CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: April 2, 1999
UI, West Des Moines Valley High symphony bands present
concert April 16
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Symphony Band
will be joined by a guest ensemble, the West Des Moines Valley High School
Symphony Band, for a free concert at 8 p.m. Friday, April 16 in Hancher Auditorium
on the UI campus.
The Valley High School Symphony Band, directed by Tony
Garmoe, will perform the first half of the concert. They will play the First
Suite for Band of Thom Ritter George, "Der Traum des Oenghus" (The dream of
Oenghus) by Rolf Rundin, "Adagio sostenuto" from the Symphony for Band of
Vincent Persichetti and "Tempered Steel" by Charles Young.
The UI Symphony Band, directed by Myron Welch, will play
"Celebration" by Edward Gregson, Paul Hindemith's Symphony in B-flat for Concert
Band, and "Dionysiaques" by Florent Schmitt.
In recent years the UI Symphony Band has invited an outstanding
area band to perform with them on a concert during the spring semester. The
April 16 guest performance by the Valley High School Symphony Band continues
The Valley High School Symphony Band has a tradition of
excellence that includes performance honors at the Iowa High School Music
Association State Large Group Contest, the Worlds of Fun Band Festival, the
Adventureland Concert Band Festival and the Iowa State University Honor Band
Festival. Six to 12 individuals from the band have been selected for the Iowa
all-State Band for the past eight years. In 1997 the band performed at the
Music Educators National Conference North Central Division/Illinois Music
Educators Association Conference in Peoria.
In the spring of 1998 the band presented the world premiere
of Andrew Boysen's "A Fallen Leaf." Commissioned through the Valley Wind and
Percussion Commissions Program, this work was the first composition sponsored
in part by the Valley High School Band Boosters.
A prominent composer in England, Gregson is principal
lecturer at Goldsmith's College, University of London, and teaches composition
at the Royal Academy of Music. Subtitled "Praeludium for Wind, Brass, Percussion,
Harp and Piano," "Celebration" was commissioned by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
Society for its 150th anniversary and premiered by the orchestra in the presence
of Queen Elizabeth II on March 21, 1991.
The composer has written, "I was particularly pleased
to receive the invitation to write this piece, as it gave me an opportunity
to compose a work which would celebrate not just the birthday of a great orchestra,
but the skills of a fine group of players, allowing them to demonstrate both
their virtuosity and their capacity for sustained,
sensitive playing." Played without pause, the piece has four distinct sections:
a fanfare for brass, a scherzo featuring woodwinds, a chorale and a finale
that combines the chorale and the fanfare.
Forced to leave Germany to escape the Nazis, Hindemith
came to the United States in 1940 and taught at Yale University from 1941
until 1953. One of the classics of the band repertoire, his Symphony in B-flat
was written for the United States Army Band. It was premiered in Washington,
D.C., on April 5, 1951 with the composer conducting. The three-movement symphony
shows Hindemith's great contrapuntal skill and the organized logic of his
thematic material. The score follows the traditional symphonic structure:
an opening movement in sonata form, a slow movement and a finale.
A native of northeastern France, Florent Schmitt went
to the Paris Conservatory in 1889 at the age of 19 to study with the distinguished
composers Jules Massenet and Gabriel Faure. Except for four years in Rome,
he spent most of the remainder of his life in Paris. He made one trip to the
United States in 1932 to perform the solo part of his Symphonie concertante
with the Boston Symphony. Schmitt continued composing until shortly before
his death at the age of 87.
"Dionysiaques" was composed in 1913 for the 100-member
Band of the Garde Republicaine in Paris and was first performed in 1925. The
title, from Greek mythology, refers to the gods of drama and wind, similar
to the familiar Roman god Bacchus.
Garmoe is a former graduate assistant with UI bands who
received a master's degree in band conducting from the UI in 1990. He has
been director of bands at Valley High School since 1991.
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. 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 of the American Bandmasters Association,
the Big 10 Band Directors Association and the Iowa Bandmasters Association.
He is a frequent guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician with bands throughout