|Lewis University Music Department welcomes new instructors
Published: August 29, 2012.
Three outstanding musicians join the Lewis University Music Department this semester as music instructors—trumpeter Dr. Mark Ponzo, harpist Nichole Luchs, and violinist Dr. Casey McGrath. All three artists are available to give applied music lessons to Lewis students.
Mark Ponzo, professor of trumpet at Northern Illinois University, will also serve as trumpet instructor at Lewis University. He has been a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra and Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. Ponzo is a regular substitute with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Brass Quintet and has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Music of the Baroque, Illinois Chamber Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Illinois Philharmonic, Millar Brass, Light Opera Works, as well as numerous local orchestras. He has been a featured soloist with The Music of the Baroque, Elgin Symphony, New Sousa Band, Southern Tier Symphony, Kishwaukee Symphony, NIU Philharmonic, Wind Ensemble and Windy Symphony. He has released three solo recordings including “Music for Trumpets by Dexter Morrill, Dexter Morrill: Three Concertos” and “The Trumpet Music of Verne Reynolds.” Ponzo was also a member of the Eastman Wind Ensemble for the CBS/Sony Masterworks recording “Live from Osaka.” In addition to his performance activities, Ponzo publishes through Balquhidder/Carl Fisher, Charles Colin Music Publications and the Buccine Press. His publications include 26 method books, 16 solo transcriptions and 2 unaccompanied works for trumpet. He is currently a Dennis Wick Performing Artist and also holds an adjunct faculty position at Aurora University.
Nichole Luchs joins the applied music faculty as instructor of harp. She holds a master’s degree in harp performance from Northwestern University. She is currently an active free-lance musician, performing throughout Illinois and Iowa. She is the principal harpist for the Peoria Symphony, DuPage Symphony and Illinois Valley Symphony. She has performed with many orchestras in the area including the Rockford Symphony, Evanston Symphony, Skokie Valley Symphony, Fox Valley Symphony, Quad City Symphony and Dubuque Symphony. Luchs also performed in chamber concerts with the Naperville Chamber Players and was a soloist with the DuPage Symphony Chamber Orchestra. Recently, she was a featured performer in the “Paidiea Project,” a documentary on the music of ancient Greece. Luchs is an active teacher and harp instructor at Fox River Academy of Music and Art and at North Central College.
Casey McGrath returns to Lewis as instructor of violin and viola, having recently completed her doctorate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also serves as concertmaster for the Fox Valley Orchestra and violin soloist for the Antigua Baroque Consort and Tango Espejo. She also performs with the New Philharmonic and Northwest Symphony Orchestra and has appeared with the Elgin Symphony, the New Millennium Philharmonic, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Lafayette, Kokomo and Marion Symphony Orchestras, the Symphony Orchestra of the Pacific and the Opera Theater and Music Festival of Lucca. McGrath has recorded as violin soloist with the Argentinian band “Los Pinguos” for their album, “Serenata” and recently finished recording with Tango Espejo the soundtrack for the upcoming film, “Deadly Embrace.”
Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The ninth largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.