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Ohio Northern University presents pair of December Concerts featuring ONU Jazz Band, Wind and Symphony Orchestras

Dec 10, 2014

The Ohio Northern University Department of Music closes out the year with an ONU Jazz Band concert on Thursday, Dec. 11, at 7:30 p.m. and a performance by the ONU Wind and Symphony Orchestras on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 7:30 p.m. Both shows will be held at the Freed Center for the Performing Arts.

The ONU Jazz Band concert, titled “Basie and Beyond,” will swing out to Basie classics and feature many student soloists, the ONU Jazz Combo and guest trumpet soloist David Sycks, current band director at Bluffton High School. Sycks received his Bachelor of Music from Capital University and his Master of Music from Indiana University, specializing in jazz studies. After playing professionally for several years, he earned his teaching certificate from Wright State University and began teaching in 1992. He has taught in the Bluffton School District since fall 1994. Sycks plays professionally and can be heard with local groups in the Lima and Toledo areas, including Lima Swing 2000, the Brass Roots, the Stan Sterner Orchestra, Swingmania, the Bluffton Brass Quintet, the Paul Jeffries Orchestra, the Toledo Jazz Orchestra, and the Runyon-Nay Big Band.           

The ONU Wind and Symphony Orchestras will present a program titled “Gaudete.” Gaudete Sunday is the third Sunday of Advent in the liturgical calendar of the Western Christian Church. The Symphony Orchestra will perform music by living composers such as Jesse Ayers, Jennifer Higdon and Arvo Pärt. Jesse Ayers, the composer of “Veni Emmanuel,” will attend the concert as a guest composer. Other pieces include Higdon’s “blue cathedral,” Pärt’s Silouan’s Song, and Franz Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 96 (The Miracle).

Ayers is a 2014 recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Excellence Award, the winner of the 2013 Boston Metro Opera Concert Award, the winner of the 2011 American Prize for Orchestral Composition, a co-winner of the 2011 Dayton Ballet “New Music for New Dance,” and a 2010 recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship. Recent commissions include those from the Indiana Bandmasters Association, the Ohio Private College Instrumental Conductors Association, and the Wisconsin Lutheran National Honors Band. His music has been performed in more than 100 U.S. cities and eight foreign countries. 

Tickets for each of the Freed Center performances are $15 for general admission, $12 for seniors, $5 for students, and $10 for ONU faculty and staff. The Freed Center box office is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Phone orders are accepted with American Express, MasterCard, VISA or Discover by calling 419-772-1900. Tickets also are available online at

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