CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Nov. 2, 2001
Iowa Brass Quintet from UI School of Music will perform 5 centuries of
brass music Nov. 14
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Iowa Brass Quintet, a resident faculty ensemble at
the UI School of Music, will perform music from the late Renaissance to the
year 2000 in a free concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14 in Clapp Recital
Hall on the UI campus.
"That's practically a capsule history of European music," David
Gier, the quintet's trombonist, said. "If you consider 2000 to be the
first year of the century, the program will span five centuries, from the
17th to the 21st."
The Iowa Brass Quintet performs on the UI campus each semester and for schools,
universities, civic concert associations and professional meetings throughout
the United States. Its current members are David Greenhoe and Barbara Deur,
trumpets; Jeffrey Agrell, horn; Gier; and Robert Yeats, tuba.
The earliest piece on the Nov. 14 concert will be "Fancies, Toyes and
Dreames" by the early 17th-century English composer Giles Farnaby, arranged
for modern brass instruments by Elgar Howarth. "These pieces, conceived
for keyboard instruments, work exceptionally well for the brass quintet,"
Gier said. "They also provide a marvelous opportunity for David Greenhoe
on first trumpet to embellish and ornament -- something he does as fluidly
and musically as anyone I've ever heard." "We will be accompanied
on this piece by percussionist Tony Oliver, a member of the Quad City Symphony,
a UI graduate and a current doctoral candidate at Rutgers University. Tony
will improvise parts for the dance movements, in the tradition of the roving
consorts that originally performed these works, which were the popular music
of the time."
Proceeding chronologically, the quintet will next play a piece from the late
17th century, a brass quintet arrangement of Three Sonatas from "Turckischer
Eulen-Spiegel" (Turkish Owl-glass), composed in 1688 by German composer
Daniel Speer. Skipping ahead to the 19th century, they will play the Quintet
No. 2 by Jean-Francoise-Victor Bellon, followed by the "Armenian Scenes"
of 20th-century composer Alexander Arutiunian.
The most recent piece on the concert will be "Kinetics" for brass
quintet, written in 2000 by 18-year-old composer Sheridan Seyfried. A musical
prodigy, Seyfried is a violinist, a member of Philadelphia Youth Orchestra,
and the 2001 winner of the Morton Gould Young Composer Award from the American
Society of Composer, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).
The Iowa Brass Quintet will conclude their performance with "Four Outings
for Brass," a 1974 composition by Andre Previn that has become a staple
of the brass quintet repertoire. "This work was written at the insistence
of London Symphony tubist John Fletcher," Gier said. "As you might
suspect, it features the tuba. Fletcher was a virtuoso, so the part is very
wide-ranging, both technically and musically.
"'Four Outings' is an attractive piece because of its exciting, idiomatic
writing for the brass family, and its clever integration of jazz stylings
and more modern compositional techniques."
Founded in the early 1950s, the Iowa Brass Quintet has been widely acclaimed
for its artistry in the performance of music of all periods and premieres
of new compositions. The quintet's CD "Americana: A University of Iowa
Celebration" features works by composers associated with the UI, either
as faculty or students in the School of Music, or whose works have been favorites
of the group over the years. It was released as part of the celebration of
the UI Sesquicentennial in 1997.
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
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.
Agrell is a visiting faculty member in the School of Music. Before coming
to Iowa, he was a member of U.S. Army Bands from 1970 to 1973 and was associate
principal horn with the Lucerne (Switzerland) Symphony Orchestra from 1975
until 2000. During that time he also performed chamber music throughout Europe.
Widely respected as performer, teacher and composer, Agrell was invited to
be a guest artist/clinician at the 2001 Workshop of the International Horn
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."
The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
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/.
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