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Release: Feb. 4, 2000

UI Hancher Auditorium sales hit $2 million mark for the 1999-2000 season

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Season ticket sales for events presented by the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium have surpassed the $2 million mark, barely halfway through the 1999-2000 season.

Hancher's sales record was set in the 1996-97 performing arts season, when ticket receipts of $2,542,786 broke the old Hancher record of just over $2.2 million, set in the 1991-92 season.

The strong 1999-2000 sales have been especially gratifying to the auditorium's management because the centerpiece of the season is a Millennium Festival featuring 20 commissions, most of them world or American premieres in Hancher -- the most ambitious and extensive performing arts millennium celebration in the country.

"Commissions are very important as part of our commitment to nurturing the arts, a very long and treasured tradition at the UI," said Wallace Chappell, director of Hancher. "But as exciting as this arts research-and-development is for us to participate in, and as crucial as it is to the artists, new works are also risks, because they are unknown quantities to audiences. So I'm very pleased at the response of audiences this season, and in most cases the audiences at Millennium Festival events have been rewarded with new creations of the highest caliber."

The Millennium Festival continues through the spring, with new works to be premiered by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, March 24-25; the Australian Chamber Orchestra and UI alumnus' David Lang's Bang on a Can, April 8; Richard Danielpour's "A Child's Reliquary" on the program of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, April 13; a new work by Cedar Rapids native Michael Daugherty on the April 18 concert of the Ethos Percussion Group; and an entirely new program of international music by the Kronos Quartet and soprano Dawn Upshaw on May 3.

Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays, and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. From the local calling area or outside Iowa, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance within Iowa and western Illinois is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction.

People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158. The line is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

For UI arts news and information -- including the rest of the events in Hancher's spring season -- and arts calendar updates, visit the ArtsIowa website,