SRU faculty, student and alumni musicians to headline Sept. 24 concert


Old Main

The U.S. National Parks, such as the Grand Canyon, served as the inspiration for an afternoon of music that will feature performances by Slippery Rock University faculty, students and alumni Sept. 24.

Sept. 20, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Drawing inspiration from the U.S. National Parks, Kathleen Melago, a Slippery Rock University associate professor of music, has put together an afternoon of music that will feature performances by University faculty, students and alumni at 4 p.m., Sept. 24 in Swope Music Hall.

As part of the event, an art exhibition by members of the Badlands Working Group will be on display in the hall's lobby. The Badlands Working Group is an interdisciplinary research collaborative led by Patrick Burkhart, SRU professor of geography, geology and the environment, and Katherine Mickle, associate professor of art. The group has previously gathered in the rugged conditions of South Dakota's Badlands National Park gathering data, geological samples, impressions and images to create their unique works.

"When I was a doctoral student at Ohio State University, the conductor of the wind symphony, Russel Mikkelson, told us that to be effective and credible music educators, we must keep playing our instruments, even if we don't play as well as we used to," said Melago. "Doing so helps us to remember what it feels like to be immersed in the sound of music while performing while helping us connect with our students through the common bond of being musicians as we engage in practicing difficult passages, learning new repertoire, taking our skills to the next level, participating in ensembles and enjoying music as only musicians can ... by making music."

Taking part in the six-selection performance will be:

-Faculty members, including: Cassandra Eisenreich, instructor of flute; David Glover. associate professor of music; Kim Glover. instructor of percussion; Jonathan Helmick, assistant professor of music and director of bands; Heather Johnson, instructor of horn and Stacey Steele, faculty emerita.

-University graduates, including: Alumni Michele Bonnici, '92; Tracy Glass, '94; Mary Rumelfanger, '96; and Mike Zech, '16.

-Current students, including: Caroline Brown, a senior music education major from Monroeville and Devon Klaas, a junior music therapy major from Pittsburgh.

The afternoon will feature a trio of world premier compositions, including:

-"Monuments of the West" by Stephen Barr, assistant professor of music.

-"Unfenced" by Corey Robinson, '12.

-Angel's Landing" by Joshua Bonnici, a senior music education major from Grove City.

"I know that I will probably never play as well as I could when I was earning my doctorate, practicing four hours a day and performing in ensembles for countless hours beyond that each day," Melgao said. "I think many people put off performing until they get back to being as good as they once were, which ends up being forever in many cases. In my opinion, that robs the individuals of the joy of learning music, making music, and sharing music with others. I hope people will enjoy these performances for what they are and that those attendees who are musicians will continue to be active musicians when they enter the workforce."

Admission to the event is $5 that will go to benefit SRU's 2019 Santa Fe Field Experience Immersion in Music trip.

MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 |