Fran Mayville - Chemistry Professor and Musician
Center Valley, Pa., - (May 30, 2002) - When he is not mixing a carboxylic acid (i.e., vinegar) with an alcohol to produce an ester (a beautiful flower-like fragrance) to impress his students (and to teach them a thing or two about organic chemistry,) you might find Dr. Fran Mayville, assistant professor of chemistry in the Natural Sciences Department at DeSales, belting out tunes with his best friend at coffee houses and pubs in the Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia and central and upstate New York.
As part of oneilmayville, Mayville and Paul O'Neil, an assistant professor of computer science at SUNY Morrisville, share a love of music and songwriting and life experiences that when put to paper and music help the listener understand who these two men are at the core.
Their first CD, 1999's Place to Stay is a collection of original songs infused with intricate vocal arrangements and performed in classic rock n'roll style. With an original run of 1000 CD's sold at the bookstores at DeSales, SUNY Morrisville and the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (where Mayville earned his Ph.D., in chemistry) as well as on amazon.com and several record stores in upstate New York, all of the lyrics and music were written straight from the pages of their lives over the course of nearly two decades.
"We've written hundreds of songs, together and separately, and this is a compilation of our favorites," said Mayville.
The title song Place to Stay, offers hope that there is always a place one can go to heal a heart, mind and soul, "to take the pain out from their face," after life has thrown an unexpected turn. Written in April 1982, the song holds special meaning for the two. It was the first song written together.
The two met in the early 80's while at SUNY Potsdam. Mayville, 45, was finishing up a five-year bachelor's/master's program and O'Neil, 40, was just arriving. Since then, the two have traveled to each other's cities to perform, write, and practice. They've shared joyful and sorrowful life moments, many of which have found a way into their songs.
The 1989 Tender Times was written as a wedding gift for mutual friends and performed for them on their wedding day. "And so we take our sacred vows today, To Dedicate ourselves to one another, The past few years have taught us many lessons, The future's ours to share." Lyrics which seemed less meaningful for Mayville when he wrote the 1991 Just a Matter of Time, a hopeful song about the turmoil he experienced during a painful divorce and the need to learn how to lean on those who truly care.
Two years after his divorce, Mayville met Heidi. The words to the 1997 Life's Worth Living (Heidi's Song) titled similarly John Denver's (a Mayville favorite) Annie's Song, the sentiment is captured in the words of the chorus, "You made my life worth living, You made my dreams come true, You made me see that I can't live my life without you." The song was an engagement gift for Heidi. They have been happily married for 5 years.
"It has always been really important to both of us [O'Neil and Mayville] that our music deliver a solid message," said Mayville. "Some things we've lived through, some things we write about, and all of it has meaning to us."
Mayville's specialty includes drums, percussion, guitar and vocals while O'Neil offers keyboards, vocals, sax and guitar. The self-described "world's biggest Eagles fan ever," (that's the 1970's band, not the Philadelphia football team - although Mayville has been known to root, root, root for the home team while studying at USP), Mayville began playing at 15 and plays or writes every day.
Press Release: Fran Mayville - Chemistry Professor and Musician | Posted on: 7/31/2002
For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive Director of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034
610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu