The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

 

CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
e-mail: peter-alexander@uiowa.edu

Release: April 20, 2001

UI CAMPUS NOTES -- IOWA CENTER FOR THE ARTS

BOWERS READS MAY 1 -- Neal Bowers, a professor of English at Iowa State University, will read from his first novel, "Loose Ends," at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 1 at the Prairie Lights Bookstore in downtown Iowa City. The reading -- part of the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, 910 AM -- is free and open to the public.

Bowers is the author of six previous books, including "Night Vision," a collection of poetry, and "Words for the Taking: The Hunt for a Plagiarist," a book of nonfiction. "Loose Ends" concerns a professor of English at a small junior college in Iowa who returns home to Tennessee for his mother’s funeral and quickly becomes embroiled in a familial mystery.

"’Loose Ends’ is a truly arresting debut -- remarkable for its startling felicities of language, the unusual qualities of its hero, and the ingenious twists of its plot," says novelist Madison Smartt Bell.

For more information about this event, call Prairie Lights at (319) 337-2681.

* * *

UI WOMEN’S CHORALE PERFORMS MAY 1 -- The University of Iowa School of Music Women’ s Chorale, conducted by Robert Boer, will perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 1 in Clapp Recital Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.

The evening’s program includes seven compositions: Niccola Porpora’s "Magnificat," Tomas Luis de Victoria’s "Duo Seraphim clamabant," Amy Kucera’s "Three Alleluias," Gabriel Faure’s "Tantum Ergo," Houston Bright’s "Four Sacred Songs for the Night," Edward Elgar’s "Weary Wind of the West," Ralph Vaughan Williams’ "Sweet Day" and Thomas Weelkes’ "The Nightingale."

Accompanist for the Women’s Chorale is C. Michael Porter.

Kucera teaches musical composition at Bowling Green State University. Her "Three Alleluias" was first presented at the UI Composer’ s Workshop in the fall of 2000.

Although Porpora is a somewhat obscure composer, his life is interesting for his interactions with more famous musicians. At one time he, like Vivaldi, was music director at one of the remarkable Venetian orphanages. For a time he lived in London and worked with an opera company that was competing with Handel. Later he returned to Venice and was employed by the Ospedale della Pieta, where Vivaldi had been maestro. After that, he moved to Vienna where he worked as a voice teacher and was occasionally accompanied by, and perhaps taught voice to, the young Haydn.

Hailed as the most important composer in the England of the early 20th century Vaughan Williams strongly influential in the revival of British music. At 18 he entered the Royal College of Music, where he would later teach, and Trinity College, Cambridge, at 20. By his mid-20s he was established in London and was composing mainly vocal works.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts. For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu.

* * *

UNIVERSITY AND CONCERT BANDS WILL PLAY MAY 2 -- The University and Concert Bands from the University of Iowa School of Music will share a concert for their final performances of the academic year, starting at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 2 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The concert will be free and open to the public.

The Concert Band will perform under the direction of Kevin Kastens, who is also director of the Hawkeye Marching Band. Robert Yeats will be featured as soloist in the Tuba Concerto of Edward Gregson.

In addition to the Tuba Concerto, Kastens will conduct the Concert Band in "Flight" by Claude T. Smith, the official march of the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., and "Paris Sketches" by Martin Ellerby.

Ellerby has written of the "Paris Sketches," "This is my personal tribute to a city I love, and each movement pays homage to some part of the French capital and to other composers who have lived, worked or passed through it. Running like a unifying thread through the whole score is the idea of bells -- a prominent feature of Paris life."

UI graduate student Brian Amaral will conduct the Concert Band in the "Toccata Marziale" of English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. Considered a classic of the British band repertoire, "Toccata Marziale" was composed for the 1924 Commemoration of the British Empire Exhibition.

Graduate student Craig Aarhus will conduct the University Band in performances of five works: "Fanfare and Flourishes (For a Festive Occasion)" by James Curnow; Overture to "Das Pensionat" by Franz von Suppe, arranged for concert band by Mayhew Lake; Frank Ticheli’s setting of the American folk song "Shenandoah"; "Invercargill March" by Scots-Tasmanian composer Alex Lithgow; and "River of Life" by Steven Reineke.

