Love Recital

Love is in the Air: Musicians (from left) Bob Ventre, Thomas Roblee, Jack Steward, and Toni Shreve will present "What is this thing called LOVE?" a free public recital at The College of Wooster, on Sunday, Feb. 15, in Gault Recital Hall of Scheide Music Center.


Quartet to Cap Valentine’s Day Weekend with Romantic Recital

Popular love songs punctuate program for Sunday, Feb. 15, at The College of Wooster

22 January, 2015 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio — Valentine's Day Weekend will strike an amorous chord when a quartet of musicians presents "What is this thing called LOVE?" on Sunday, Feb. 15, at The College of Wooster. The romantic recital, which is free an open to the public, will be held in Gault Recital Hall of Scheide Music Center (525 E. University St.), beginning at 4 p.m.

The program will consist of more than a dozen familiar love songs, including "The Look of Love," "Moon River," "Skylark" "Fever," "All the Things You Are," "Fly Me to the Moon," "Girl form Ipanema," "Dream a Little Dream of Me," "Our Love is Here to Stay," and "What is This Thing Called Love?"

Vocalist Toni Shreve will be featured along with bass-player Jack Steward, drummer Thomas Roblee, and guest guitarist Bob Ventre, who has written all of the arrangements for the songs in the program.

"Toni and I had a conversation two years ago in which she mentioned a strong desire to be able to do more songs in the jazz style," said Steward. "It turned out that Sunday, Feb. 15, was the best possible date, which worked out well because we wanted to do something with a love theme."

Steward has been the string bass/electric bass teacher at Wooster since 2006. A graduate of The University of Michigan, where he earned a master of music degree in bass performance, Steward has spent many years performing in all styles of music from classical/contemporary orchestras, opera, Broadway, big band and chamber groups to small jazz duos, trios, and quartets. His ensemble affiliations include the Tuscarawas, Toledo, Akron, Canton and Ashland Orchestras. In addition, he teaches privately and was an adjunct at The University of Mount Union.

Roblee directs the Scot Marching Band and the Scot Symphonic Band at Wooster. He also teaches courses in percussion. A graduate of SUNY Fredonia, he earned his master of music degree at the University of Akron and joined the faculty at Wooster in 2008. He has performed with a variety of ensembles, including the Akron Symphony and Ohio Light Opera, and he continues to work with Ghanaian master drummer Bernard Woma and the dance troupe Saakumu, organizing and directing residencies that promote cultural exchange. In addition, he works with Young Audiences of Northeast Ohio and the Ohio Music Education Association, educating students in schools throughout the area.

Shreve has been a collaborative pianist with the music department at Wooster for 20 years. She also was senior director of Wayne Center for the Arts Children's Chorus for 15 years and is currently the artistic director of the Tri-County Youth Chorus, as well as director of music at St. John's Evangelical Covenant Church in Millersburg. She is active as a private studio teacher for voice and piano, and she continues to work with musical and opera productions on campus and in the community. She has performed with Erie Mills, Irwin Reese, and Lee Merrill, and under conductors Robert Shaw, Alice Parker, and Maurice Casey.

Ventre's experience as a musician includes a stint with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, under the direction of world-renowned jazz clarinetist Buddy DeFranco, and later the DeFranco Quartet, which toured the continental United States and Europe. He went on to become personal guitarist to pop singers Bobby Vinton and Al Martino, and played back up for such entertainers as Vic Damone, Bobby Rydell, Chita Rivera, Rita Moreno, Jerry Lewis, Gene Barry, Jack Jones, Barbara Eden, Joey Heatherton, Frankie Laine, Buddy Greco, Lorna Luft, Frankie Avalon, Andy Griffith, Don Rickles, Bernadette Peters, and even Tiny Tim, among many others. Ventre is also proficient on mandolin, tenor banjo, and ukulele.

"We believe our audience will thoroughly enjoy the program," said Steward. "We are especially excited about featuring Toni as she sings songs from The Great American Songbook."

Additional information about the recital is available by phone (330-263-2419) or e-mail.