March 18: "The Music of the West and East"

Event Details

Date: March 17, 2014

Times: 7:30 p.m.

Location: Kresge Recital Hall

Ticket Info: $10 for adults | $5 for seniors (65+) | Free for students K-12 and Augustana students and faculty with ID |

The Performing and Visual Arts at Augustana presents "The Music of the West and East" featuring Dr. John Pennington on percussion, Leslie Shank on violin, and Susan Billmeyer on piano at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18, in Kresge Recital Hall.

Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for seniors (65+) and free for students K-12 and those with an Augustana ID. Tickets are available at

About the Musicians

Dr. John Pennington is an educator, composer, performer, author, producer and conductor. Pennington is currently a professor of music at Augustana and is the artistic director of the Animas Music Festival in Durango, Colorado. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Arizona, and Arizona State. Pennington is an orchestral percussionist, who is Associate Principal Timpanist and Percussionist with the South Dakota Symphony and the Principal Timpanist with the Music in the Mountains Music Festival Orchestra. Pennington is currently a Cultural Envoy for the State Department in the Middle East (most recently Lebanon) where he presents concerts, clinics and masterclasses.  With more than 30 recordings to date he has recorded for the Ensemble 21, Summit, Cristo, OCP, and Equilibrium labels. With performances on four continents and over 25 states he has performed on Prairie Home Companion and been a featured performer at four Percussive Arts Society International Conventions.

Leslie Shank and Susan BillmeyerLeslie Shank has been a member of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra since 1984 and was assistant concertmaster for 24 years. Shank gave her New York recital debut at Carnegie’s Weill Hall as a winner of the Artists International Competition, and was twice re-engaged to perform on its Special Presentation Series. Shank has also performed as soloist with many orchestras, including the Seattle Symphony, the National Orchestral Association (also serving as concertmaster), and the Racine Symphony. Her recital at the celebrated Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago was broadcast on WFMT radio. She has also appeared with the Baltimore Symphony as guest associate concertmaster, and with the Indianapolis Symphony as guest concertmaster.

Susan Billmeyer has performed throughout the U.S. as a recitalist and collaborative pianist, and is in constant demand as a chamber musician.  Billmeyer has performed regularly with the Minnesota Orchestra since 2005, and joined them for two European tours in 2006 and 2010; she is heard frequently with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra as well.  Her commitment to bringing compositions of recent times to a wider audience has led to numerous world premieres and collaborations, including tours and guest performances with ICE (the Intergalactic Contemporary Ensemble), Zeitgeist, Present Music, and the Indiana University New Music Ensemble.  She has appeared on the BIS and Innova labels, most recently recording Finnish composer Kalevi Aho’s 2006 Trio for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano, released by BIS in the spring of 2012.  She is also a founding member of the Hot Dish Trio with Leslie Shank, violin, and Karrin Meffert-Nelson, clarinet.