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Arts at Lakeland

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Part-Time Faculty

Civic Music Directors

Concert Schedule

Music Courses

Civic Band

Civic Chorus

Civic Jazz Orchestra

Civic Orchestra

Young Artists Concerto Competition

Jazz Impact

Jazz Festival


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Arts & Humanities

Civic Music Directors

Charles Frank, Civic Band
Matthew Saunders, Civic Orchestra
Edward Michaels, Jazz Impact
Chris Robinson, Civic Chorus
David Sterner, Civic Jazz Orchestra

Charles Frank Charles Frank
Director, Civic Band

FRANK served as an interim director of the Rabbit Run Community Arts Association in Madison, Ohio from 1998-2001. He was executive director of the Fine Arts Association in Willoughby from 1987-1998. Mr. Frank retired from the faculty at Lakeland Community College where he served as professor of music and department coordinator for 16 years. Prior to his tenure at Lakeland, he taught for 13 years in the Wickliffe City Schools, where he developed outstanding marching, concert, and jazz bands that received state and national recognition.Mr. Frank earned his Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Ohio University in 1954 and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Iowa in 1958. During his two years of military service, Mr. Frank was stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army Ninth Division Band. He serves as an Ohio Music Education Association adjudicator as well as a guest conductor and clinician throughout Ohio and taught for several summers at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan. Mr. Frank was responsible for organizing the Lakeland Jazz Festival in 1973 and the Lakeland Summer Music Camp in 1979. He has held district and region offices in the Ohio Music Education Association and the International Association of Jazz Educators and was selected as the 1987 Jazz Educator of the Year by the Ohio Unit of IAJE. The Ohio University School of Music Society of Alumni and Friends presented Mr. Frank with the Achievement in Service Award in 1992. Mr. Frank founded the Lakeland Civic Band and has served as conductor and music director for 35 years. He holds memberships in the Music Educators National Conference, the Association of Concert Bands Inc., and the Willoughby Rotary Club, and was inducted into the Wickliffe Hall of Fame for his contributions to the arts. He is currently serving on the City of Mentor Arts and Cultural Commission. Mr. Frank received the Lakeland Community College Distinguished Service Award for a member of the community at Lakeland's commencement on May 10, 2008.

Mr. Frank and his wife, Marjorie, reside in Mentor. They have two daughters, Heather Ambrus of Mentor, and Lisa Berkemeier of Bellevue, Kentucky. Their grandsons are Timothy and Thomas Berkemeier and Devon Ambrus, and the only granddaughter, Hailey Ambrus.


Matthew Saunders Dr. Matthew Saunders
Director, Civic Orchestra

Matthew C. Saunders has taught music from kindergarten to college in styles from madrigal to mariachi, and strives to make beautiful music for and with captivating people. He has climbed mountains, saved someone’s life, and watched the moon rise over the prairie. He has loved, lost, and loved again; helped friends find salvation, and found it for himself as well; taught genius students, and learned from genius teachers. On the day his son Noah was born, he gave him his first shampoo, and looks forward to teaching him to catch a baseball and ride a bicycle sometime around 2015. His dreams are to walk on Mars, hear a grand piano fall into an orchestra pit, make more people laugh than cry, and love his wife Becky passionately and forever. He plays trombone and is always getting better at playing piano, and in the course of a long, love-filled, productive life, he wants to compose the Great American Symphony, ride the rails, hike the trails, read all of the good books, finally watch "The Godfather", and storm the castles in the air. He will never write unlistenable music, stop stargazing or lose money in Vegas. He doesn’t call his mother often enough, but he still tries to do a good turn daily. He is always up for a few hands of euchre or a good game of chess, likely winning the former and losing the latter.

Dr. Saunders is the music department chair at Lakeland Community College, where he teaches music theory and the history of popular music, as well as directing the Lakeland Civic Orchestra. Prior to coming to Lakeland, he held the position of Associate Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Oklahoma Panhandle State University. He received degrees in music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and The Ohio State University. His thirteen years' experience in music education includes teaching band, general music and music theory in public elementary, middle, high schools, colleges, and universities in rural, suburban and urban settings in Ohio, Georgia, and Oklahoma. His original compositions have been performed across the country at national conferences of the International Horn Association and the Society of Composers, and he has presented his research on rhythm at conferences of the College Music Society and the Society of Composers. He received the 2007 Ruth Friscoe Prize for composition and was the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association 2011 Commissioned Composer. His music is published by Imagine Music, and he has written articles for "The Journal of Band Research," "Music Educators Journal," "The Chronicle of Higher Education," and "The Instrumentalist." He is on the web at, but the physical Dr. Saunders lives in Mentor-on-the-Lake, Ohio with his wife Becky and their son Noah.