Curnow’s "Fanfares and Flourishes" is based on the "Te Deum" of French Baroque composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier. It was commissioned for the 1991 European Brass Band Championships held in Rotterdam, Holland. In 1995, the Alfred M. Barbe High School Band of Lake Charles, La., commissioned the symphonic band version of the piece.

"River of Life" is the first composition for band by Steven Reineke, who is an arranger for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. The score was written for the band at Talawanda High School in Oxford, Ohio, just as Reineke was graduating from Miami University in Oxford. Thinking of the new challenges both he and the graduating high school students were facing, Reineke said he imagined the river as a metaphor for life. "Sometimes it flows through rapids, sometimes through a calm eddy, and always inspiring new life and growth along the way," he said.

Yeats teaches tuba and euphonium at the UI School of Music. He has been a member of the Iowa Brass Quintet since 1969 and was a founding member of the Cedar Rapids Chamber Brass and the Iowa Chamber Players. He has appeared as a soloist and member of the brass section of many professional bands, orchestras and quintets, and he played for 19 years with the Cedar Rapids Symphony.

In addition to directing the Hawkeye Marching Band and the Concert Band, Kastens teaches band arranging and marching band techniques and is the director of the All-State Music Camp. He has presented workshops and clinics on marching band techniques and computer drill design and appeared as guest conductor throughout the Midwest and Canada. He has had numerous articles published on instrumental music education in The Instrumentalist and other professional publications.

For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu>.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts.

* * *

CANTY READS MAY 4 -- Kevin Canty will read from "Honeymoon," his first collection of short fiction since his acclaimed debut "A Stranger in This World," at 8 p.m. Friday, May 4 at the Prairie Lights Bookstore in downtown Iowa City. The reading -- part of the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, 910 AM -- is free and open to the public.

Canty has written two novels, "Into the Great Wide Open" and "Nine Below Zero." His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, GQ, Details, Story, Glimmer Train and the New York Times Magazine. He teaches creative writing at the University of Montana.

"The literary world boasts silver-tongued Irishmen and moody regionalists aplenty, but Canty is in a class of his own," says The Kirkus Reviews.

For more information about this event, call Prairie Lights at (319) 337-2681.

* * *

RUNESTAD WILL CONDUCT KANTOREI MAY 4 -- Kurt Runestad, a University of Iowa doctoral candidate in choral conducting, will lead Kantorei in its final concert of the 2000-2001 academic year, at 8 p.m. Friday, May 4 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The concert will be free and open to the public.

Kantorei is the premier choral ensemble of the School of Music. It is a touring ensemble of approximately 30 singers, most of whom are graduate students. Kantorei presents four or five concerts on campus each year, tours to off-campus performances and participates in major choral works with the University Symphony. Past tours have been international, including performances in Russia, Korea and Spain.

For the May 4 concert, Kantorei will perform three 16th-century French chansons: Cantata No. 21, "Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir," by J.S. Bach; "Schaffe in mir Gott ein rein Herz," op. 29 no. 2, by Johannes Brahms; "Lay a Garland on Her Hearse" by Robert Pearsall; and "My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord," a spiritual arranged by Moses Hogan.

During the 16th century, nearly 10,000 chansons -- choral settings of French secular verse -- appeared in printed or manuscript sources. The three chansons chosen for Kantorei’s program -- one each by Claudin de Sermisy, Claude Le Jeune and P. de Villiers -- give slightly different glimpses of this diverse genre.

Bach’s Cantata No. 21 was written in 1724, during Bach’s first years as music director for the St. Thomas’ Church in Leipzig. The years in Leipzig -- from 1723 until his death in 1750 -- were Bach’s most productive period. His most fertile period for cantata composition was at the very beginning of this period, the years 1723-1725, during which time he wrote more than 50 cantatas per year.

Based on a chorale by Martin Luther, "Aus tiefer Not" was written for the 21st Sunday after Trinity, and was first performed on Oct. 29, 1724. One of the most notable features of the cantata is the chromaticism in the opening movement that depicts the "deep distress" and "sin and injustice" referred to in Luther’s hymn.

The performance of Cantata 21 will be accompanied by a chamber orchestra.

