Olivia DeMartino

Olivia DeMartino '18

Major: International Affairs/Music
Hometown:Canfield, Ohio

My advice to a prospective student would be to get involved as much as you can. College goes by really fast and you want to have great people surrounding you while you are here.

About the University of Mount Union Concert Choir

The University of Mount Union Concert Choir is among the oldest collegiate choirs in the United States, tracing its roots to 1896.  The distinguished legacy of the choral program at Mount Union is one that is deeply rooted in the very history of the institution, encompassing the contributions of several distinguished American conductors, including Robert Fountain (1942-1946), who went on to lead renowned choral programs at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and The University of Wisconsin, and Bruce Browne (1972-1976), emeritus professor of choral studies and voice at Portland State University and conductor laureate of the Portland Symphonic Choir. Under the direction of Cecil “Pop” Stewart (1946-1972) the Concert Choir gained international acclaim.  In 1966, the beloved Stewart led the Choir on an around-the–world-tour. Dubbed “Peace Through Understanding,” the 48-day tour visited Alaska, Japan, Southeast Asia, Near East, Greece, Italy, England and France.  Professor Stewart was known for his exacting standard, inspired leadership and, above all, unwavering devotion to Mount Union.

Open by audition to all students on campus, the Concert Choir comprises musicians from a wide variety of academic disciplines and thus truly represents the University’s strong liberal arts foundation.  Serving as an ambassador of the University, the Concert Choir performs annually throughout the continental United States and undertakes an international tour every four years.  The Concert Choir is dedicated to the rehearsal and performance of the highest quality choral literature from the Renaissance through the 21st century, including spirituals, gospel music, folk songs and music celebrating a global perspective.  Recent performances include the annual University of Mount Union Christmas Festival as well as Joseph Haydn’s Mass in B-flat, the so-called Theresienmesse, and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection”) with the Canton Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under the baton of Maestro Gerhardt Zimmermann.

In his third year at the University of Mount Union, Dr. Grant William Cook III, associate professor of music and director of choral activities, conducts the Concert Choir and Cantus Femina, teaches choral conducting and literature, and administers the University’s choral program. Choirs under Dr. Cook’s direction have performed by invitation at state and regional meetings of the American Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Music Education, toured nationally and internationally, appeared in concert in Washington National Cathedral and performed with the symphony orchestras of Toledo and Canton. Active as a musicologist, Dr. Cook’s research has been published in The Choral Scholar, Choral Journal and The Beethoven Journal and presented by invitation at meetings of the American Musicological Society and the Ohio Choral Director’s Association. In addition, he has served on the National Research and Publications Committee of the American Choral Directors Association and the State Board of the Ohio Choral Directors Association. Prior to his appointment at the University of Mount Union, Dr. Cook served as associate professor of choral music and music history at Heidelberg University (Tiffin, OH).  He currently resides in Alliance with his wife Susan and daughter Jane.  cookgr@mountunion.edu.

The University of Mount Union, founded in 1846, is a four-year, private institution grounded in the liberal arts tradition. Mount Union offers an array of broad-based and career-specific undergraduate and graduate programs to its 2,200 students who experience outstanding opportunities for success after graduation. Ranked as one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the University is committed to providing a student-centered approach and an exceptional educational experience, as evidenced by its mission to prepare students for fulfilling lives, meaningful work and responsible citizenship. The University’s 123-acre campus is located in Alliance, OH, 80 miles of both Cleveland and Pittsburgh, and more than $100 million has been invested in the construction and renovation of modern facilities throughout the course of the past decade. For more information, visit www.mountunion.edu.

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