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Iowa Brass Quintet will perform two recent commissions on free concert April 22

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Iowa Brass Quintet will play two recently commissioned works on a free concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 22 in Clapp Recital Hall on the University of Iowa campus.

The new works -- James Grant's Quintet for Brass, composed in 1995, and Mark Schultz's "Dark Matter(s)," composed in 1996 -- were each commissioned by a consortium of brass quintets including the Iowa Brass Quintet (IBQ). Both were premiered by the IBQ on earlier concerts.

Grant's Quintet was recorded by the IBQ for a CD produced by the UI and recorded as part of the university's sesquicentennial celebration in 1997. The CD also included "The Five Chairs" for brass quintet by Marti Epstein, composed in 1979, which will also be performed on the April 22 concert.

Other works on the concert program will be arrangements for brass of music originally written for other media: Karl Hinterbichler's arrangements of villancicos -- Spanish songs from the Renaissance; Kenneth Singleton's arrangement of three songs by French composer Maurice Ravel; and John Wallace's arrangement of three French Baroque harpsichord pieces.

In the past few years many new works have been commissioned by a consortium -- a group of presenters or performers who share the cost of paying a composer or other artist for a new work. This approach is useful for the performers since it lowers the cost of acquiring a new work. It is also useful for the composers since they know their work will be performed by all of the members of the consortium.

Grant lives and works as a free-lance composer in Rehoboth Beach, Del. and is composer-in-residence for the Environment Through the Arts. His works have been played by chamber groups and orchestras including the New Orchestra of Boston, the Sage City Symphony of Bennington, Vt., and the Vermont Symphony.

His Brass Quintet is in four movements, the first of which, the composer says, "assaults the listener with a blustery, urgent narrative featuring wild leaps in all of the instruments as they explore the full dynamic and pitch range of the brass quintet." Other contrasting movements include a jazzy brass chorale and a final movement marked "pretty damn crazy." The score was commissioned by the IBQ and two other brass quintets.

Mark Schultz is a freelance composer and editor of a music publishing company in Austin, Texas. His music has been performed throughout North America and in Europe, Japan, Taiwan and Australia. Performers of his work have included the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, the Florida West Coast Symphony, the Omaha Symphony and the Omaha Chamber Symphony.

"Dark Matter(s)" refers the term astronomers use to describe a part of the total mass of the universe, matter that we know must exist but that cannot be seen or measured. Schultz said he found the idea of dark matter "at once quite inspiring and immensely comical (considering the possibility of a huge quantity of matter floating around in the cosmos playing a game of hide-and-seek with the astrophysicist)." The score was commissioned by the IBQ and four other brass quintets.

An associate professor of composition at the Berklee College of Music, Epstein studied composition and piano at the UI. She was a composition fellow at the Tanglewood Festival in Lenox, Mass. in 1986 and 1988. Her works have been performed in San Francisco, New York, Boston, Minneapolis and Munich. "Five Chairs" -- named for a pub in Lenox -- was written for the New England Brass Quintet.

The Iowa Brass Quintet, a resident faculty ensemble at the UI School of Music, performs on the UI campus each semester and for schools, universities, civic concert associations, and professional meetings throughout the United States. Founded in the early 1950s, the group has been widely acclaimed for its artistry in the performance of music of all periods and premieres of new compositions. Its current members are David Greenhoe and Barbara Deur, trumpets; Kristin Thelander, horn; David Gier, trombone; and Robert Yeats, tuba.

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 is active as a soloist and recitalist. During summer seasons he performs as solo trumpeter with the Lake Placid (N.Y.) Sinfonietta, a post he has held since 1975.

Deur is a member of the Quad Cities Symphony and has been a trumpet instructor at UI. She has performed widely as a soloist and clinician, has been principal trumpet of the Des Moines Symphony and has been a member of the Cedar Rapids Symphony.

The newest member of the brass faculty at the UI School of Music, Gier came to the UI in August 1995. He has taught at Baylor University 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.

Thelander, who joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in 1989, is active as both soloist and chamber musician. During the summer she performs with the Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, Ore. Previously she was on the music faculty at the University of New Mexico, and she was a member of the New Mexico Brass Quintet, the Santa Fe Symphony, the New Mexico Symphony and the Four Corners Opera Festival in Durango, Colo.

Yeats has taught at the UI for more than 20 years. He was principal tubist with the Cedar Rapids Symphony for 19 years and has appeared as soloist with many professional orchestras, bands and brass ensembles on the East Coast and across the Midwest. At the UI he teaches tuba and euphonium, directs the Collegium Tubum and edits the "University of Iowa Guide to Selected Wind and Percussion Materials."

4/10/98