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Release: Immediate

UI Kantorei previews tour with free concert in Clapp Recital Hall March 8

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Kantorei, the premiere vocal ensemble of the University of Iowa School of Music, will preview an upcoming tour with a free concert at 8 p.m. Sunday, March 8, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The concert will be under the direction of William Hatcher, director of choral activities at the

UI School of Music, assisted by Yiping Wu and David Shaler, a graduate students in choral conducting.

The day after the concert Kantorei will take the same program on tour to Urbandale, Ames and Fort Dodge, ending with a special performance for the North Central Division Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, on March 12.

The program for the UI performance on March 8 covers different areas of Kantorei's extensive repertoire, from the 17th-century French composer Jean-Philippe Rameau to living composers, and from sacred Latin texts to settings of Shakespeare sonnets, descriptive pieces and arrangements of spirituals and popular music from America's past.

One of the featured works on the program will be "Cloudburst" by the young American composer Eric Whitacre. A musical setting of a natural cloudburst, the score is based on the poetry of Latin American poet Octavio Paz. Using vocal sounds, tone chimes and percussion instruments to create its extramusical effects, "Cloudburst" is an ingenious evocation of a natural phenomenon. Soloists for the performance will be soprano LeAnne Foust, baritone Daniel Afonso, and speaker Maria Delgado.

The other descriptive piece on the program will be an arrangement of "MacPherson's Farewell" featuring soloists Gary Haase, bass; Daniel Afonso, recorder; and UI School of Music faculty member Darlene Lawrence, piano. The American works on the program will include "The Water is Wide," "Black is the Color" and "Don't Be Weary, Traveler." The concert will end with a rousing rendition of "Old Time Religion."

Kantorei consists of 32 singers, including many graduate students in the choral conducting and voice areas of the School of Music. They present several concerts each year in the three concert halls on the UI campus and on tour throughout the Midwest. They also perform for one of Iowa City's most popular events, the annual Elizabethan Madrigal Dinners. Kantorei's varied repertoire includes choral chamber music ranging from the 17th century to new works

In the fall of 1996 UI Kantorei participated in an International Choral Competition in Tolosa, Spain. Prior to that honor, Kantorei was one of only five choirs chosen to participate in the 1994 World Choral Festival in Seoul, South Korea, where they presented concerts over an eight-day period.

In 1990 Kantorei performed the Mozart "Requiem" with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and other orchestras in the former Soviet Union and also gave concerts in Russia, Estonia and Finland. Kantorei has also performed for regional and national conventions of the ACDA in 1992 and 1993.

Hatcher has served as director of choral activities at the UI School of Music since 1988. He directs the graduate choral conducting program, conducts choral ensembles in the School of Music and frequently appears as music director of productions by the UI Opera Theater.

He was national president of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) 1991-93, and presently is chair of the ACDA Endowment Trust. Prior to coming to Iowa he taught at UCLA, the University of Washington and Pasadena City College.

Hatcher's concert tours with other collegiate ensembles have included Europe, Greece, the British Isles, Canada, Hawaii and the western United States. In 1985 his UCLA choir was selected as the sole U.S. representative and was a prize winner at the International Competition for Choirs in Spittal, Austria. Hatcher was also coordinator and assistant director of the 1,000-voice Olympic Honor Chorus, which sang for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles, an event telecast to more than two billion people worldwide.

Hatcher has published materials on choral skills and choral arrangements, and he appears frequently as a choral clinician and festival choir director.