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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 9, 2006

Local Students Attend Honor String Orchestra at The University of Iowa

Students from (hometown) are among 29 high school string players from Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin who will participate in the annual Honor String Orchestra at the University of Iowa School of Music Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24 and 25.

The activities will conclude with a free public concert under the direction of William LaRue Jones, director of orchestral studies at the UI, at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Two works will be performed on the program. The Honor String Festival Orchestra will perform the Suite for Strings by English composer John Rutter, and they will join with the UI Philharmonia Orchestra string players for a performance of the "Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis" by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Students attending the event play in the orchestra at (name of school). Students who participated in the UI Honor String Orchestra are: (name of student; year in school; instrument). They are students of (high school orchestra director).

Students were selected for the Honor String Orchestra by the recommendation of their high school orchestra directors. During the two-day event, the students participated in orchestra rehearsals as well as sectional rehearsals and master classes with members of the UI School of Music faculty.

The English composer John Rutter is well-known for his church music, and especially his settings of carols, both arrangements of traditional tunes as well as his own original compositions. The Suite for Strings Orchestra is part of a tradition of British strings pieces that includes works by Benjamin Britten, Edward Elgar, Gustav Holst and others. The Rutter's suite is in four movements, each based on a well-known folk song.

Ralph Vaughan Williams received a commission for an orchestral work to be performed in the fall of 1910 in Gloucester Cathedral. During the course of his work as Music Editor of the English Hymnal, he had discovered Thomas Tallis's settings of metrical psalms, written in 1567 for the first archbishop of Canterbury. Vaughan Williams chose one of theses tunes and set it in a form from the same period, the fantasia on a theme. The use of strings alone also recalls the music from the era that was written for an ensemble of viols. Written originally for cathedral space and acoustics, the Fantasia calls for two string orchestras and a solo string quartet.

A UI music alumnus, Jones joined the faculty of the School of Music in 1997 as director of the University Symphony and director of orchestral studies. Prior to joining the UI faculty, Jones was the founding music director/administrator of the internationally recognized Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.

Jones has appeared as a guest conductor with a wide array of professional, festival, collegiate and student ensembles throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia, ranging from the Minnesota Orchestra and the Minneapolis Pops to the Penang (Malaysia) Symphony, the Antofagasta (Chili) Symphony and the Symphony Orchestra of Lucerne (Switzerland). Jones has conducted more than 70 all-state orchestras with additional festival/clinics in most of the 50 states and Canadian provinces.

Jones is a highly honored musician, having received the Twin Cities Mayors' Public Art Award, the American String Teachers Association Exceptional Leadership and Merit Award and the David W. Preuss Leadership Award. He has also been selected Musician of the Year by Sigma Alpha Iota, a music honorary society.

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 on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact

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EDITORS: Receipt of this release indicates that students from your community or readership area participated in the Honor String Orchestra at the UI School of Music. The students are listed below, arranged alphabetically by town. Each town is followed by school names, the names of students, the year in school and the instrument that each plays. Some students also have their parents' names listed, if that information was available. The high school orchestra director's name appears after each school's listing. Please note that the list is based on information provided by the students; we have given you all the information we currently have available. For clarification, or to arrange local photo opportunities, you may contact the local school or orchestra director.


Burlington: Burlington High School - Bennet Goeckner, junior, viola, Fritz Goeckner and Tracy Bell; Amy Pirtle, junior, cello, Dan and Leigh Pirtle; Clayton Tillotson, junior, violin, Dan and Kylene Tillotson (Diana Wells)

Cedar Rapids: Jefferson High School - Jaina Brandstetter, senior, violin; Laura Van Ginkel, junior, viola (Martin Clancey)

Kennedy High School -- Adam Fricke, junior, bass, Craly and Darla Fricke; Vicky Levasseeur, junior, cello, Tom and Sue Levasseur; Allison Plaenn, junior, violin, Bob and Cindy Mehler; Kelsey Reeve - junior, violin, Rex and Brenda Reeve (John Hall)

Iowa City: West High School -- Nadia Hlebowitsh, freshman, cello, Peter and Erica Hlobowitsh; Andy Lee, freshman, cello, Ho Kyn Lee; Jessica Wu, freshman, violin, Minta and Hui-Ying Wu (Wayne Thelander)

Le Mars: Le Mars Community High School -- Megan Alons, junior, viola, Sandra Guy and Doug Alons; Ryan Becker, senior, violin, Christopher and Barbara Becker; Jerica Burchard, senior, violin, Janna and Mark Blomquist; Megan Sabin, senior, viola, Mitch and Diane Sabin; Sally Sams, senior, violin, Juanita Sams; Rachel Schultz, senior, violin, Lee and Audrey Schultz (Ted Hallberg)

Mount Vernon: Mount Vernon High School - Melanie Corpe, junior, cello, Duane Corpe; Nicole Gnatek, senior, violin, Laura Gnatek (Tabitha Kaminsky)

SIOUX CITY: Sioux City East High School -- Jolie Farley-Wamberg, junior, viola; Kaitie Groeneweg, sophomore, violin; Kali Lewis, senior, viola; Claire May-Patterson, junior, viola; Rebecca Vanderham, senior, violin (Eleanor May-Patterson)


Geneva: Geneva High School -- Alex Jenkins - sophomore, bass, Jim and Monica Jenkins

(Julie Lawrence-Loucas)

New Lenox: Lincoln-Way Community High School Central - Michael Gagliano, sophomore, violin, James and Dawn Gagliano (Stacy Williams-Jackson)

Park Ridge: Maine South High School -- Kristina Pearson, senior, violin, Karl and Glenna Pearson (Rebecca Pascal)


Platteville: Platteville High School -- William Schlager, senior, bass, Lynn and Susan Schlager (Owen Strizic)

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,