Brahms had an intense interest in the music of the past and he especially revered J.S. Bach. Not only did he study, own and copy a number of Bach works, but he also conducted a number of Bach’s works with his own choirs.

The two motets of opus 29, completed in 1860, can be counted among Brahms’ works directly influenced by Bach and other contrapuntal music of the past. The second of the two in particular bristles with counterpoint, including canons of all kinds, an extended fugue and free imitative writing. Brahms also imbues the work with 19th-century techniques, including harmonic richness and chromaticism, that make the work more than a copy of works from the past.

For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu>.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts.

* * *

STEEL DRUMS CELEBRATE MAY 5 -- The PanAmerican Steel Band and Steel Band II from the University of Iowa School of Music will celebrate "Cinco de Mayo" (May 5), a major holiday among Mexican Americans, with a joint concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 5, in the Old Capitol Mall in downtown Iowa City.

Dan Moore, head of the percussion area of the UI School of Music, said, "This concert, which kicks off the spring tour of the PanAmerican Steel band, will be a family-fun event. We’d like people to join the PanAmerican Steel band as well as Steel Band II for an evening of Calypso and fun -- good weather guaranteed!"

The program will be chosen from the current repertoire of the two groups, which includes Brazilian tunes, salsa, soca, ska, Calypso and Latin jazz. Among them are the familiar Calypso tune "Mary Ann," a salsa version of "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White," "Why Not?" "Soul Sauce," Bahia." "Sly Mongoose," Everywhere Calypso" and "Play Mr. Pannist Play."

Originating on the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, the steel pans, or steel drums as they are variously known, are actually 55-gallon oil barrels that have been carefully crafted into tuned musical instruments. These tuned drums have a remarkable timbre that is immediately recognizable as a Caribbean sound. They characteristically play the infectious Calypso, Soca and Reggae music of the West Indies, but their repertoire includes everything from American pop and jazz to arrangements of classical music.

"Cinco de Mayo" (May 5) was originally a celebration of the victory by a Mexican army of Mestizos and Zapotec Indians over French troops at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Although the Mexican army was eventually defeated, the "Batalla de Puebla" became a symbol of Mexican unity and patriotism, and today Cinco de Mayo is considered a date of great importance for Mexican and Chicano communities.

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on a much larger scale in the United States than it is in Mexico. Over the years it has become a time for fun and dance when people of Mexican descent and other Latinos celebrate by having parades, mariachi music, folk dancing and other types of festive activities.

For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu>.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts.

* * *

CAMERATA SINGERS PRESENT CONCERT MAY 6 -- Camerata Singers, a University of Iowa choral ensemble made up of UI students and community members, will present a free concert at
3 p.m. Sunday, May 6, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Graduate student Charles Steddom will conduct the concert.

The first half of the concert will be devoted to a single piece, the "Missa Sancti Nicolai" by Joseph Haydn. Following intermission, Camerata will perform Four Chansons by Paul Hindemith, "Swansea Town" by Gustav Holst, "Just As The Tide was Flowing" by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and the spiritual "I’m Gonna Sing ‘til the Spirit Moves in My Heart" by Moses Hogan.

Haydn’s "Missa Sancti Nicola" (Mass of St. Nicholas) is tied to one of the composer’s best known works, the "Farewell" Symphony of 1772. The story of the symphony is well known: many of the musicians in the orchestra were eager to leave Esterhaza castle, where the court spent the summer, and return home to Eisenstadt, but their employer, Prince Esterhazy, liked to linger at the remote castle. To get the point across, Haydn had the notion of writing a symphony in which one instrument after the other falls silent.

This symphony was performed at the first opportunity in the presence of the prince. Each of the musicians was directed, as soon as his part was finished, to put out his candle, pack up his music and, with his instrument under his arm, to exit the stage. The prince and the audience understood the meaning of this pantomime at once, and the next day the order came to depart from Esterhaza.

However, the prince seems not to have liked the advanced musical style of the symphony. Perhaps as little as a week later Haydn presented the prince with a new Mass on the occasion of his name day. The fact that this Mass was composed in the prince’s favorite Italianate style leaves little doubt that this was intended as a thank offering for his prompt move away from Esterhaza and his patience with the new and rather radical approach that Haydn had demonstrated in the "Farewell" Symphony.

For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu>.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts.