CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
UI Symphony Band concert highlights Honor Band Weekend at UI
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Symphony Band will present
a concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20 in Hancher Auditorium on the UI campus.
Myron Welch, director of UI bands, will conduct the concert, which is
free and open to the public. Saxophonist Matthew Sintchak, a visiting faculty
member at the UI School of Music, will be the guest soloist.
The concert is part of the annual Honor Band Weekend at the UI. Each
year approximately 150 high school musicians from around the state are
invited to campus to play with a distinguished guest conductor and to attend
clinics on their individual instruments.
The high school Honor Band will present its own free concert with guest
conductor Timothy Topolewski at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21 in Hancher Auditorium.
The program for the Saturday concert of the Symphony Band will include
"Festmusik der Stadt Wien" (Festival music for the City of Vienna),
a showpiece for double brass choir of trumpets, trombones and tubas with
timpani; Three Dance Episodes from Leonard Bernstein's World War II musical
comedy "On the Town"; "Awayday," a musical homage by
British composer Adam Gorb to the "irresistible brashness and irrepressible
high spirits" of the Broadway musical; a band transcription of the
Finale to the opera "Andrea Chenier" by Umberto Giordano; and
"Cartoon" by Paul Hart, music for an imaginary animated film.
Sintchak will be featured in the Concerto for alto saxophone and band
by Paul Creston.
Strauss wrote the "Festmusik der Stadt Wien" in 1943 while
he was living in Vienna. It was written for the city's brass ensemble,
made up of players from the Vienna Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony and
the orchestra of the Vienna Folk Opera.
Grob has written of his "Awayday," "In this seven-minute
curtain raiser my inspiration came from the great days of the American
musical comedy. I have tried to express the exhilaration of getting away
from it all for a few short hours on a festive Bank Holiday. . . . If you
can envisage Gershwin, Bernstein, Stravinsky and James Bond traveling together
at 100 miles per hour in an open sports car, I think you'll get the idea."
Paul Hart has been one of England's most prolific jingle writers and
composers for television and film. He also wrote a Concerto for Guitar
and Jazz Orchestra for the guitarist John Williams and the popular Promenade
Concerts in London. His "Cartoon" was commissioned for concert
band for the Royal Tournament Series and includes, according to a note
in the score, music for "the big opening credits, the cat and mouse
tease and chase, the strutting swagger, and of course, the BIG FINALE!"
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 the Eastman School of Music, 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 is
completing his doctorate in saxophone performance with a Performer's Certificate
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 the Midwest.
Topolewski is professor of music at the Crane School of Music in Potsdam,
N.Y., where he conducts the Wind Ensemble and teaches conducting and music
theory. He also serves as a conductor in the Crane opera department. Prior
to taking that position he was director of bands at Coe College in Cedar