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Release: Nov. 21, 2001

University of Iowa University and Concert Bands will share concert program Dec. 5

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University and Concert Bands from the University of Iowa School of Music will share the program of a free concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Bassoonist Benjamin Coelho, a member of the School of Music faculty, will be featured soloist with the Concert Band, directed by Kevin Kastens, a member of the School of Music faculty and director of the Hawkeye Marching Band. UI graduate assistant Craig Aarhus will conduct the University Band.

Two of the large wind ensembles at the School of Music, the University and Concert Bands are open to all students at the UI.

The University Band will play six works: "Cenotaph" by Jack Stamp; "Aquarium " by Johan de Meij; "Let Us Break Bread Together," an arrangement by Thomas Root of the traditional hymn tune; "Havendance" by David R. Holsinger; "The King Across the Water" by Bruce Fraser; and John Philip Sousa's popular march "High School Cadets."

Johan de Meij's third composition for symphonic band, "Aquarium" features descriptions of six tropical fish. The composition consists of three movements, with the second and third merging directly from one into the other. Each fish is represented by a motive, and those motives surface throughout the piece in several ways.

The neon tetra motif occurs in a number of variations that continually appear in all three movements. The electric eel, signaled by a rhythm based on the restless electric pulses audible in some aquariums, and the angelfish, represented by cluster chords, appear in the first movement. A dialogue between a sea horse and a threatening zebrafish can be heard in the second movement.

The Concert Band will perform seven works: "Fanfare for the Great Hall" by Jack Stamp; "Suspiros de Espania" (Sighs of Spain) by Antonio Alvarez; "Russian Melody" by Anatoli Umanets; Fantasia "Una Voce poco fa" for bassoon and orchestra by Frederic Berr, as arranged for Coelho by Kastens; Symphonic Dance No. 3, "Fiesta," by Clifton Williams; "Russian Christmas Music" by Alfred Reed; and Carmen Dragon's arrangement of "America the Beautiful" by Samuel A. Ward.

Berr was a German bassoonist and teacher who spent most of his professional career in Paris. His Fantasia is based on an aria from Gioacchino Rossini's "The Barber of Seville."

Williams' "Fiesta" depicts the pageantry of Latin American celebrations: street bands, bullfights and bright costumes. This dance is one of a group of five originally commissioned for the 25th anniversary of the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra. It was first performed by that orchestra in 1965 and scored for band by the composer two years later.

Coelho has worked extensively as performer and teacher of bassoon, in both the United States and his native Brazil. He was a founding member of the Manhattan Wind Quintet, with whom he played a sold-out concert in Carnegie Recital Hall in New York. The quintet won various chamber music competitions including Artists International, Coleman, and Monterey Peninsula chamber music competitions. As a soloist, Coelho has played recitals and concertos in Brazil, the United States, Canada and Portugal.

In Brazil, Coelho has played principal bassoon with the Orquestra Sinfonica do Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, the Grupo de Musica Contemporanea of Minas Gerais and the Gramado Woodwind Quintet. He taught bassoon at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte in Brazil, where he served as the elected vice-dean of the School of Music.

Coelho started studying bassoon at the age of 10 at the Tatui Conservatory in his native Brazil. He graduated with honors from the State University of New York at Purchase and received a masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music in New York. He is currently completing a doctorate at Indiana University.

Kastens is associate professor of music and assistant director of bands at the UI. He directs the Hawkeye Marching Band and the Concert Band, teaches band arranging and marching band techniques, and is the director of the All-State Music Camp.

Before coming to the UI in 1998 Kastens served five years at the University of Missouri, where he directed the marching band, Marching Mizzou, and the pep band for men's basketball games. He also conducted the Symphonic Band and taught several music education courses.

Before moving to Missouri Kastens was assistant director of bands at Indiana University (1987-93) and was a high school band director in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. At Indiana he was the assistant director of the Marching Hundred and taught several music education courses.

Kastens has presented workshops and clinics on marching band techniques and computer drill design and appeared as guest conductor throughout the Midwest and Canada. He has had numerous articles published on instrumental music education in The Instrumentalist and other professional publications. A leader in the field of computer-assisted marching band drill design, he helped develop "Drill Quest," a drill-writing software program

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

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