Dana celebrates 150 years

A concert Wednesday at Stambaugh Auditorium will be the culmination of a year-long celebration of the Dana School of Music’s 150th anniversary.

Randall Goldberg, director of the Dana School of Music, said, “We wanted to do something to get a lot of our students involved, some things historically that show where we’ve come from … some things that show the more collaborative spirit of the school … and to celebrate our faculty a bit.”

Several Dana students — Max Franko, Brandon Hackimer, Brendan McEvoy, Juan Rodriguez, Taylor Natoli and Alyssa Kordecki — under the direction of faculty member David Morgan, created Sesquicentennial Suite, which will premiere at the concert, performed by the Dana Symphony Orchestra.

Voices of YSU, directed by Daniel Keown, will collaborate with the YSU Dance Ensemble, directed by Amy A. Wright, on Rahman’s “Balleilakka.”

James Umble, a member of the Dana faculty, will be the saxophone soloist on Jan Bach’s Helix for Alto Saxophone & Chamber Octet, which will be played by the YSU Wind Ensemble, conducted by Stephen Gage.

The concert lineup also will include:

• Jazz Ensemble 1, directed by Dr. Kent Engelhardt, performing selections composed by Tadd Dameron;

• YSU Percussion Ensemble, directed by Glenn Schaft, performing Nigel Westlake’s “Omphalo Centric Lecture;”

• Dana Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Stephen Gage, performing Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Higdon’s “Blue Cathedral;”

l Dana Chorale, conducted by Hae-Jong Lee, performing a selection by Kim Andre Arnesen as well as an arrangement of “Gyung-bog-gung Ta-ryung” by Hui-Jo Kim.

Goldberg said he’s enjoyed immersing himself in the history of the school and seeing its accomplishments.

“The school has faced various challenges, everything from state academic requirements to fire,” he said. “How it’s persevered over 150 years is really interesting to see. Looking at the alumni, what they’ve done and where they are, how we’ve impacted every area of the music industry.”

Many Dana alumni returned to campus for concerts and master classes this school year, and one of the highlights of the celebration was a trip to New York where the Dana Piano Trio played a concert at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in March.

“The concert was fantastic,” Goldberg said. “It was full room and the faculty are just tremendous performers. I think everyone was thrilled.”

Goldberg said he hopes the efforts of the past year will have a lasting impact.

“We really want to strengthen our ties with the community,” he said. “We want the community to be much more involved in what goes on here with programming, and we want to start some new curricular endeavors, especially expanding on the music recording program and spreading the name of the school throughout our other programs.”