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Faculty Recital this Sunday

Date: 2/25/2011

Alvernia University’s department of fine arts will present a faculty recital this Sunday, February 27, 2011, at 4:00 p.m., in the Francis Hall Theater and Recital Hall.

Featured Artists will include:

Carol Schwanger, M.M., bassoon
David McConnell, D.M.A., piano
Jennifer Michalik, M.M., soprano
James Seidel, M.M., trumpet
Nathan Thomas, Ph.D., composition

Carol N. Schwanger, associate professor of music and chair of the arts and languages department, has served on the Alvernia faculty since 1976. She maintains an active performance career, playing bassoon in numerous recitals and concerts of classical music every year. She has performed with Pottstown Symphony Orchestra, Reading Symphony Orchestra, Reading Pops Orchestra, Providence Chamber Orchestra, Berks Chamber Orchestra, FYVE Woodwind Quintet, Chandler Chamber Ensemble, Pottstown Band, and numerous other groups. At Alvernia, Carol has organized and performed in many faculty recitals and has sung in choirs for Masses and other special events.

Soprano Jennifer Michalik, assistant professor of music has been a soloist with area and regional groups, singing oratorio and operatic roles in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and Harrisburg among other locations. She has participated numerous times in the Carnegie Hall Professional Choral Workshop and is also a member of the Lancaster-based Wheatland Chorale. Michalik has worked as a music therapist in Berks, Schuylkill, and Carbon counties, serving the seriously mentally ill, developmentally disabled and geriatric populations.

Nathan Thomas serves as program director for Alvernia Theatre. His background includes extensive work as a professional actor and director as well as international study. As an actor, Thomas has given more than 500 performances in national tours, as well as performing with the National Theatre for Children. As a director, he has mounted a variety of plays and musicals and worked as Artistic Director of Repertory Theatre of America. Currently, Thomas enjoys being a company member of the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company in Baltimore.

James Seidel, adjunct music professor at Alvernia, is the current conductor of the professional Ringgold Band in Reading. Recently, Seidel retired from the Exeter School District after 37 years of celebrated teaching. Seidel is also a faculty member with the Allegheny College Band Camp for Adult Musicians and a trumpet player with the Allegheny Brass Quintet.

David McConnell, adjunct music professor at Alvernia, holds teaching and conducting positions in both Berks and Lehigh Counties. At Alvernia, he teaches theory and offers private piano and organ lessons. As Minister of Music at Immanuel UCC in Shillington, he plays for weekly liturgies, conducts the Senior Choir, and oversees the training and rehearsing of six other choirs. The Senior Choir regularly performs major works, and in the last few years has performed Haydn's Creation, Requiem by Mozart, Rutter and Faure, the first and third part of Handel's Messiah and Lauridsen's Lux aeterna.

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  • History: Established as a private four-year liberal arts college in 1958, Alvernia celebrated its 50th year by being awarded university status in 2008.
  • Heritage: Founded by the Bernardine Sisters, a Catholic religious order, the university embraces the Franciscan core values of service, humility, collegiality, contemplation and peacemaking.
  • Motto: “To Learn, To Love, To Serve”
  • Campus: The main campus in Reading is 121 acres, with two satellite campuses in Philadelphia and Pottsville (Schuylkill County).
  • Location: Our residential campus is situated three miles from center-city Reading, in the scenic Blue Mountain area of Eastern Pennsylvania.
  • Enrollment: 3,000 students attend Alvernia including 1,500 traditional undergraduates, 600 continuing education students, and 780 graduate students. Over 77% of first-year students live on campus.
  • Faculty: Our professors are accomplished scholars, experts in their fields, and supportive mentors. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. Most classes are 20 students or fewer.
  • Athletics: NCAA Division III, member of the Commonwealth Conference of the Middle Atlantic States Athletic Corporation and member of Eastern College Athletic Conference, 8 men’s and 10 women’s intercollegiate sports.