Abington performing arts major

Focus On: Music at Abington

Connections within the music industry supplement rigorous coursework and performance opportunities for Abington students.
By: Regina Broscius
Whether performing arts is your major, minor, or something in between, experience the transformative power of music at Penn State Abington.
Abington music

Science major Paige Eberly and Hudson Marsh, an integrative arts student, try out the new Eastman guitars, fresh from the shipping containers.

Credit: Regina Broscius

Guitar Maker 'Picks' Abington for partnership

Two Penn State Abington faculty members established a partnership that makes world-class guitars available to students taking music courses and lessons on campus.

John Pachence, lecturer in music, and Roy Robson, division head for Arts and Sciences, connected with Eastman Guitars executives at a music industry conference earlier this year. They quickly reached an agreement to purchase eight instruments at a steep discount.

Working with Eastman was straightforward when the firm learned about Abington's growing performing arts program.

“It was like pushing through an open door,” Robson said.

The guitars arrived, and Robson, Pachence and two students carefully — very carefully — cut open the boxes and lifted the guitars out of the cases. The students, as one would expect, immediately began strumming the fresh instruments.

Six of the carefully crafted acoustic guitars will be available to Abington students while the remaining two will be used by faculty.

Music Abington

John Pachence, lecturer in music, can't contain his delight while unboxing eight new Eastman guitars.

Credit: Regina Broscius

One partnership led to another

Yamaha Entertainment Group, an existing Abington partner, offered Pachence and Robson coveted tickets to the industry-only National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) convention in Anaheim, California.

They didn’t know what to expect from the event, but the results went far beyond what they could have imagined. While there, the duo laid the foundation for the partnership with Eastman Guitars.

Representatives from Martin Guitar Co. also were at NAMM, and Robson and Pachence successfully connected with them as well. As a result, they drove Abington students to the home of Martin Guitars, about 60 miles from campus, for a tour.

When they weren't focusing on the business of music at NAMM, Pachence said they were "nerding out." Who were they nerding out over? Music legends including Ahmet Zappa, Stevie Wonder, and U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr. crossed their paths at NAMM, too.

It sounds as if the trip was full of high notes for Penn State Abington faculty and students.


Penn State Abington, formerly the Ogontz campus, offers baccalaureate degrees in 18 majors at its suburban location just north of Philadelphia. Nearly half of our 4,000 students complete all four years at Abington, with opportunities in undergraduate research, the Schreyer honors program, NCAA Division III athletics, and more. Students can start the first two years of more than 160 Penn State majors at Abington and complete their degrees at University Park or another campus. Lions Gate, our first residence hall, will open in August.


Performing Arts at Penn State Abington

Onstage and behind the scenes, opportunities abound for Penn State Abington students with a passion for acting, music, singing, and dance.

Whether it’s your major, minor, or something in between, experience the transformative power of the performing arts at Abington.

The Performing Arts Program providing a liberal-arts based education that foster an ethic of excellence. Through the development of liberal arts and artistic skills our students learn to work creatively with others of diverse backgrounds in music, theatre, and dance.  We serve the community by offering quality public performance opportunities in which our students gain valuable experience to begin creative careers, guidance for advanced studies, and networks in the professional world.

Among the options: a jazz ensemble, chamber music, two a cappella groups, a dance company, theater performances and minors that include music technology.