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Release: Immediate

UI Old Gold Singers, alumni and area choirs will 'Swing Into Spring'

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Old Gold Singers will be joined by show choirs from schools in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids and 40 years of Old Gold alumni for their annual "Swing Into Spring" concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 4 in Hancher Auditorium on the UI campus.

The Old Gold Singers is directed by School of Music graduate assistant Bret Peppo.

The school groups appearing with the Old Gold Singers will be the Fourth Avenue Jazz Company from Iowa City High School, directed by Greg Grove; the Good Time Company from Iowa City West High School, directed by Jim and Ann Berry; and 10th Street Edition from Linn-Marr High School, directed by Bob Anderson.

The Old Gold Singers will appear in three different portions of the program, with the alumni joining them during the final portion. In between the Old Gold appearances, each of the school groups will present their own "set," or portion of the program.

Fourth Avenue Jazz Company will perform "Orange Colored Sky," "The Way You Look Tonight," "Hosanna" from Andrew Lloyd Weber's Requiem and a medley from the Broadway show "Jelly's Last Jam." Good Time Company will perform "Only Time Will Tell," "Party Time," a medley from "Secret Garden" and "Separate Ways." Tenth Street Edition will perform "Renegade," "Danger Zone," "Help is On the Way" and "Goin' Back to Miami."

The Old Gold Singers will open the performance with a set that features a gospel medley including "Go Tell It on the Mountain" and "O Happy Day." Later they will sing a selection of songs from the current Broadway hit show "Ragtime." Their final set will include "Respect," "Bridge Over Trouble Water" and the traditional "Swing Into Spring" performance of the UI Alma Mater.

Alumni will join the current Old Gold Singers to perform "The Music, the Magic and the Memories," a piece commissioned from veteran show-choir arranger Gary Fry as a tribute to Marcia Fennema Deveraux, the Old Gold Singer's first accompanist, and premiered on last year's "Swing Into Spring" program.

Deveraux, who accompanied the group 1957-62, died of cancer in 1995. Ames businessman Carmon Slater, who had been in the Old Gold Singers with Deveraux, wanted to commission a piece in her memory. In 1995 Slater contacted James Berry, who was then the conductor of the Old Gold Singers, and William Hatcher, the director of choral activities at the UI School of Music. They contacted Fry, a composer and arranger who also operates a commercial music studio in Chicago, and asked him to write "The Music, the Magic and the Memories," which was completed in 1996.

The Old Gold Singers is a select musical group whose members are chosen by audition. In addition to "Swing Into Spring," their campus performances include the annual "Cocoa and Carols" and "Fall Festival" concerts, as well as a free concert of classical choral music at the end of the spring semester. The group also travels throughout Iowa, performing for schools and community groups. Most recently, the Old Gold Singers toured to New Orleans during the UI spring break. Past tours outside the state have taken them to New York, Washington, D.C., and the Bahamas.

Tickets for :Swing Into Spring" are $9 for general admission, $6 for students, seniors and youth. They may be purchased from the Hancher Auditorium Box Office.

Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. From the local calling area or outside Iowa, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance within Iowa and western Illinois is toll-free at 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction.

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. The line is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.