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Release: April 23, 1999

Alumni will sing along as Hatcher conducts his final Kantorei concert May 7

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Alumni of Kantorei, the premier choral ensemble from the University of Iowa School of Music, will return to campus and sing along as William Hatcher, director of the group since 1988, conducts his final Kantorei concert at 8 p.m. Friday, May 7, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Hatcher, who is director of choral activities at the UI School of Music, has announced that he will retire at the end of the summer semester.

Hatcher will share conducting duties for the May 7 concert with graduate assistant Gregory Milliron. Piano accompanist for the concert will be graduate student Samuel Kwok.

More than 50 former singers of Hatcher's Kantorei will come back to Iowa City from around the United States for the concert. After intermission they will join with the current members of Kantorei to sing a program with a stylistic diversity that has been characteristic of Hatcher's programming at the UI. Composers on this portion of the concert will be the Renaissance master Giovanni Perluigi da Palestrina; the German Romantic composer Johannes Brahms; and contemporary composers Trond Kverno, Steven Chatman and Moses Hogan.

The first half of the concert, directed by Milliron, will include works by Heinrich Schuetz, Samuel Barber and early American composer William Billings. A featured work will be "Acrostic Song from 'Final Alice'" by David Del Tredici. A work arranged by the composer from his well known 1976 symphonic work "Final Alice," it is a setting of the final poem in Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass."

During his UI career Hatcher directed the graduate choral conducting program, conducted choral ensembles in the School of Music and frequently appeared 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.

In the fall of 1996, he took Kantorei to 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 Estonia and Finland. Kantorei has also performed for regional and national conventions of the ACDA in 1992 and 1993.

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

Milliron holds degrees in vocal music and conducting from Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo. He has also done graduate work at the University of Arkansas and was a visiting instructor of music at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo., where he served as interim director of choral activities. He is concluding his first year of doctoral studies in the choral music program at the UI.

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