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Trombonist Gier will play contemporary works on faculty recital Oct. 13

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Trombonist David Gier from the University of Iowa School of Music will play four works by living composers on a UI faculty recital at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 13, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Appearing with Gier on the recital, which will include several works for small ensembles, will be David Greenhoe, trumpet; Maurita Murphy Mead, clarinet; Daniel Moore, percussion; and pianist Kirk Corey, the recent recipient of a doctorate in composition from the UI. Their performance will be free and open to the public.

The four pieces on the program will be "Conversations" for trombone and piano by John La Montaine; Concerto a Tre for Clarinet, Trumpet and Trombone of Robert Starer, with the orchestra part arranged for piano by the composer; "La Femme a Barbe" (The bearded lady) for trombone and piano by Jose Berghmans, and "Rebellion" for trombone, percussion and piano by Stephen Rush.

Gier, who is presenting his third faculty recital since coming to the UI in 1995, said the program reflects his continuing interest in exploring pieces for trombone with unusual combinations of instruments.

"I'm always seeking pieces with unusual instrumentation," Gier said. "Pieces that aren't written for a standard group, like the brass quintet, are often only played once and then set aside because there is no permanent ensemble that can keep them in its repertoire. I've already collected more than 300 pieces, and I'm still looking for more."

John La Montaine began his musical career as a celestist and pianist with the NBC symphony under Toscanini. In 1958, the Ford Foundation commissioned La Montaine to compose a work for the National Symphony Orchestra, and the resulting Concerto for Piano and Orchestra was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1959. In 1961 his "From Sea to Shining Sea" was performed by the National Symphony at the Inauguration concert of President John F. Kennedy.

Conversations was originally conceived for clarinet and piano, but, the composer said, they "were so composed that they might be realized in terms of a variety of instruments. Successive versions utilize the particular physical and expressive qualities of the chosen instruments." Bryon Peeble, co-principal trombone of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, assisted with the trombone version.

Starer was born in Vienna in 1924 and came to the United States in 1947. His symphonic works have been performed by Dmitri Mitropolous, Leonard Bernstein, Erich Leinsdorf and other leading conductors. His prolific catalogue includes four operas, ballets for John Butler and Martha Graham, and numerous concerti, symphonies and chamber works.

The Concerto a Tre for Clarinet, Trumpet, Trombone and Strings was composed during the spring of 1954 and premiered on Nov. 22 of the same year. In 1962, Martha Graham choreographed her "Secular Games" to the music of the Concerto a Tre.

"La Femme a Barbe" is the fourth movement of a set of pieces for different solo instruments with chamber orchestra, "Scenes from a Traveling Circus". "La Femme a Barbe," the movement for solo trombone, surrounds a section depicting circus atmosphere with passages of lyric sadness.

Stephen Rush is music director for the dance department and director of the Digital Music Ensemble at the University of Michigan. His music has been performed worldwide, including recent premieres in London, Berlin, Toronto, New York City and Ascencion, Paraguay. As a performer, Rush has frequently appeared playing works of modern American composers and has presented jazz concerts with his own trio at Lincoln Center.

Rush has written about "Rebellion" that it was composed in the early 1980's, "a time when the 'one-planet' style -- sometimes called eclecticism -- was the order of the day. This explains the criss-cross influences found in 'Rebellion', that of Ghanaian drumming and George Crumb. In this way my music could be easily likened to the Hindu faith, which openly accepts many approaches to God, while carefully trying to strive for ultimate perfection."

The newest member of the brass faculty at the UI School of Music, trombonist David Gier came to the UI in August 1995. A graduate of Yale and the University of Michigan, he has taught at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and Central Connecticut State University.

He began his professional career in New England as a member of the Springfield (Mass.) Symphony and Orchestra New England. He has performed with numerous professional ensembles, including the New Haven, Hartford, Waco and San Angelo symphonies, and Keith Brion's Peerless Sousa Band. He is currently principal trombone of the Breckenridge (Colo.) Festival Orchestra.

As a chamber musician, Gier performed with the trombone quartet Slide Chamber Players, the winner of the 1989 Shoreline Alliance for the Arts Chamber Music Competition. At the UI he teaches trombone students, coaches brass chamber ensembles, and performs as a member of the Iowa Brass Quintet.

Greenhoe has been on the faculty of the UI School of Music and the principal trumpeter of the Quad City Symphony since 1979. He is also chair of the brass area at the UI and plays first trumpet in the UI Iowa Brass Quintet. He is active as a soloist and recitalist, and during summer seasons he performs as solo trumpeter with the Lake Placid (N.Y.) Sinfonietta, a post he has held since 1975.

Mead is in her 15th year teaching clarinet on the faculty of the UI School of Music, where she is also associate director for undergraduate studies. She has been principal clarinet of several Midwestern orchestras, including the Cedar Rapids Symphony. As a chamber musician she has appeared with the Cleveland Quartet and other ensembles. Her recent "On The Fence" performances, combining jazz, jazz-influenced compositions and classical works on a single program, was a featured recital at the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, and it was followed by "Over the Fence," an entire jazz program.

A nationally known percussionist, composer and teacher, Moore holds the position previously occupied by long-time UI percussion teacher Thomas L. Davis, who retired last spring. Prior to coming to the UI, Moore helped lead the SkyRyders Drum and Bugle Corps, taught percussion at Montana State University and studied for a doctorate in percussion at the University of Kentucky.

10/3/97