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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 6, 2008

Iowa Brass Quintet performs Nov. 13, from Baroque to modern

The Iowa Brass Quintet, a resident faculty ensemble at the University of Iowa School of Music, will present "a balanced concert with sparkling variety" at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol on the UI Pentacrest.

The concert will be free and open to the public.

The Iowa Brass Quintet (IBQ) performs on campus each semester and for schools, universities, civic concert associations, and professional meetings throughout the United States. Its current members are David Greenhoe and Brian Umlah, trumpets; Jeffrey Agrell, horn; David Gier, trombone; and John Manning, tuba. Greenhoe, Agrell, Gier and Manning are School of Music faculty members; Umlah is a doctoral student.

The program will range from transcriptions for brass of Baroque-era keyboard music to 20th-century works written for brass quintet:

--The Prelude and Fugue in F major from the Well Tempered Clavier, Book II, by Johann Sebastian Bach, arranged for brass by former UI brass student Louis Hanzlik.
--"Incisioni -- Five Engravings in Brass," composed in 1969 by Vittorio Rieti.
--Four Madrigals by Claudio Monteverdi, as edited and arranged for brass by Ramond Mase.
--The famous Largo from "Xerxes" by Handel, transcribed for brass by Keith Snell.
--The Allegro movement from Handel's Concerto Grosso No. 10, arranged by Gary Slechta.
--"Armenian Scenes," composed in 1987 by Alexander Arutiunian.

"The IBQ reads through a considerable stack of quintets each semester to select a concert program," Agrell noted. "Sometimes a theme emerges, such as pieces by similar composers, a certain country, repertoire of a famous ensemble and so on. But there was no theme in mind for this program, although some similarities emerged in the choosing.

"Four of the pieces are from the Baroque era -- those by J.S. Bach, Monteverdi and Handel -- and two are modern -- Rieti and the Arutiunian. Three pieces had origins or influences from vocal music: Monteverdi madrigals, Handel's 'Largo' and the chorales in the Rieti 'Incisioni.' Three pieces are transcriptions -- Bach, Monteverdi and the two by Handel -- and two are original pieces -- Rieti and the Arutiunian.

"The transcriptions work excellently for the brass quintet, and the result is a balanced concert with sparkling variety -- music both old and new, fast and slow, strict and fanciful, that should please every concert goer."

Founded in the early 1950s, the IBQ has been widely acclaimed for its artistry in the performance of music of all periods and premieres of new compositions. The quintet's CD "Americana: A University of Iowa Celebration" features works by composers associated with the UI, either as faculty or students in the School of Music, or whose works have been favorites of the group over the years. It was released as part of the celebration of the UI Sesquicentennial in 1997.

Biographies of the four members of the IBQ who are also UI faculty members may be found on the School of Music Web page

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For more informaion visit

For UI arts information and calendar updates visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then 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, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0072 (office) 319-541-2846 (cell),