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Zika Family Donates 19th-century Violin to ONU

Dec 2, 2008
ViolinJohn R. and Karen Zika, of Statesville, N.C., and Susan (Zika) Warmsby, of Atlanta, Ga., have donated a 19th-century violin to Ohio Northern University. The Zika family presented the instrument to Tom Hunt, chairman of the ONU music department, on Nov. 19.

The violin has been in the Zika family since 1933. Charles Zika, who owned the violin, is the father of John, Susan and longtime ONU professor Rosemary (Zika) Williams, who passed away in 2007.

An accomplished violinist, Charles began playing at age 11, was a member of the Chicago Symphony for 48 years and continued to play the violin after his retirement.

Karen Zika said the gift to the University recognizes her father-in-law and also honors Rosemary Williams, who not only made a tremendous contribution to the ONU music program, but also influenced her nephew Isaac Zika, son of Karen and John, to attend ONU where he is a sophomore music performance major.

"We wanted to honor Rosemary, and we thought the University should have the violin," Karen said. "I definitely feel it should be played."

Hunt said he is thrilled with the Zika family's donation and that a concert is in the works to feature Kirk Toth, ONU lecturer in music and accomplished violinist with the Toledo Symphony.

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