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University of Iowa News Release

April 9, 2004

UI Horn Choir Is Joined By High-School Horn Players For April 18 Concert

The University of Iowa Horn Choir will be augmented by a group of high school horn players from around the state of Iowa for its annual spring concert, at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 18, in Harper Hall of the UI Voxman Music Building.

The performance will be free and open to the public.

The high school students, who will perform with the UI Horn Choir on three numbers, will attend a UI horn ensemble workshop earlier in the day. UI horn professor Jeffrey Agrell directs the horn choir. Evan Mazunik, a graduate student in the UI School of Music, will be the guest Soundpainting conductor on two numbers.

The program features a number of out-of-the-ordinary pieces. The mass ensemble, including the high-school performers, will open the concert with Rudolph Mayer's fanfare-like "Praeludium‚" and follow it with Lowell Shaw's jazzy "Frippery No. 1."

Evan Mazunik will conduct/compose an improvised piece using Soundpainting, a system of gestures that structure improvisation. Mazunik has studied Soundpainting with its founder, Walter Thompson, and is the founder and director of Gamut, a Soundpainting ensemble at the UI.

A series of smaller horn ensembles will follow: a trio will premiere a new piece by Agrell entitled "Fantasia," a horn quartet will perform the first movement of Robert Schumann's Concert Piece for 4 horns and orchestra with piano accompaniment, and a quintet will play "Harambee" by Paul Basler, a piece based on African tradition.

Evan Mazunik will direct "Spontaneous Concerto," in which Jeffrey Agrell will improvise a solo horn part with Mazunik spontaneously creating an accompaniment with the horn choir using Soundpainting.

The concert will close with Henry Mancini's "Baby Elephant Walk" performed by the mass ensemble.

Agrell joined the UI School of Music faculty in 2000 after a 25-year career as symphony musician. At the UI he teaches horn, directs the Horn Choir, teaches introduction to improvisation and performs with the Iowa Brass Quintet. Before coming to Iowa, he was associate principal horn with the Lucerne (Switzerland) Symphony Orchestra 1975-2000, playing symphonic music, opera, operetta, ballet, musicals, choral music and chamber music.

Agrell began composing and arranging during his college years and played jazz guitar and electronic music in the 1980s. For the past decade he has had a steady stream of commissions from professional chamber music ensembles. His works have appeared on CD and have been broadcast on radio and television nationally and internationally. Several of his compositions have won awards.

Widely respected as performer, teacher and composer, Agrell has performed and given clinics and lectures at regional, national, and international workshops. He is on the faculty of the Asian Youth Orchestra in Hong Kong and was recently elected to the Advisory Council of the International Horn Society.

Mazunik's broad experience as a pianist, composer, and improviser includes work with distinguished musicians including Carla Bley, Bob Mintzer, Bobby Shew and Steve Swallow. He is currently the pianist for Johnson County Landmark, the UI's top jazz big band, and keyboardist for the Steve Grismore/Paul Scea Ensemble. He received a UI Student Art Grant to record Gamut's debut album, "Countermeasures."

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 ur-acr@uiowa.edu.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072, peter-alexander@uiowa.edu