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Release: Immediate

(NOTE TO EDITORS: A separate release will be sent Feb. 20 to preview the March 12 Hancher Auditorium concert of the Colorado Quartet)

Reading-group sign-up in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Lisbon begins Dec. 1

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Registration will begin Dec. 1 for reading groups at the Iowa City, Cedar Rapids and Lisbon libraries, in conjunction with the winter residency of the Colorado Quartet at the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium. Together with the Colorado Quartet, the January-March reading groups will explore the expression of personal identity in music and literature.

The four weeks of reading-group activities will lead up to a Hancher concert by the Colorado Quartet March 12. The concert will feature full performances of pieces excerpted in the reading-group sessions.

The reading groups are free, and the books will be provided. With the moderation of Paul Ingram of Prairie Lights Books, the reading groups will address identity issues ranging from ethnic or racial identity to the immigrant experience in America. Among the books that will be read are "Dvorak in Love" by Josef Skvorecky, the play "Amadeus" by Peter Shaffer, "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston and "Jasmine" by Bharati Mukherjee.

The Colorado Quartet will participate in the discussions and also play movements of string quartets that are linked to the discussion issues.

In Iowa City, those who wish to participate must register and pick up their books at the audio-visual desk of the Iowa City Public Library. Registration and book pick-up in Cedar Rapids is in the administrative office on the second floor of the Cedar Rapids Public Library. To register at the Lisbon Library, call Amy White at (319) 455-2800.

For additional information in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, call the Iowa City Public Library at (319) 356-5200 or Janet Rater at the Cedar Rapids Public Library, (319) 398-5123.

The reading groups are part of seven weeks of Colorado Quartet residency at the UI during the 1997-98 season. This fall the quartet worked with churches in Iowa City and Muscatine to explore connections between spirituality and music, leading up to a Nov. 3 Hancher concert.

Planning for this ambitious project began three years ago and was advanced with a 1996-97 planning grant from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, through the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP).

The Colorado Quartet visited the UI last season, and met with representatives of each of the community organizations projected to participate. This planning process became the basis for the successful application for a much larger Lila Wallace-Readers' Digest Fund Arts Partners Program grant to implement the project.

For information about the residency, call Judith Hurtig at (319) 335-1136, or check the Hancher page on the World Wide Web: <>.

The Hancher concerts are part of the Group 5 Hospitality Chamber Music Series, for which the corporate sponsor is the Group 5 Hospitality Management Division of Highlander, Inc., through the University of Iowa Foundation.