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University of Iowa News Release

 

April 13, 2007

University and Concert Bands Present Shared Concert April 25

The University and Concert Bands from the University of Iowa School of Music will present a joint concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The concert, which concludes the two bands' activities for the spring semester, will be free and open to the public.

Two of the concert wind ensembles in the UI Band Department, the University and Concert Bands are open to UI students. They share the program for a concert at least once each semester.

The Concert Band is directed by Kevin Kastens, a member of the School of Music faculty who also leads the Hawkeye Marching Band during the fall semester and heads the Iowa Summer Music Camps each June. Music faculty member Mark Weiger will be oboe soloist on this portion of the concert, and UI graduate student Darrin Oehlerking will be featured as a guest conductor.

The program of the Concert Band will be:

-- "Children's March: Over the Hills and Far Away" by Percy Aldridge Grainger;

-- Fantasie on "Martha," op. 23, by Theophile Lalliet, arranged by Kastens and featuring Weiger as soloist;

-- "George Washington Bridge" by William Schuman, conducted by Oehlerking; and

-- "The Year of the Dragon" by Philip Sparke.

An eccentric personality and a sensational pianist, Grainger was born in Australia. He came to the United States in 1915 and served in the U.S. Army Music School during World War I, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1919. He lived near New York City and was for many years the head of the music department at New York University. He was one of the first composers to write original works for the modern concert band.

Grainger wrote "Children's March: Over the Hills and Far Away" as a piano piece and dedicated it to "my playmate beyond the hills." The playmate was believed to be a Scandinavian beauty with whom he corresponded for eight years, but whom he did not marry because of his mother's jealousy. Grainger began the band arrangement in 1918 while a member of the U.S. Coast Artillery Band, and the Goldman Band first performed it in 1919 with Grainger conducting.

Lalliet was an oboist active in Paris in the late 19th century. He published a number of virtuosic fantasies for winds and piano or winds with orchestra, including the Fantasie on "Martha," a dazzling and virtuosic set of variation on themes from a once-popular opera of that name by Friedrich von Flowtow.

The University Band is conducted by UI graduate teaching assistant Ward Miller. The band's program for the concert will be:

-- "Dedicatory Overture" by Clifton Williams;

-- "Scenes from 'The Louvre'" by Norman Dello Joio;

-- "The Veterans' March" by Gabriel Parès, arranged for concert band by Lucien Calliet;

-- "Shenandoah" by Frank Ticheli; and

-- "Festal Scenes" by Yasuhide Ito.

"Scenes from 'The Louvre'" is a five-movement work depicting different aspects of the Louvre museum by presenting music in the style of Renaissance composers. Dello Joio composed the music for a 1964 NBC television series about the Louvre. After the score won an Emmy for outstanding television score that year, the composer adapted a concert band suite for the Baldwin-Wallace College Wind Ensemble.

"The Veterans' March" is a turn-of-the-century march originally titled "Le Grognard." Parès had a storied career in the French military bands, culminating in the early 1890's with his assuming leadership of the world famous Garde-Républican band in Paris. Under his direction the band toured both Europe and North America, and appeared at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. Calliet, a student of Parès, transcribed the American band version in 1960.

"Festal Scenes" was derived from four folk songs prevalent in the Aomori Prefecture of Japan, and is Ito's first major band piece. According to the composer, he was inspired to write this work upon receiving a letter from a friend who said, "Everything seems like Paradise blooming together. Life is a festival, indeed."

Kastens joined the UI faculty as director of the Hawkeye Marching Band in 1998. He also directs the Concert Band, teaches band arranging and marching band techniques, and is the director of Iowa Summer Music Camps. He has presented workshops and clinics and appeared as guest conductor throughout the Midwest and Canada. For more, see: http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/bios/CONDkastens.htm.

For more information on UI bands, visit their Web page at http://www/uiowa.edu/~bands/.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to http://list.uiowa.edu/archives/acr-news.html, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

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; cell: 319-541-2846; peter-alexander@uiowa.edu.