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Release: Immediate

UI CAMPUS NOTES -- IOWA CENTER FOR THE ARTS

BAROQUE ENSEMBLE DEC. 13 -- The La Fosse Baroque Ensemble from the University of Iowa School of Music will perform two of J.S. Bach's "Brandenburg" Concertos as part of the program of a free concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13 in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol on the UI campus.

Under the direction of violinist Leopold La Fosse, the founder of the ensemble and a member of the UI School of Music faculty, the group will perform the "Brandenburg" Concertos No. 1 and No. 3, as well works by Antonio Vivaldi and W.A. Mozart.

Performers for the concert will include William La Rue Jones -- more often seen as the conductor of the University Symphony -- as bassoonist in the First "Brandenburg" Concerto.

Written for varying combinations of solo and ensemble instruments, the "Brandenburg" Concertos were composed by Bach around 1720 and dedicated to the Margrave of Brandenburg. The Margrave did not have a large musical establishment, and there is no evidence that he ever heard the concertos that have his name. Nonetheless, the concertos are considered the pinnacle of the Baroque concerto style, and the startling and unusual array of instrumental combinations that they call for has made them popular with audiences as well as a great number of performers.

The Concerto No.1 in F major calls for a large group of soloists -- three oboes, two horns, bassoon and violin -- in addition to an ensemble of strings and harpsichord. Soloists will include several School of Music faculty members -- Mark Weiger, oboe; Kristin Thelander, horn; Jones, bassoon; and La Fosse, violin -- along with music students.

The Concerto No. 3 in G major is considered an orchestral concerto, since it is not scored for separate soloists and accompanying orchestra. Instead, it calls for three violins, three violas, three cellos, plus bass and harpsichord. The three instrumental trios take turns performing as soloists.

The other works on the program will be Vivaldi's Concerto for two cellos and strings, with students James Ellis and Jackie Emery as soloists; and Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola and orchestra, with student soloists Clifford Panton, violin, and Barrett Stoll, viola.

The La Fosse Baroque Ensemble is a small string orchestra made up of current and former UI students and UI music faculty. The group specializes in the performance of music from the Baroque period in music, roughly 1600 to 1750, and the early Classic period. They perform using copies of authentic Baroque instruments and bows. This enables them to play their instruments in the same manner as performers of the Baroque period, which in turn makes possible a historically appropriate style of performance.

The ensemble was founded in 1985 to provide violin students at the UI the opportunity to play solo works from the Baroque and early Classic periods. Since its formation the group has been invited to perform at a number of state and national conventions of the Music Teachers National Association, the Music educators National Conference, and colleges and public schools in Iowa. Their annual performance series on the UI campus includes concerts at the UI Museum of Art, University Hospital's Colloton Pavilion and the Old Capitol Senate Chamber.

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PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE HAS ITS 'LAST CHANCE' DEC. 13 -- The University of Iowa Percussion Ensemble will present its semi-annual "Last Chance" concert at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13 in Voxman Hall of the Voxman Music Building. The performance, under the direction of UI professor of percussion Dan Moore, will be free and open to the public.

Percussion students in the UI School of Music present a "Last Chance" concert at the end of each semester. The concert represents a last chance for students to present pieces they have been learning and for audiences to hear a percussion concert before the semester ends.

As is typical for "Last Chance" concerts, the Dec. 13 program runs the gamut from large ensemble pieces to solos and pieces for small groups and from contemporary pieces originally composed for percussion to arrangements of classical music.

And as is also typical of "Last Chance" concerts, the program is not decided until the last minute, depending upon which pieces the students actually get ready in time for their last chance -- until next semester.

The UI Percussion Ensemble provides students with performance experience in wide-ranging contemporary styles, many different cultural traditions, and the historical roots of percussion. The group features ancient rudimental drumming, ragtime, jazz, and 20th century idioms, performing music from Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and other parts of the world.

With an extensive array of instruments -- from traditional drums, xylophones and cymbals to just about anything that can be struck, scraped, shaken or smashed together -- Percussion Ensemble performances run the gamut from gentle melodies to explosive outbursts of rhythm.

An internationally known percussionist, composer and teacher, Moore has experience from concert to marching percussion and from jazz to classical styles. Performing all aspects of percussion, including keyboard, drum set, ethnic instruments and multi-percussion, Moore is considered a "total percussionist."

Since 1985 Moore has toured as a member of the Britain/Moore Duo, an acoustic/electronic mix of marimba, steel pans and percussion. Their CD "Cricket City" was described by a critic as "a brilliant collage of pan-marimba music."

12/4/98