In the Spotlight: Francois Fowler

Francois Fowler took the stage in the Bliss Recital Hall on Tuesday night to perform multiple compositions by various artists, including a few pieces he wrote himself.
Francois Fowler took the stage in the Bliss Recital Hall on Tuesday night to perform multiple compositions by various artists, including a few pieces he wrote himself.

Tuesday night, Francois Fowler, a Youngstown State University guitar professor, took the stage of the Bliss Recital Hall during his faculty artist recital.

The concert, which was a part of the Dana School of Music faculty artist recital series, featured Fowler playing various genres of music to showcase pieces he has played on tour.

Fowler said he feels very honored to have been asked to share his music in a faculty artist recital.

“Playing here on the YSU campus is really nice, since there will be friends and students in the audience, also,” Fowler said. “It’s a nice situation because I am completing a short concert tour of colleges and universities in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio and South Carolina.”

At the concert, Fowler took the stage with his acoustic guitar and played three original songs. His most recent composed song was “Wavelength Sonata,” a three-movement contemporary piece. He also performed songs like “The First Ride” by Don Ross and Bach’s Partita in A minor at the performance.

Fowler has taught in the Dana School of Music’s guitar studio since 2007 and serves as the faculty adviser for the Dana Guitar Association.

Fowler said he decided to teach at YSU because of Dana’s great reputation.

“The music faculty at YSU is amazing. We are well represented on all fronts — music history, music theory, music education, classical music performance, jazz studies, Dana Chorale,” Fowler said. “The Dana School of Music has a very strong history, and this legacy will surely continue with the current dedicated and accomplished faculty in all the fields I just mentioned. I also love the mascot. I am from Canada, and I know how to speak penguin.”

Philip Monrean, vice president of the Dana Guitar Association and music performance major, said the Dana School of Music is very lucky to have him on staff.

“He is not only a great teacher and pedagogue for his students but he is also a touring artist and master at classical guitar,” Monrean said. “He really has our best interest at heart and really gets to know us as people and players. He also helps us figure out what we need at this stage in our lives and help us get to where we want to be.”

Mike Reardon, treasurer of the Dana Guitar Association, said he also enjoys having Fowler as an adviser.

“Francois is so awesome. He really cares about his students and he has really done a lot for us,” Reardon said. “He brings in guest artists every year and every semester to help us learn various styles and it’s great to have him here.”

Besides teaching, Fowler openly recruits high school students each year to audition for Dana and enter the guitar program.

Fowler said the Youngstown area has amazing talent on guitar and that he can tell the prospective students in the area are very passionate about music.

“I am really excited that there are so many high school students auditioning to study guitar at YSU year after year. Also, a significant number of new guitar auditions are coming from outside of the Youngstown, Pittsburgh and Cleveland areas for the school,” he said. “Unfortunately, many of these amazing potentials never get the proper musical guidance. The Dana School of Music is a place where that won’t happen. That’s another important reason why I love working here.”