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University of Iowa News Release

 

Oct. 12, 2007

UI Symphony Band and Symphony Orchestra will share Oct. 24 concert

The University of Iowa Symphony Band and the UI Symphony Orchestra (UISO) will both be on the program for the second concert of the 2007-08 series of subscription concerts from the UI School of Music, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, in Hancher Auditorium.

The Symphony Band, under the direction of Myron Welch, will open the concert with "A Child's Garden of Dreams," a major work for wind ensemble by the American composer David Maslanka.

After intermission, the UISO will perform two works under the direction of David Nelson: Symphony No. 2 (the "Romantic" Symphony) by Howard Hanson, and the Prelude to Richard Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg" (The mastersingers of Nuremberg).

"The Symphony Band is pleased to share our second concert of the season with the UISO," Welch said.

The remaining dates in the series of ticketed concerts presented by the UISO in Hancher Auditorium will be:

--Nov. 28: The UISO and combined University Choirs will perform under conductor Timothy Stalter.

--Feb. 20: William LaRue Jones will return to lead the UISO with UI faculty soloists Katie Wolfe, violin, and Volkan Orhon, double bass.

--March 26: New UI flute faculty member Nicole Esposito will make her UISO debut with Jones conducting the orchestra.

--May 7: Timothy Hankewich, music director and conductor of the Cedar Rapids Symphony, will be the guest conductor.

 "'A Child's Garden of Dreams' is written for a reduced instrumentation and will feature 48 members of the 72-piece Symphony Band," Welch said. "This is a very emotional work that is melodic, scored beautifully, and exciting to both performers and listeners. It has attained the stature of one of the major works for winds."

The score was written on commission for the Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble and premiered in 1982. It is based on five from a group of 12 dreams of a young girl that were described by psychologist Carl Jung.

"Though childlike, they were uncanny, and contained images whose origin was totally incomprehensible to the girl's father," Jung wrote. The girl died a year after she experienced the dreams, and Jung wrote that "The dreams were a preparation for death, expressed through short stories . . . These dreams open up a new and rather terrifying aspect of life and death."

Nelson said that Hanson's "Romantic" Symphony "brings back some great memories for me. Howard Hanson was born and raised in Wahoo, Nebraska, very close to Omaha. He often came back to the Omaha area to visit friends and colleagues when I was playing in the Omaha Symphony more than 35 years ago. As a result, I had the privilege of playing the 'Romantic' Symphony under his direction."

"It is also interesting to recall that Himie Voxman, my predecessor as director of the School of Music, collaborated with Hanson in establishing advanced doctoral degrees in music performance."

One of the most influential American composers and music educators of the 20th century, Howard Hanson taught music theory for several years before being appointed director and composer-in-residence of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Hanson is credited with turning Eastman into one of the major American music conservatories.

Hanson named Edward Grieg of Norway and Jan Sibelius of Finland as important influences on his compositions. In spite of other demands on his time -- as conductor, teacher and administrator -- he was a prolific composer who completed seven symphonies and other works. With its rich harmonies and lyrical thematic material, the early "Romantic Symphony" is probably the most popular and the most frequently played of all his scores.

The Prelude to "Die Meistersinger" is one of the most popular orchestral concert openers, as well as one of the most popular concert selections from Wagner's music dramas. Unlike most operatic curtain-raisers, it was composed and performed before most of the drama it precedes.

Wagner wrote "Die Meistersinger" as a sort of light-hearted break in the work on his monumental cycle of four music dramas, "The Ring of the Niebelungen." He wrote the text of "Die Meistersinger" in 1861, and began work on the music early the next year. The first concert performance of the prelude was given in Leipzig in November of that year, but the entire music drama was not completed until 1867. The first performance was given in Munich in 1868.

Welch has been director of bands at the UI since 1980 and is a Collegiate Fellow in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The past president of the American Bandmasters Association, the Big 10 Band Directors Association and the Iowa Bandmasters Association, Welch is a frequent guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician with bands throughout the United States. See http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/bios/CONDwelch.htm

Nelson is currently professor of music education at the UI. He is the founding director of the UI Division of Performing Arts and former director of the School of Music. As a violinist and conductor, he performed with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the Austin (Texas), Omaha, Quad-City and the Madison symphony Orchestras, and served as associate concertmaster of the Owensboro (Ky.) Symphony. For more information see http://www.uiowa.edu/%7Emusic/bios/ADMINnelson.htm

Individual tickets to University Symphony concerts are $10; UI student and youth $5; senior citizen $7. Tickets are also eligible for a discount as part of the UI Division of Performing Arts 2007-08 series.

If purchased together with other tickets for events presented by the UI Division of Performing Arts -- the Mainstage season of University Theatres, the annual Dance Gala performances, ticketed School of Music concerts in Hancher Auditorium and a production by the UI Martha-Ellen Tye Opera Theater -- tickets to the concert may be eligible for a series discount.

The events are detailed in a Division of Performing Arts brochure that is available at the Hancher Auditorium Box Office, in the UI Theatre Building and from the division's marketing office at 319-335-3213. As explained in the brochure, patrons who purchase tickets to four, five or six events will receive a 20 percent discount; purchasing tickets for seven or more events earns a 25 percent discount.

Hancher Auditorium box office school-year business hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to 319 353-2284. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets also may be ordered online 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the Hancher box office website http://www.hancher.uiowa.edu.

Hancher box office orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction.

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 (office), 319-541-2846 (cell), peter-alexander@uiowa.edu