Ed Michaels Ed Michaels
Director, Jazz Impact
(440) 525-7261

As a tenor saxophonist, ED MICHAELS regularly performs with the top musicians of Northeast Ohio, among them some of his former students. He has recorded a CD as leader, entitled Going Beyond on the Nice Jazz Label. His reputation as a jazz artist continues to grow, and he has recently led his trio/quartet in such venues as the Cleveland Museum of Art Summer Concert Series and the Cleveland State University Sundown Jazz Concerts. His most recent was a tribute to Stan Getz. His quartet recently played a year-long engagement at the Century Room of Cleveland's prestigious Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Ed feels a strong commitment to promoting jazz and American music; and this can especially be seen in Mr. Michaels love for teaching and playing.

Currently, Mr. Michaels is the director of Jazz Impact, an honors jazz ensemble of area high school musicians sponsored by Lakeland Community College. The band has earned recognition through yearly outstanding performances at the Lakeland Jazz Festival, the Tri-C Jazz Fest, and the Essentially Ellington Contest sponsored by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

On Chuck Frank’s recommendation, Ed was named Festival Director and Educational Co-Director of the annual Lakeland Jazz Festival. Building on the past success of the festival, Ed’s innovation is the addition of the Thursday night concert: “Tomorrow’s Stars”, which features the top area middle school bands. At the close of the school year, Ed serves as assistant director of the Lakeland Summer Jazz and Pop Music Camp.

Mr. Michaels is also on the faculty of the Willoughby-Eastlake School District where he teaches instrumental music. One of his latest achievements was receiving an honorarium and publication from the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his lesson plan “Timbre: Identifying the Tone Color of the Saxophone Using Pop/Rock Music Examples.”


Chris Robinson
Chris Robinson
Director, Civic Chorus

Chris Robinson graduated from Kent State University in May 2002 with a Master of Music in Orchestral and Choral Conducting. He studied conducting with Vance George, Frank Wiley, C.M. Shearer, Wayne Gorder, and the late Leopold Sipe. Chris also received his B.A. in Music from Kent State majoring in Theory, Voice Performance and General Music. He received scholarships
from Kent Blossom and the Canton Civic Opera and served as Graduate Assistant, Librarian and Orchestra Manager to the K.S.U. Orchestra. While at Kent, Chris played timpani in the K.S.U. Orchestra, recorder in the Collegium Musica, was a chorister in the Kent Chorus, Chorale and Ars Nova Singers, and served for three years as Music Director of the Kent Singers.
He was also actively involved in theatre at Kent and Porthouse. Previously he has sung with the Blossom Festival Chorus and the Jacksonville, Florida Masterworks Chorale.

From 1995-1996, Chris served as Director of Music and Drama at the Foundation Academy in Jacksonville, Florida. He is entering his second season as Music Director at First Baptist Church in Canton. He also served as Music Director at Trinity United Methodist in Massillon for three years. His ultimate ambitions are to teach at the university level and to conduct opera professionally.


David Sterner David Sterner
Director, Civic Jazz Orchestra

Dave Sterner has been part of the Ohio music scene as a musician and educator since the early 1990s. Mr. Sterner is a 1992 graduate of Indiana University’s Jazz Studies program, where he studied under renowned jazz educator David Baker. In 1993, after working as a staff musician for Royal Caribbean Cruise lines and a stint in New York, Mr. Sterner returned to Ohio to focus on a career in performance and education.

In 1993, Sterner joined Ernie Krivda’s Fat Tuesday Big Band. He is a featured soloist on all three of the band’s CDs, released on the Koch Label and One Soul Records. As a member of the group, Sterner has performed with such nationally-known jazz artist as David Sanborn, Phil Woods, Louis Bellson, David “Fathead” Newman, Buddy DeFranco, and Terry Gibbs among others. As a free-lance musician, Sterner has also performed with Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, Harry Connick Jr., Donny Osmond, The Manhattan Transfer, Bobby Caldwell, Frankie Valli, Steve and Eadie, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, The Four Tops, Tony Tennille, Ben Vereen, Olivia Newton John, Wayne Newton, and the Dizzy Gillespie All-star Big Band to name a few. In 2006, the Dave Sterner Quintet released the self-produced CD What’s What, which includes eight original pieces and reinterpretations of four classics. In 2007 the quintet won the “Best Jazz Band” music award from the Cleveland Free Times Magazine. Most recently Dave has recorded with the N. Glenn Davis Quartet, A Different View (Jazzed Media, 2008) and the N. Glenn Davis Quintet, featuring Phil Woods, for release in 2009.

Mr. Sterner is also a popular educator in Northeast Ohio, having taught regularly at a variety of institutions since 1993, including the Fine Arts Association (Willoughby), Western Reserve Fine Arts, and the Cleveland Music School Settlement. He is currently a part-time faculty member for the Cuyahoga Community College jazz program where he teaches advanced ear training, harmony, music seminar, and the jazz preparatory program, as well as, Lakeland Community College where he directs the Lakeland Civic Jazz Orchestra. He also participates annually in the Lakeland Summer Jazz Camp, the TRI-C “Summer with the Jazz Masters” camp and is a clinician and adjudicator for the Lakeland and TRI-C Jazz Festivals.



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