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Release: April 28, 2000


PERCUSSIONISTS GET 'LAST CHANCE' May 7 -- The spring semester "Last Chance" concert of the University of Iowa Percussion Ensemble will begin at 8:02 p.m. Sunday, May 7, making it the final student concert of the 1999-2000 academic year at the UI School of Music.

The performance, which will be free and open to the public, will be in Harper Hall of the UI Voxman Music Building.

The UI Percussion Ensemble presents a "Last Chance" concert at the end of each semester, as one final opportunity for percussion students to perform the solos and ensemble pieces they have been studying.

Traditionally the "Last Chance" concert is also the last performance of the semester in the School of Music.

Dan Moore, the director of the ensemble and percussion professor at the School of Music, said the program has not been decided yet. "This program usually falls in place at the last minute," he said. "We will feature solos and duos by outstanding students from the percussion studio who will audition for the opportunity to play in the 'Last Chance' concert."

Formed in 1958, the UI Percussion Ensemble this year celebrates its 40th anniversary season. The group performs musical styles ranging from ragtime and jazz to 20th century concert idioms and traditional musical styles from Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia. In addition to the standard percussion repertoire, the ensemble regularly performs the newest music written by both professional composers and students.

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 are known for their variety and fast-paced programming, presented with humor, drama and old-fashioned showmanship.

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LIM READS MAY 10 -- Novelist Suchen Christine Lim from Singapore, international writer in residence at the University of Iowa, will read at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 10, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The reading -- part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" series originating live on the University of Iowa radio station WSUI, 910 AM -- is free and open to the public.

Lim, who attended the UI International Writing Program in 1997 on a Fulbright grant through the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, is a writer whose work reflects the complex multicultural reality of contemporary Southeast Asia.

Lim's first novel, "Ricebowl," was published in 1984, and in 1986, she co-authored a prize-winning short play, "The Amah: A Portrait in Black and White." Her second novel, "Gift from the Gods," appeared in 1990, and in 1992 she was the first writer to receive the Singapore Literature Prize for her third novel, "Fistful of Colours."

While studying for her post-graduate diploma in applied linguistics, Lim co-edited a literature series for secondary schools, and she is now a curriculum specialist in the Singapore Ministry of Education.

During the current residency, Lim is presenting workshops and readings at public libraries, schools and senior centers in Iowa.

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SETH READS MAY 12 -- Indian writer Vikram Seth will read from the 1999 novel "An Equal Music," just released in paperback, at 8 p.m. Friday, May 12, in the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. The reading -- part of the "Live From Prairie Lights" series originating live on the University of Iowa radio station WSUI, 910 AM -- is free and open to the public.

The romance of "An Equal Music" pairs a frustrated string-quartet violinist with a married pianist who is going deaf. Arthur Golden, author of "Memoirs of a Geisha," writes, "Vikram Seth's accomplishment in bringing not only these characters so fully to life, but the rich ambience of the music as well -- so difficult to render in words -- is something of a miracle."

Seth has emerged as one of the leading voices among English-language Indian writers. He was trained as an economist, but he created a furor in the literary world in 1986, with the publication of "The Golden Gate," the first Indian-English novel in verse. His second novel, "A Suitable Boy," is set in post-independence India.

His other works include five collections of poetry -- "Mappings," "All You Who Sleep Tonight," "The Humble Administrator's Garden," "Beastly Tales from Here and There," "Three Chinese Poets: Translations" -- as well as "Arion and the Dolphin," an opera in verse. He has also written a travelogue titled "From Heaven Lake," an account of his travels through Sinkiang and Tibet.