News briefs – Aug. 20


Staff report



Ohio, news


ASHLAND AREA CHORUS AND COMMUNITY CONCERT BAND ANNOUNCE FALL SCHEDULES – Two community music ensembles at Ashland University – the Ashland Area Chorus (AAC) and Ashland Area Community Concert Band (AACCB) – have announced their fall schedules including rehearsals, concerts and membership requirements.

Beginning Monday, Aug. 24, Ashland Area Chorus rehearsals are held on Monday evenings from 7-8:45 p.m. in Room 242 of the Center for the Arts. Initially meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 8, the Community Band rehearses on Tuesday evenings from 7:30-9 p.m. in the Center for the Arts’ Elizabeth Pastor Recital Hall.

Entering its 18th season, the AAC is dedicated to a mission of learning great music and singing it beautifully. The chorus is open to all singers from Ashland and surrounding counties and includes Ashland University faculty, staff and students as well as other singers from the wider community. Though no formal audition is required for membership, AAC members must be pitch accurate (sing “on key”) and be able to learn and perform their parts successfully. Previous choral experience is helpful.

This fall, the chorus will participate with the Ashland Symphony Orchestra in “A Joyful Opening” of the new Robert M. & Janet L. Archer Auditorium on Saturday, Sept. 12. The chorus also will perform in Ashland University’s performance of Handel’s Messiah on Nov. 22, and at the annual Festival of Lights on Dec. 13.

The Ashland Area Community Concert Band begins its 23rd season and is for those that loved playing in band in high school or college and want the opportunity to play again. Performances for the ensemble this fall include a performance at the University with the Ashland University Concert Band on Saturday, Dec. 12.

Requirements for membership are the ability to play a wind or percussion instrument (no need to be a virtuoso); an interest in playing for enjoyment; desire to play a wide variety of music for the public; an interest in meeting new people who share a common interest and availability for rehearsals on Tuesday evenings.

UF SENIOR COMPLETES INTERNSHIP AT THE WILDS – Rachel Lane, a senior at The University of Findlay from Westerville, was not as interested in working with “the fuzzies” as she was in studying salamanders for her internship at The Wilds this summer. The work was in keeping with her career goals that focus on species survival. “I love research, infectious diseases and conservation medicine,” said the Westerville native majoring in animal science with a pre-vet emphasis.

The coveted 10-week learning opportunity at The Wilds, which she fervently pursued, was, therefore, a good fit for her. Encompassing nearly 10,000 acres in Cumberland, Ohio, in the southeastern part of the state, it is the largest wildlife conservation facility in North America. Strip mined for half a century, the land now provides open range habitats for rare and endangered species from all over the world. The first species were released into pastures in 1992. “Many of the species at The Wilds are completely extinct in the wild,” Lane said.

The park’s mission is “to advance conservation through science, education and personal experience,” its website states. A variety of activities for visitors of all ages, and overnight lodging are offered.

For student workers, the experience resembles summer camp unplugged, but with intense intellectual enrichment fueled by vital ecological purposes.

The park has long inspired Lane. “My mentor of eight years used to be a veterinarian at The Wilds,” she said. “Ever since I shadowed her and saw an MRI of a takin (an antelope species) I wanted to get out to The Wilds. I wanted to be a part of the magic that was taking place there. I was not disappointed when I finally made it there eight years later.” Lane was one of a dozen students across the country who landed a competitive summer internship slot.\

It was Lane’s responsibility to conduct research on six salamander species. “Currently there is a chytrid fungus disease, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, that is causing a large decline in amphibian populations,” she explained. “My research tracked its presence at The Wilds, and looked at different environmental variables that may have impacted its presence.”

Her four-member team found that two species had the disease. A paper she is completing will suggest that continued research be conducted to determine how geographically widespread the disease is, and to identify necessary measures to prevent further spread.

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