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Release: March 16, 2001

Iowa Brass Quintet presents original works for brass and arrangements on March 28 concert

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Iowa Brass Quintet, a resident ensemble at the University of Iowa School of Music, will enter territory usually reserved for singers by performing arrangements of Italian Renaissance madrigals as part of a free concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 28 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The program will also include "William Boyce Suite" -- arrangements by Howard Cable of music by the English Baroque composer; Divertissement and Quintet for Brass, two original works for brass quintet by Walter S. Hartley; and "Par monts et par vaux" (Up hill and down dale), also an original work for brass quintet, by Michel Leclerc.

The program concludes with "La Rose Nuptiale" (The wedding rose) by Calixa Lavallee, a 19th-century composer better known for having written the music for the Canadian national anthem, "O, Canada."

David Gier, the trombonist of the quintet, commented on the programming. "This program combines what we think is the best of both original works for brass and transcriptions," he said. "The Italian Madrigals were arranged by trumpeter Raymond Mase for the American Brass Quintet. Like much music from the Renaissance, these madrigals work well for homogenous brass sound. This collection is full of fascinating melodic twists.

"The Boyce and Lavallee are borrowed from the early repertoire of the Canadian Brass. The Boyce features some wonderfully florid writing for trumpet, and the Lavallee is a highly entertaining work in a 19th-century operetta style.

"The two Hartley quintets are finely crafted, short works," Gier continues. "The Quintet was written in 1963 for a student group that our first trumpet player, David Greenhoe, was playing in at Interlochen at the time. As David tells it, Hartley visited a rehearsal late one evening, asked the group if it would play something of his if he wrote it, and showed up just a few days later with this quintet. As quickly as it was written, it has stood up well over the years!

"The Leclerc is an impressionistic work, probably the least ‘brassy’ quintet imaginable. It’s quite colorful and imaginative in its depiction of a variety of nature vignettes."

The Iowa Brass Quintet performs on the UI campus each semester and for schools, universities, civic concert associations, and professional meetings throughout the United States. Founded in the early 1950s, the group has been widely acclaimed for its artistry in the performance of music of all periods and premieres of new compositions. Its current members are David Greenhoe and Barbara Deur, trumpets; Jeffrey Agrell, horn; David Gier, trombone; and Robert Yeats, tuba.

The quintet’s CD "Americana: A University of Iowa Celebration" features works by composers associated with the UI, either as faculty or students in the School of Music, or whose works have been favorites of the group over the years. It was released as part of the celebration of the UI Sesquicentennial in 1997.

Greenhoe has been on the faculty of the UI School of Music and the principal trumpeter of the Quad City Symphony since 1979. He is also chair of the brass area at the UI and is active as a soloist and recitalist. During summer seasons he performs as solo trumpeter with the Lake Placid (N.Y.) Sinfonietta, a post he has held since 1975.

Deur is a member of the Quad Cities Symphony and has been a trumpet instructor at UI.
She has performed widely as a soloist and clinician, has been principal trumpet of the Des Moines Symphony and has been a member of the Cedar Rapids Symphony.

Agrell is a visiting faculty member in the School of Music, where he teaches undergraduate horn, directs the Horn Choir, coaches chamber music and performs with the Iowa Brass Quintet. Before coming to Iowa, he was a member of U.S. Army Bands from 1970 to 1973 and was associate principal horn with the Lucerne (Switzerland) Symphony Orchestra from 1975 until 2000. During that time he also performed chamber music throughout Europe. Widely respected as performer, teacher and composer, Agrell has been invited to be a guest artist/clinician at the 2001 Workshop of the International Horn Society.

Gier came to the UI in August 1995. He has taught at Baylor University and Central Connecticut State University. He began his professional career in New England as a member of the Springfield (Mass.) Symphony and Orchestra New England. He has performed with numerous professional ensembles, including the New Haven, Hartford, Waco and San Angelo symphonies, and Keith Brion’s Peerless Sousa Band. He is currently principal trombone of the Breckenridge (Colo.) Festival Orchestra.

Yeats has taught at the UI for more than 20 years. He was principal tubist with the Cedar Rapids Symphony for 19 years and has appeared as soloist with many professional orchestras, bands and brass ensembles on the East Coast and across the Midwest. At the UI he teaches tuba and euphonium, directs the Collegium Tubum and edits the "University of Iowa Guide to Selected Wind and Percussion Materials."

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts.

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