Jan. 31, 2008
PHOTOS: Nicole Esposito will be the piccolo soloist with the Symphony Band, and Myron Welch will conduct the UI Symphony Band in Hancher Auditorium and Carnegie Hall.
Symphony Band will present Esposito, preview Carnegie Hall concert Feb. 16
The University of Iowa Symphony Band will present Nicole Esposito (photo, left), a faculty member at the UI School of Music, as piccolo soloist and preview their coming visit to New York's famed Carnegie Hall in a free concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, in Hancher Auditorium.
The concert, under the direction of Myron Welch (photo, right), will be part of the annual Honor Band weekend, which brings more than 100 talented high school students to the UI campus for workshops, lessons and rehearsals. The 2008 Honor Band will present its own free concert in Hancher at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, under the direction of UI alumnus Andrew Boysen Jr.
"We are pleased to have the fine high school musicians in the Iowa Honor Band and their directors as our guest for this annual concert," Welch said. "It also gives us great pleasure to feature our new professor of flute, Nicole Esposito."
Esposito, who joined the School of Music faculty last fall, will play the Concerto for Piccolo by Bruce Boughton, an Emmy Award-winning TV and film composer.
Welch will lead the Symphony Band in performances of two other works on the concert: "Festmusik der Stadt Wien" (Festival music for the City of Vienna) by Richard Strauss and the Symphony No. 4 by David Maslanka. Those works will be performed by Welch and the band in Carnegie Hall in New York on March 19.
The Symphony Band's concert in Carnegie Hall honors Welch, UI professor of music and director of bands, who is retiring from the university after conducting UI bands for 28 years. This will be the first time the 72-member Symphony Band has played in Carnegie Hall, the premier classical music performance space in the United States. The performance will be in the 2,804-seat Isaac Stern Auditorium, the largest and most historically significant hall at Carnegie.
For more information on the Symphony Band's trip to Carnegie Hall, see http://www.news-releases.uiowa.edu/2008/January/011508symphony_carnegie.html.
Boughton has been a successful composer on the Hollywood film and TV scene for many years. His works include music for the films "Silverado," "The Three Musketeers," "Tombstone" and "Honey, I Blew Up the Kid"; the main themes for "JAG" and "Quincy" and many other TV scores; as well as numerous concert works. For more, see his Web page: http://www.brucebroughton.com/.
Strauss' "Festmusik der Stadt Wien" receives relatively few live performances, largely due to its extreme difficulty. Both in instrumentation (10 trumpets, 7 trombones, 2 tubas and timpani) and duration (11 minutes) the score poses a daunting task for the performers.
The "Festmusik" was written in 1943 for a brass ensemble consisting of members of the Vienna Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony and the Vienna Volksoper. Modeled after the antiphonal practice of the Baroque composer Giovanni Gabrieli, the score showcases two choirs that pass material back and forth. The result is an impressive mixture of technical brilliance and sonic beauty.
A prolific composer of music for wind ensembles, Maslanka has served on the faculties of the State University of New York at Geneseo, Sarah Lawrence College, New York University and Kingsborough College of the City University of New York.
The Symphony No. 4 was jointly commissioned by the University of Texas Wind Ensemble, Stephen F. Austin State University Band and Michigan State University Band. The manuscript was completed in 1993.
The composer writes: "The roots of Symphony No. 4 are many. The central driving force is the spontaneous rise of the impulse to shout for the joy of life. I feel it is the powerful voice of the Earth that comes to me from my adopted western Montana, and the high plains and mountains of central Idaho.
"My personal experience of this voice is one of being helpless and torn open by the power of the thing that wants to be expressed -- the welling-up shout that cannot be denied. I am set aquiver and am forced to shout and sing. The response in the voice of the Earth is the answering shout of thanksgiving, and the shout of praise.
"Out of this, the hymn tune Old Hundred, several other hymn tunes, and the original melodies which are hymn-like in nature form the backbone of Symphony No. 4 . . . I have used Christian symbols because they are my cultural heritage, but I have tried to move through them to a depth of universal humanness, to an awareness that is not defined by religious label. My impulse through this music is to speak to the fundamental human issues of transformation and re-birth in this chaotic time."
Maslanka's Web page is http://www.davidmaslanka.com/.
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 www.uiowa.edu/~music/bios/CONDwelch.htm.
Esposito joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in 2007. She has achieved a career as a soloist, teacher, chamber and orchestral musician on an international level and has been a featured soloist and recitalist at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, the Interlochen Arts Academy, the Detroit Institute for the Arts, the Musikhochschule- Wuppertal in Germany and the North American Cultural Center of Costa Rica. Esposito has also performed at numerous National Flute Association Conventions and many regional flute conferences. See http://www.neflute.com/home.htm or http://www.uiowa.edu/%7Emusic/bios/WINDesposito.htm.
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 www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
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