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Iowa Brass Quintet features guest saxophonist on a free concert Oct. 30

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Iowa Brass Quintet from the University of Iowa School of Music will play a free concert with guest artist saxophonist Matthew Sintchak at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Consisting primarily of UI faculty, the Iowa Brass Quintet is a resident ensemble at the UI School of Music. Sintchak, appearing for the first time as guest artist with the quintet, is also a faculty member of the UI School of Music.

Sintchak will be soloist for the Concerto da Camera (Chamber concerto) by Fisher Tull, a work the Iowa Brass Quintet has recorded. The score was commissioned in 1987 for saxophonist Michael Jacobson, who teaches at Baylor University, and it is one of the few works to feature the saxophone as both solo and chamber music instrument.

Also included on the program is one of the few original brass compositions from the 19th century, Three Pieces by Ludwig Maurer. A violinist and composer, Maurer was a precocious child musician. He spent most of his adult life in St. Petersburg, Russia, serving as composer and performer for Russian aristocratic families. The three pieces were written for 19th-century brass instruments and arranged for their modern equivalents by Robert Nagel.

The Iowa Brass Quintet will combine two different arrangements of parts of J.S. Bach's massive "Goldberg" Variations in order to play the theme and five of the 30 variations that made up Bach's original keyboard work. Written in 1741 for Bach's pupil Johann Gottlieb Goldeberg, the variations were supposedly intended as nocturnal entertainment for an insomniac count, although this attractive legend has never been proven. They are generally regarded as one of the greatest sets of variations in music history, remarkable for their contrapuntal mastery and design as well as the imagination and fantasy with which the theme is varied.

The remaining works on the program, "Capriccio" of Leonard Salzedo and the Quintet for Brass of Edward Gregson, were both written for the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble of London. One of the leading orchestral and chamber musicians in London, trumpeter Philip Jones has commissioned many compositions for his brass ensemble, which he founded in 1951 and led until 1986.

The Iowa Brass Quintet performs on the UI campus each semester and for schools, universities, civic concert associations, and professional meetings throughout the United States. Founded in the early 1950s, the group has been widely acclaimed for its artistry in the performance of music of all periods and premieres of new compositions.

The quintet's recent CD, "Americana: A University of Iowa Celebration," features works by composers associated with the UI, either as faculty or students in the School of Music, or whose works have been favorites of the group over the years. It was released as part of the celebration of the UI Sesquicentennial in 1997.

Members of the Iowa Brass Quintet are David Greenhoe and Barbara Deur, trumpets; Kristin Thelander, horn; David Gier, trombone; and Robert Yeats, tuba.

A visiting professor at the UI, Sintchak has previously taught at the University of Hartford; Nazareth College and Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, N.Y.; and at Eastman, where he won a 1996-97 Teaching Prize. An avid performer of contemporary music, Sintchak has also given traditional solo recitals on the East Coast and performed with Hartford and Portland symphonies and the Rochester Philharmonic, and with the Eastman Wind Ensemble on two tours to Japan. He has also performed with several alternative groups including the Jupiter Saxophone Quartet, the first honors/scholarship saxophone ensemble in the history of the New England Conservatory of Music.

Sintchak studied at Boston University, the New England Conservatory, and the Paris Conservatory on a grant from the Beebe Foundation. He recently completed his doctorate in saxophone performance with a Performer's Certificate from Eastman.

Greenhoe has been on the faculty of the UI School of Music and the principal trumpeter of the Quad City Symphony since 1979. He is also chair of the brass area at the UI and is active as a soloist and recitalist. During summer seasons he performs as solo trumpeter with the Lake Placid (N.Y.) Sinfonietta, a post he has held since 1975.

Deur is a member of the Quad Cities Symphony and has been a trumpet instructor at UI. She has performed widely as a soloist and clinician, has been principal trumpet of the Des Moines Symphony and has been a member of the Cedar Rapids Symphony.

The newest member of the brass faculty at the UI School of Music, Gier came to the UI in August 1995. He has taught at Baylor University and Central Connecticut State University. He began his professional career in New England as a member of the Springfield (Mass.) Symphony and Orchestra New England. He has performed with numerous professional ensembles, including the New Haven, Hartford, Waco and San Angelo symphonies, and Keith Brion's Peerless Sousa Band. He is currently principal trombone of the Breckenridge (Colo.) Festival Orchestra.

Thelander, who joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in 1989, is active as both soloist and chamber musician. During the summer she performs with the Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, Ore. Previously she was on the music faculty at the University of New Mexico, and she was a member of the New Mexico Brass Quintet, the Santa Fe Symphony, the New Mexico Symphony and the Four Corners Opera Festival in Durango, Colo.

Yeats has taught at the UI for more than 20 years. He was principal tubist with the Cedar Rapids Symphony for 19 years and has appeared as soloist with many professional orchestras, bands and brass ensembles on the East Coast and across the Midwest. At the UI he teaches tuba and euphonium, directs the Collegium Tubum and edits the "University of Iowa Guide to Selected Wind and Percussion Materials."