CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 20, 2000
UI Symphony Band to feature student soloist Wach, euphonium,
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- One of the most outstanding students
in the University of Iowa School of Music will be the featured soloist with
the UI Symphony Band in a concert at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3 in Clapp Recital
Hall on the UI campus.
The concert, under the direction of Myron Welch, will
be free and open to the public.
Jessica Wach, a senior studying euphonium with faculty
member Robert Yeats, will perform the Euphonium Concerto by Martin Ellerby.
Other works on the concert will be a band arrangement of Giuseppe Verdis
Overture to "La forza del destino ("The force of destiny"),
"Colonial Song" and "Molly on the Shore" by Percy Grainger,
"Huntingtower Ballad" by Ottorino Respighi and the Sinfonietta of
Wach won both the 2000 National Collegiate Brass Competition
of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), held March 27 during the
organizations national convention in Minneapolis, and the 1999-2000
University of Iowa Concerto Competition, which led to a performance with the
University Chamber Orchestra in April. She has also received an Iowa Center
for the Arts music scholarship at the UI.
Wach currently is principal euphonium in the Symphony
Band and a member of the Hawkeye Marching Band. She has appeared as soloist
with the University Band, the Cedar Rapids Municipal Band and the Iowa City
A graduate of Davenport West High School, Wach is the
daughter of Tom and Janice Wach of Davenport, both of whom were tuba majors
studying with Yeats at the School of Music in the 1970s.
Verdi received a commission to write an opera for the
Imperial Theater in St. Petersburg in 1861, when he was at the height of his
fame and popularity in Italy. The previous 10 years had seen the premieres
of most of his best known and best loved operas, including "Rigloetto"
"Il Trovatore" (1853), "La Traviata" (1857) and "Un
ballo in maschera" ("A masked ball," 1859). In addition, Verdi
and his music had become identified with Italian nationalism, and he was elected
to the first Italian parliament in 1860.
"La Forza del destino," one of his more melodramatic
works, was written for the commission from the Imperial Opera and premiered
in St. Petersburg Nov. 22, 1862, with the composer in attendance. The overture,
which captures the drama and strong emotions of the opera, is a staple of
An eccentric personality and a sensational pianist, Percy
Grainger was born in Australia. He came to the United States in 1915 and served
in the U.S. Army Music School during World War I, becoming
a U.S. citizen in 1919. He lived near New York City and was for many years
head of the music department at New York University. He was one of the first
composers to write original works for the modern concert band.
Grainger wrote of his "Colonial Song," "In
this piece I have wished to express feelings aroused by thoughts of the scenery
and people of my native land, and also to voice a certain kind of emotion
that seems to me not untypical of native-born Colonials in general."
"Molly on the Shore" is based on two Cork reel
tunes, Irish folk melodies that had been collected and published in the early
years of the 20th century. Grainger, who made use of folk melodies in several
of his compositions, once wrote that "in setting Molly on the Shore
I strove to imbue the accompanying parts that made up the harmonic texture
with a melodic character not too unlike that of the underlying reel tune."
Until his death in 1936, Respighi was considered the most
significant of modern Italian composers. He studied composition with Martucci
in Italy, under Rimsky-Korsakov in Russia and under Max Bruch in Germany.
He visited the United States several times, and once supervised the production
of his opera "The Sunken Bell" at the Metropolitan Opera.
One his last works, "Huntingtower Ballad" was
written at the suggestion of the American band leader Edwin Franko Goldman
for performance at the 1932 convention of the American Bandmasters Association.
It was inspired by a stay at a small place in Scotland called Huntingtower,
and includes a Scottish theme near the middle of the composition.
Ingolf Dahl was born in Germany of Swedish parents. He
moved to the United States in 1928 and became an American citizen in 1943.
He spent the war years as a radio conductor and arranger in Hollywood and
began teaching at the University of Southern California in 1945. He also conducted
the universitys orchestra from 1945 to 1960 and 1968-69. He died in
Switzerland during a sabbatical leave in 1970.
The Sinfonietta was commissioned by the Western and Northern
Divisions of the College Band Directors National Association in 1961. The
score contains many surprises and musical references to band traditions. For
example, the first movement opens with the band tuning note,
b-flat; features off-stage trumpets; and has a dynamic march lifted from the
composers memory of his childhood in Stockholm, when he watched the
changing of the palace guard.
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 United States.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
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