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Release: Immediate

(NOTE TO EDITORS: A separate release will be sent Oct. 17 to preview the Nov. 3 Hancher concert of the Colorado Quartet.)

Colorado Quartet fall residency at UI connects spirituality and music

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- On Sept. 29 the Colorado Quartet will begin seven weeks of adventuresome residency activities organized by the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium. This fall the string quartet will work closely with three area churches to explore the connections between spirituality and chamber music. The fall three-week residency period will conclude with a Nov. 3 concert in Hancher, featuring music excerpted in the churches.

The Colorado Quartet will be integrated into the musical and educational activities of Wesley United Methodist Church in Muscatine, Sept. 29 through Oct. 5; the Unitarian Universalist Society in Iowa City, Oct. 13-19; and Zion Lutheran Church in Iowa City, Oct. 27-Nov. 2. Members of the three churches will also qualify for special discounts on tickets to the Nov. 3 Hancher concert.

In each of the churches the quartet will participate in two evenings of discussion and music, rehearsal with the choir and organist, and a performance during the Sunday worship services. Each of the Sunday services will be given over almost entirely to music, and will be followed by a general discussion inviting the participation of the congregation with the clergy, the organist, the choir and the Colorado Quartet.

The schedule of Colorado Quartet public activities at Wesley United Methodist is:

-- 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30, adult education session;

-- 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1, open rehearsal with the choir and organist;

-- 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, adult education session

-- 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, worship service.

At the Unitarian Universalist Society, the public schedule is:

-- 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14, adult education session;

-- 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, adult education session;

-- 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, open rehearsal with choir and organist;

-- 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, worship service.

At Zion Lutheran Church, the schedule is:

-- 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, adult education session;

-- 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, adult education session;

-- 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, open rehearsal;

-- 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, worship service.

Peter Alexander, a Ph.D. musicologist who is director of UI Arts Center Relations and the music director at the Unitarian Universalist Society, will be the facilitator for the discussions of spirituality and chamber music, and the ways that composers express their faiths through music.

Among the composers whose music will be performed by the Colorado Quartet are Haydn, Beethoven, Ives, Shostakovich and George Crumb.

The Colorado Quartet -- violinists Julie Rosenfield and Deborah Redding, violist Francesca Martin Silos and cellist Diane Chaplin -- has performed in Hancher on several occasions, and the positive experiences the quartet has provided became the basis for the residency.

Hancher assistant director Judith Hurtig, who is national board secretary of Chamber Music America, says the quartet's combination of musicianship, intelligence and openness made them a perfect choice for this innovative residency.

"They are not only excellent musicians with a palpable love of music, but they are also wonderful communicators whose casual approach to performance demolishes every false stereotype about the stuffiness and elitism of chamber music," Hurtig says. "They treat their listeners not as an audience, but as friends."

The Colorado Quartet's seven weeks of 1997-98 residency is the longest residency ever undertaken by Hancher Auditorium in a single season. 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.

In early 1998 the quartet will return to interact with reading groups at the Iowa City, Cedar Rapids and Lisbon libraries during a four-week period, culminating with a March 12 Hancher concert.

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

Contact numbers for the churches are: Wesley United Methodist, (319) 263-1596; Unitarian Universalist Society, (319) 337-3443; Zion Lutheran, (319) 338-0944.

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.

Tickets for the Hancher concerts are available from the Hancher Auditorium box office, (319) 335-1160 or toll-free in Iowa and western Illinois, 1-800-HANCHER.