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Release: Sept. 14, 2001

Trombonist Gier, other Music School faculty to perform Sept. 26

Trombonist David Gier, who enjoys performing with his faculty colleagues at the University of Iowa School of Music, will be joined by no fewer than five of them for a program presenting the trombone in a variety of instrumental combinations at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Their performance will be free and open to the public.

Joining Gier will be pianist Shari Rhoads, as well as oboist Mark Weiger, flutist Tadeu Coelho, clarinetist Maurita Murphy Mead and bassoonist Benjamin Coelho.

The first half of the program will feature works for trombone and piano: the Fantasy of Sigismond Stojowski, Gier's own transcription of Katerina's Aria from "Lady McBeth of Mzensk" by Dmitri Shostakovich, and an arrangement of the Trombone Concerto by Frantisek Domazlicky.

The second half of the program will comprise two chamber pieces that feature the trombone: the Trio for Oboe, Trombone, and Piano by Ronald Roseman and Raymond Eugene Premru's Concertino for Trombone Solo and Flute, Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon.

"As always, one of the main motivations for me to perform is the opportunity to work with my wonderful colleagues," Gier said. "This will be my second collaboration with Shari Rhoads. Since Shari is a world-class coach/accompanist and conductor of opera, I thought it would be enjoyable to transcribe some of the vocal repertoire. When I spoke with her, she immediately suggested Katerina's aria from Shostakovich's opera 'Lady McBeth of Mzensk.'

"We are performing from the vocal score to the opera. I am playing the vocal part, and sometimes some of the orchestral parts. It works remarkably well, and became the focal point for the first half of the program, which features two lesser-known works by eastern European composers."

"The second half of the program is a further exploration of my interest in chamber works that feature trombone in small, mixed instrumentations. Chamber compositions for unusual instrumentations seem to be a hallmark of the 20th -- and now 21st — centuries.

"The trombone has played an important role in this genre. Unfortunately, because these works are not for standard instrumentations they are not programmed by established ensembles, and often fall into oblivion after just one or two performances."

Raymond Premru was a trombonist with the London Philharmonia Orchestra and the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble (later the London Brass), who later taught at the Oberlin Conservatory. The Concertino dates from his last year of study at the Eastman School, where he was a student of composition.

Premru writes of the Concertino: "In this work the trombone takes on the role of a chamber instrument in contrast to the usual task provided for him in the symphony orchestra. As in many other contemporary works, the trombone has emerged, in spite of much prejudice, as a solo instrument, the most colourful of the brass family."

The Roseman Trio was premiered by Roseman on oboe, with trombonist John Swallow and pianist Seymour Lipkin at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in July of 1985. "At this time, I was studying with Swallow at Yale," Gier said, "and I remember him preparing for the performance. Mark Weiger was a student of Roseman's at Juilliard, so in some sense, this is a 'second-generation' performance. The Trio is a strongly evocative piece, and explores some of the surprisingly compatible characteristics of oboe and trombone -- two instruments that seem so different."

A member of the UI music faculty since August 1995, Gier teaches trombone and brass chamber music and performs with the Iowa Brass Quintet. A graduate of Yale and the University of Michigan, he has taught at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and was principal trombone of the Waco and San Angelo (Tex.) symphony orchestras.

He has performed with numerous professional ensembles, including the New Haven and Hartford symphonies, the New Orchestra of Westchester, Keith Brion's Peerless Sousa Band and, most recently, the Cedar Rapids and Quad City symphonies. During the summer he serves as principal trombone of the Breckenridge (Colo.) Festival Orchestra.

As a chamber musician, Gier performed with the trombone quartet Slide Chamber Players, prize winners in the 1989 Shoreline Alliance for the Arts Chamber Music Competition. An active soloist, clinician and adjudicator, Gier has performed and presented workshops at colleges, universities and professional conferences, including the 1998 International Trombone Festival. He is chair of the International Trombone Association's Competition Contest Committee.

Rhoads joined the UI School of Music faculty in the fall of 2000. She earned her degree in accompanying and has completed post-graduate studies in opera coaching/conducting at the University of Southern California. Before arriving at the UI she taught music history at the Musikhochschule (Music conservatory) in Lucerne and the Conservatory of Lausanne in Switzerland. Rhoads has also been Kapellmeister at the Lucerne Theater and conductor/coach at the opera theater in Darmstadt, Germany. She was coach at the Barcelona and Madrid opera theaters.

Her accompanying credentials include recitals with Jose Carreras, Luis Lima and Montserrat Caballe with whom she worked exclusively as coach/accompanist and orchestrator. She has accompanied master classes with a number of renowned artists including singer Gerard Souzay, cellist Lynn Harrell and violist William Primrose, and served as staff accompanist for the Francesco Vinas (Barcelona, Spain) and Munich International competitions.

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/. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <deborah-thumma@uiowa.edu>.