CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
UI Symphony Band will kick off 1998-99 season with a free concert
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Symphony Band and Chamber
Wind Ensemble with director Myron Welch will kick off their 1998-99 concert
season with a free performance at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28 in Clapp Recital
Hall on the UI campus.
The top wind ensemble at the UI School of Music, the Symphony Band presents
a series of free concerts on campus each year, in addition to performances
on tour in Iowa and around the Midwest. The Chamber Wind Ensemble is a
smaller group made up of first chair players from the Symphony Band. The
Oct. 28 program will feature original works for band alongside transcriptions
of brilliant and colorful orchestral works.
The complete program comprises six works: "Le bal de Beatrice d'Este"
(The ball of Beatrice d'Este) by Reynaldo Hahn; an arrangement for band
of Leonard Bernstein's brilliant and witty Overture to "Candide";
Variations for Wind Band by Ralph Vaughan Williams; Malcolm Arnold's "English
Dances," Set II; "Sea Songs" by Thomas Knox; and "Jig"
by UI graduate Daniel Godfrey.
Hahn was one of the most versatile French musicians of the first half
of the 20th century. A fine singer, conductor, pianist, critic and composer,
he was also popular in Parisian society, where he hobnobbed with Marcel
Proust and Sarah Bernhardt. The Chamber Wind Ensemble will perform "Le
bal de Beatrice d'Este" in its original instrumentation for 10 winds
with piano, harp and percussion. The score is a delicate and stylish evocation
of the balls of the aristocratic d'Este family in Renaissance Italy.
A dominant figure on the American musical landscape for many years,
Leonard Bernstein was another multiply-talented musician: conductor of
the New York Philharmonic, composer of numerous concert works and, in "West
Side Story," one of the greatest Broadway musicals of all time, and
a consummate educator. His operetta based on Volatire's "Candide"
never lasted long on Broadway, but its sparkling overture has been a staple
of the concert hall since its first performance in 1957.
The great British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote several pieces
for winds, including the perennial favorite for band, the "Folk Song
Suite." His Variations for Wind Band was one of his last works, composed
for brass band for the 1957 National Brass Championship of Great Britain.
That version has been arranged several times, once by Gordon Jacob as the
Variations for Orchestra, and once by the American band conductor Donald
Hunsberger in a version that uses the full resources of the contemporary
American concert band.
Malcolm Arnold has been recognized as one of the most professional and
versatile composers in England after World War II. He has written seven
symphonies and many other concert works, several dramatic works, and the
scores for "The Bridge on the River Kwai" and more than 80 other
films. One of many works that draw on British folk themes, the two sets
of English dances also reveal Arnold's penchant for tuneful and pleasing
Thomas Knox is the chief composer and arranger for the United States
Marine Band in Washington, D.C. Based on nautical songs and sea chanties,
"Sea Songs" was written for the 350th anniversary of the city
of Boston. It was premiered in Boston in May 1980 by the Marine Band with
conductor Col. John Bourgeois, who guest conducted at the UI last summer
for the annual All State Music Camp.
A graduate of Yale University, Daniel Godfrey received his doctorate
in composition from the UI. He is currently on leave as director of the
School of Music at Syracuse University to teach composition at Indiana
University. The recipient of numerous awards and commissions, Godfrey
has had works performed across the United States and currently has commissions
in progress for the Cassatt String Quartet, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
and the Big Ten Band Directors Association.
"Jig," commissioned by the University of Texas Wind Ensemble,
makes an ideal concert closer. The composer explained, "While composing,
I imagined the ensemble as an irrepressible behemoth, full of good humor
and high spirits, perhaps a bit oversized for a sprightly jig but unable
Welch has been director of bands at the UI since 1980. In addition to
conducting the Symphony Band and Chamber Wind Ensemble, Welch teaches courses
in instrumental methods and conducting, and is coordinator of the Iowa
Honor Band. Prior to joining the UI faculty he was director of bands and
coordinator of music education at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.
He has bachelor's and master's degrees in music from Michigan State University
and a doctorate in music education from the University of Illinois.
Welch is past president of the American Bandmasters Association, the
Big 10 Band Directors Association and the Iowa Bandmasters Association.
He is a frequent guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician with bands
throughout the Midwest.