunity to connect and create with our peer artists. I found the honor band to be a rewarding and creatively stimulating event, priceless in its capacity to motivate music students such as myself to pursue excellence in our field.”

Casey Mercer also went on to say that the festival “was a great chance for us to meet other students and rehearse with several directors, all with different conducting styles. As a future music educator I try to learn as much from all the people I meet at these kind of events."

Conductors for the honor jazz ensemble were Ben Hunton and Michael Yonchak from Otterbein College. Conductors for the honor concert band included: Nancy Ditmer, Director of Bands at the College of Wooster, Jeffrey Boehm, Director of Bands at Bluffton University, John Packard, Director of Bands at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University, John Owen, Director of Bands at Heidelberg College and Marshall Kimball, Director of Bands at Marietta College.

Assistant Professor of Music Marshall Kimball recently completed a year as President-Elect of OPCICA and will serve a term as President of the organization from February 2010 to February 2011. According to Kimball, “OPCICA Honors Weekend is an outstanding opportunity for the chosen musicians who come from all size schools and all types of programs to put their skills into practice. It is also a wonderful opportunity for the band directors from each of the member institutions to come together to discuss issues that face private institutions of higher education. It's a great time to have open discussions and perhaps find joint solutions to the issues we face.”

The OPCICA, founded in 1987, held its first collegiate honor band festival on Jan. 24, 1988, at Capital University. Currently comprised of 24 member colleges and universities, the primary purpose of the organization is to develop a closer network of communication and resource sharing among the instrumental departments, divisions or conservatories of the various privately funded institutions of higher education within the state of Ohio. An additional purpose is to sponsor an annual honors festival featuring an Honors Concert Band and an Honors Jazz Ensemble comprised of instrumental students from the participating schools. These festivals have enriched the lives of hundreds of college instrumentalists as well as the conductors from many of the state's private institutions.

Students are nominated by their home college conductor and instrumentation is set by the festival committee in November. These students are together for two days and in three rehearsals their program is rehearsed and prepared for the concert. Guest conductors for the honors ensembles are chosen from the participating institutions, thereby giving students an eclectic experience with conductors of different style, background, and technique. Each guest conductor chooses the music that will be conducted with the honors ensembles. Conductors from the member institutions rotate in conducting the ensembles. There are usually two to three for the jazz festival and five to six conductors for the concert band.

The Edward E. MacTaggart Department of Music congratulates all of these students on their nomination for and participation in the festival.

Assistant Professor of Music Theory Completes Doctorate

Dr. Brent Yorgason, assistant professor of music theory at Marietta College, successfully defended his dissertation at Indiana University on August 11, 2009. His dissertation is entitled “Expressive Asynchrony and Meter: A Study of Dispersal, Downbeat Space, and Metric Drift.”

Dr. Yorgason comments about his work, “In my dissertation research, I wanted to write something that was both accessible and meaningful to performers and ordinary listeners, not just to music theorists. Many of the concepts that I discuss here have not been previously examined by other music scholars—most notably, the relationship between expressive asynchrony in performance and the perception of meter and the beat by listeners—so I had to invent a lot of my own terminology and analytical methodology. I think that this work will be a valuable asset to performers as well as music theorists and will open up some new directions for research.”

The members of the dissertation committee were highly enthusiastic about the project and encouraged Brent to consider publishing this research as a book. His wife Sarah, who accompanied him to the defense, stated that “this is the wonderful culmination of many years of hard study and work. I am very proud of him.”

“The completion of doctoral studies is a significant milestone in the life of any academic as it is not only the completion of formal study, but the beginning of a lifetime of research and teaching,” says department chairman Dr. Daniel Monek. “Dr. Yorgason has been a wonderful addition to the music faculty at Marietta and over the past three years has brought numerous enhancements to the theoretical study that is such an essential part of our music curriculum. The entire department celebrates his accomplishment and looks forward to his many future successes as a theorist and as a teacher.”

Dr. Yorgason is in his third year of teaching in the music department, and his courses include theory, composition, aural skills, jazz history, and orchestration and arranging.

Nick Geibel Receives Summer Fellowship

Nick Geibel, a senior music education major, was chosen to participate in Marietta College's Investigative Summer Fellowship Program for 2009. Working directly with music composition professor Dr. Brent Yorgason and modern language professor Dr. Janie Rees-Miller, Nick's project was to compose a choral piece based on modern Middle Eastern modes in an ancient Egyptian text. Nick chose a text from the Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead (also known as the Book of Going Forth by Day) which contains spells and prayers to ensure safe travels for the dead in the underworld. When asked why he chose a language that has not been spoken for three thousand years, Nick said, “I wanted to expose people to a language they might not ever have exposure to, and to pique some interest in a history and culture that does not exist anymore.” The piece is entitled Going Forth By Day and is a four-part choral work with percussion. Nick said the most difficult challenge in composing in an ancient language was “working with the vowels, because in the text the vowels were assumed and no one really knows how the vowels were pronounced.” He worked with Dr. Rees-Miller to translate the hieroglyphics individually and set the text to a Middle Eastern mode. According to Dr. Yorgason, “Nick wanted to preserve some of the rough edges that Western ears experience when listening to Middle Eastern music. In this composition, he has attempted to blend these unique Middle Eastern rhythmic and melodic procedures with Western harmonies and textures.” The piece will be premiered by the Marietta College Concert Choir under the direction of department chairman, Dr. Daniel Monek during their fall concert series. Their fall concerts are October 22 at 7:30pm at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Parkersburg, WV and Friday, October 23 at 7:30pm at the First Presbyterian Church in Marietta, OH.