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Release: Immediate

Annual Band Extravaganza presents top UI wind groups Nov. 18-19

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The 29th annual Band Extravaganza, featuring the top bands from the University of Iowa School of Music, will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 18 and 19, in Hancher Auditorium on the UI campus.

One of the UI School of Music's most popular events, the Band Extravaganza, features three ensembles: The Hawkeye Marching Band, directed by Morgan Jones; the Johnson County Landmark jazz band, directed by John Rapson; and the Symphony Band, conducted by Myron Welch.

The UI Symphony Band performs many of its own full-length concerts during the year, both on and off-campus. Its program contains contemporary works and transcriptions as well as standard band repertoire.

The Symphony Band and conductor Myron Welch will present three pieces for the Band Extravaganza: the Finale from the Symphony No. 3 of Vitorio Giannini; "Chester," an arrangement by William Schuman of a Revolutionary-War-era American tune; and the March.op. 99, of Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev.

Johnson County Landmark (JCL) is the UI's ensemble devoted to the performance of original works by the great composers of the big-band jazz repertory. Consisting of the best jazz players at the School of Music, JCL is known for picking up the prizes at jazz festivals and contests around the country. Members of JCL won the top awards at the International Trumpet Guild's 1994 Jazz Competition and the 1994 Jazz Composition Competition sponsored by California State University at San Diego.

For the concert, JCL will play works from the heart of the big-band style, including "Quintessence" by Quincy Jones, featuring the band's lead alto saxophonist, Mike Giles; the Count Basie arrangement of "April in Paris," with the famous "one more time" shout chorus; and the Thad Jones classic "Big Dipper."

As always, the Hawkeye Marching Band promises to provide lots of fun and surprises. The band will play selections from the 1997 football-season half-time shows, including the traditional band skits and a performance by the drum line, and concluding with the traditional UI songs "On Iowa" and the "Iowa Fight Song."

Jones is interim director of the Hawkeye Marching Band for the 1997-98 academic year. A native of Muscatine, Jones was director of the Marching Band 1973-91.

During Jones' tenure, the band attended 11 bowl games, including three Rose Bowls, three Holiday Bowls, two Peach Bowls, the Gator Bowl, Freedom Bowl and the Kickoff Classic. Under his direction, the band also won the 1990 Sudler Intercollegiate Marching Band Trophy, awarded by the John Philip Sousa Foundation for lontgime contributions by the band and its directors.

Jones holds undergraduate and master's degrees from the UI. As an undergraduate he was a member of the Hawkeye Marching Band trumpet section and attended the 1957 and 1959 Rose Bowls. He received a doctorate in music education from Northwestern University. An active clinician and music contest judge, he is the founder of the Iowa Ambassadors of Music.

Rapson joined the faculty of the UI School of Music as director of jazz studies in August 1993. A recording artist for the Sound Aspects and Nine Winds labels, he is a composer and trombonist whose work mixes ethnic and experimental elements with more conventional jazz forms. His recent experimental jazz recording "Dances and Orations" has been hailed as "one of the most vital CDs to come around in a long time" in Jazziz and as "a conceptual and musical triumph" by Josef Woodard in the Independent.

Rapson holds a master's degree in music theory and composition from California State University, Northridge, and has completed course work for a doctorate in Ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University.

Welch has been director of bands at the UI since 1980. In addition to conducting the Symphony Band and Chamber Wind Ensemble, Welch teaches courses in instrumental methods and conducting and is coordinator of the Iowa Honor Band and the All-State Music Camp. Prior to joining the UI faculty he was director of bands and coordinator of music education at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He has bachelor's and master's degrees in music from Michigan State University and a doctorate in music education from the University of Illinois.

Welch is past president and chair of the board of directors of the American Bandmasters Association, president of the Big 10 Band Directors Association and past president of the Iowa Bandmasters Association. He is a frequent guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician with bands throughout the Midwest.

Tickets for reserved seats for the Band Extravaganza are available for $4 from the Hancher Auditorium Box Office. Hancher box office is open 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and 1-3 p.m. Sunday. From the local calling area or outside Iowa, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance within Iowa is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express.

People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158. This number will be answered by box office personnel prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair access and seating, hearing augmentation and other services offered to people with special needs. The line is equipped with TDD for the hearing impaired who use that technology.