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Release: April 9, 1999

Dan Moore and UI Percussion Ensemble will salute Earth Day on free concert April 22

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Percussion Ensemble will perform "Recycle Cycle" -- music performed on recyclable instruments -- as part of a free concert on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22 at 8 p.m. in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

In honor of Earth Day, all of the instruments used for the "Recycle Cycle" will actually be recycled at the end of the performance, according to rules outlined in the Johnson County Recycling and Waste Reduction Guide.

Ensemble director Dan Moore said, "We wanted to start out by literally 'cleaning up our act' for Earth day.

"We will play on things that people don't usually think of as musical instruments, including newspaper and a variety of plastic and glass containers. There will be a couple of surprising recycled instruments too."

In addition to this earth-friendly opener, the program will also feature works for more conventional percussion instruments, including the world premiere of "She, My Africa" by UI undergraduate percussion student Cormac Cannon and the Midwest premiere of "Gate to Heaven" by David R. Gillingham, with UI doctoral student Brett E.E. Paschal as marimba soloist.

Percussionist James Dreier, a drumset performer and ethnic percussion specialist, will lead an Afro-Cuban percussion ensemble in a performance of traditional music. Other works closing out the program will be "Stubernic" by Mark Ford and "Stained Glass" by David R. Gillingham.

The UI Percussion Ensemble is directed by UI music faculty member Dan Moore, with the assistance of three graduate student assistant conductors: Paschal, Jon-Marc Donald and Timothy Gavin Shaw.

"She, My Africa" was composed for the UI Percussion Ensemble over the past winter. It was inspired by a poem written for Cannon's sister, who served with the Peace Corps in West Africa. The thematic material is based on a group of notes derived from the letters in "Africa": A, F, D-sharp (which is written "ri" in some scale systems) and C.

A graduate of Cary-Grove High School in Cary, Ill., Cannon has studied percussion with the Patricia Dash of the Chicago Symphony and composition with Andrew Boysen of the University of New Hampshire.

"Gate to Heaven" was commissioned by the UI Percussion Ensemble in a consortium with five other universities. The score is structured as a concerto for solo marimba and percussion ensemble, written in three movements performed without a break. Each movement reflects a stage of the journey of the soul into heaven. The first movement, "Remission," represents death and the consequences of the soul's former life. The second movement, "Reflection," is a solemn look into the past life of the soul, suggesting mixed emotions about that life. The final movement, "Redemption," invokes an image of heaven.

Paschal, the soloist in "Gate to Heaven," holds degrees from Eastern Washington University and the University of Tennessee. He has an established career as percussion performer and educator and is a performing artist for Encore Mallets.

The UI Percussion Ensemble provides students with performance experience in wide-ranging contemporary styles, many different cultural traditions, and the historical roots of percussion. With an extensive array of instruments -- from traditional drums, xylophones and cymbals to just about anything that can be struck, scraped, shaken or smashed together -- Percussion Ensemble performances run the gamut from gentle melodies to explosive outbursts of rhythm.

Recently, the Percussion Ensemble celebrated the release of a CD recreating music from a 1950s hit recording. The new CD, "Jungle Fever: Dan Moore Plays the Music of Dick Schory," was recorded by the UI Recording Studios and recording engineer Lowell Cross and released on the Ovation Records label.

The recording celebrates the accomplishments of Iowa native Schory and his Percussion Pops Orchestra, who made several popular recordings in the 1950s and early '60s including the1958 best-selling "Music for Bang, Barroom, and Harp."

An internationally known percussionist, composer and teacher, Moore has experience from concert to marching percussion, and from jazz to classical styles. Performing all aspects of percussion, including keyboard percussion, drum set, ethnic and multi-percussion, he is considered a "total percussionist."

As a soloist, Moore has developed a unique new style of marimba performance, using a MIDI set-up that allows him to create layers of electronically triggered and natural acoustic sounds. For the past 12 years he has toured as a member of the Britain/Moore Duo, whose CD "Cricket City" has been described by Pan-lime Magazine as "a brilliant collage of pan-marimba pieces." He is a performing artist for the Yamaha Corporation of America, Sabian Ltd., and Innovative Percussion. He has written for Jazz Player, Sticks and Mallets and Percussive Notes magazines.

"Jungle Fever: Dan Moore Plays the Music of Dick Schory" is available from Moore in the School of Music, at (319) 335-1632 or by e-mail at It is also available from Real Compact Discs and Records, located at 132 1/2 Washington St. in Iowa City.

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