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Release: Oct. 25, 2001

33rd annual UI Band Extravaganza will be 'An American Salute' Nov. 13-14

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The 33rd annual Band Extravaganza, "An American Salute," will feature the top bands from the University of Iowa School of Music at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 13 and 14, in Hancher Auditorium on the UI campus.

The Band Extravaganza features three ensembles: the Hawkeye Marching Band, under director Kevin Kastens; the Johnson County Landmark jazz band, directed by John Rapson; and the Symphony Band, conducted by Myron Welch.

Over the past 32 years, the Band Extravaganza has become one of the UI's most popular events. Audiences are drawn from across the state, including high school band members and their directors, former band members, Hawkeye fans and just about anyone who enjoys a rousing concert of band music.

"An American Salute," the program selected to pay homage to our country during this time of crisis, will include patriotic favorites and other American classics.

The UI Symphony Band performs many of its own full-length concerts during the year, both on and off-campus. Its program contains contemporary works and transcriptions as well as standard band repertoire.

Welch will conduct the Symphony Band in four pieces for the Band Extravaganza: a new concert version by Jack Stamp of "The Star Spangled Banner"; Lowell Mason's beloved hymn "Nearer My God to Thee, as arranged for band by Herbert L. Clarke, the cornet soloist and assistant conductor of John Philip Sousa's famous band; Morton Gould's "An American Salute"; and Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever."

Johnson County Landmark (JCL) is the UI's ensemble devoted to the performance of original works by the great composers of the big-band jazz repertory. Consisting of the best jazz players at the School of Music, JCL is known for picking up the prizes at jazz festivals and contests around the country.

For the concert, JCL will play "Groovin' High," a bebop anthem from Dizzy Gillespie's late 1940s big band; "Thirty-Five" by trailblazing electric bass player Steve Swallow, who was a guest of the UI last spring; and "Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue," a concert stopper from the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival that revived the career of Duke Ellington and is captured on one of his most famous recordings.

As always, the Hawkeye Marching Band promises to provide lots of fun and surprises. The band will play selections from the 2001 football-season half-time shows, including the traditional band skits and a performance by the drum line, and concluding with the traditional UI songs "On Iowa" and the "Iowa Fight Song."

In their performance, the Hawkeye Marching Band will feature Pres Maxson from Deerfield Ill., in his third year as drum major; and Golden Girl Julie Canterbury from Norwalk, Iowa. The current season is Canterbury's fifth and final year with the Hawkeye Marching Band.

Having been a baton twirler since she was three years old, Canterbury is the current Miss College Majorette of America, National Collegiate Strutting Champion and National Collegiate Twirling Champion. This summer she became the first person to win all three honors in the same year and the first person to win the traveling trophy for the National Collegiate Twirling Championship -- a tankard given by the Queen of England -- for the third time.

Kastens is associate 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.

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.

Rapson joined the faculty of the UI School of Music as director of jazz studies in August 1993. He is a recording artist for the Sound Aspects and Nine Winds labels whose work mixes ethnic and experimental elements with more conventional jazz forms. His professional career began in Los Angeles, and he has since performed with a number of leading jazz artists on both coasts. Rapson previously taught at Westmont College in Santa Barbara and later at Wesleyan University in Connecticut before coming to Iowa City.

One of Rapson's recordings with JCL, "A Mingus Among Us," was described as "over 70 minutes of sweet, sophisticated jazz classics" in ICON magazine, and River Cities Reader commented that "JCL, the top big band for the University of Iowa School of Music, captures the power of Mingus' music wonderfully." JCL recently released a new album of original pieces by Rapson entitled "Daydreams from the Prairie" on Nine Winds.

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. He was recently named a Collegiate Fellow in the UI College of Liberal Arts in recognition of years of distinguished teaching, research and service to the college.

Tickets for reserved seats for the Band Extravaganza are available for $4 from the Hancher Auditorium Box Office. Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology. Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website:<>.

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. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail: <>.

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

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at UI Bands have a web page at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <>.