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Release:April 15, 2002

(NOTE TO EDITORS AND BROADCASTERS: Hancher Auditorium directors Judith Hurtig and Charles Swanson are available for joint interviews through 319-335-1130.)

Hancher Auditorium will celebrate 30th anniversary in 2002-2003

Photo: Stuttgart Ballet Romeo and Juliet

The University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium will celebrate its 30th anniversary in the 2002-2003 season, and tickets for the season are now available by mail order. The pearl is the precious gem that represents 30 years, and the free brochure that details the 2002-2003 season's music, theater and dance attractions features pearl imagery throughout and represents Hancher as "A Pearl by the River."

Brochures have been mailed to Hancher's full mailing list, so everyone who regularly receives Hancher mailings should receive a brochure soon.

The christening event when Hancher opened in 1972 was the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and the famed preservers of authentic New Orleans jazz will return to kick off the 30th anniversary season. A few days later, Hancher's official 30th Anniversary Gala will feature vocal legend Tony Bennett.

Other highlights of the 2002-2003 season will be the Hancher debut of "Miss Saigon"; a world premiere co-commissioned by Hancher and NASA, the Kronos Quartet performing Terry Riley's "Sun Rings," inspired by the space sounds recorded by UI space physics pioneer Donald Gurnett; the return of opera star Michele Crider to the stage where she sang her first role as a UI School of Music student; recent Grammy Award winner Dianne Reeves; jazz saxophone mainstay Wayne Shorter; the Hancher debut of violin star Joshua Bell, the Stuttgart Ballet performing "Romeo and Juliet," and the returns of "Riverdance," Sweet Honey in the Rock, jazz pianist Marcus Roberts, the Academy of Ancient Music, and David Finckel & Wu Han with a Hancher-commissioned world premiere.

Hancher's recent collaboration with the UI School of Music, which began with a concert featuring Van Cliburn with the UI Symphony, continues in 2002-03 with Keith Brion as John Philip Sousa with the UI Symphony Band.

Hancher's emphasis on global arts also continues, bringing artists from many directions, including Spain's Compania Nacional de Danza, the Chinese martial arts ballet "Voice of the Dragon," members of the National Company of Song and Dance of Mozambique joining with Urban Bush Women in the Hancher-commissioned "Shadow's Child," Chile's musical ambassadors Inti-Illimini, and one of Africa's foremost artists, Youssou N'Dour.

The full-color brochure, which includes mail order forms, is available now from the Hancher box office -- 335-1160 in Iowa City or toll-free long-distance, 1-800-HANCHER. E-mail requests should be addressed to <>. Connect with the new season on the World Wide Web at, where an order form can be downloaded.

Advance ticket-buyers not only enjoy the best choice of seats, but also can take advantage of volume discounts on most events in the season. A simultaneous purchase of three to five events qualifies for a 15-percent discount, and a simultaneous purchase of six or more events qualifies for a 20-percent discount. Purchases made before the end of June can be paid through Hancher's installment plan.

UI students, senior citizens and audience members 17 and younger also qualify for special discounts to most events. UI students and senior citizens receive a 20-percent discount on tickets to most events, with $10 Zone 2 and 3 tickets available to UI students for most events. Youth tickets are typically half price.

Hancher's top seating priority goes to Hancher Circle contributors at the $500 level and above. Contributors at this level who order tickets before May 28 receive the first seating assignments, in the order that their forms are received. For information about Hancher Circle, contact Erik Thurman at the University of Iowa Foundation by phone at (319) 624 4177O or by e-mail at <>.

Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 1-3 p.m. Sunday. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance 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. This number will be answered by box office personnel prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair access and seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The line is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Corporate and individual sponsors for 2002-03 Hancher season events through the University of Iowa Foundation include: Cantebury Inn & Suites, Nancy Droll, the Gazette, Drs. Lisa & Amir Arbisser/Eye Surgeons Associates PC, William & Marlene Stanford, William Rubright in memory of Emilie Rubright, Dahl Ford of Davenport Inc., Doug & Linda Paul, Everybodys Whole Foods, Hancher Guild, Iowa House Hotel, Sheraton Iowa City Hotel, Mercy Iowa City, Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Center, UI Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, Kevin & Patricia Hanick, West Music Company, University of Iowa Community Credit Union, Gary A. and LaDonna K. Wicklund and Hy-Vee Food Stores.

Commissioning and performance support for Urban Bush Women was provided by Peggy Scholz.

Media support comes from the Iowa City Press-Citizen, KHAK-FM/KDAT-FM/KRNA-FM., and the Gazette/KCRG.

The party after Preservation Hall Jazz Band is sponsored by Hy-Vee Food Stores, and the party at the 30th Anniversary Gala is sponsored by Oaknoll Retirement Residence and U.S. Bank.

The 30th-anniversary history of Hancher, by Jean Florman, is sponsored by Iowa State Bank & Trust Company and Lensing Funeral and Cremation Service.

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit <> on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <>.

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Sept. 22 -- Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Sept. 25 -- Sharon Isbin, guitar

Sept. 28 -- Hancher 30th Anniversary Gala with Tony Bennett

Oct. 1 -- Marcus Roberts

Oct. 3 -- Michele Crider, soprano

Oct. 8-13 -- "Miss Saigon"

Oct. 22 -- Academy of Ancient Music

Oct. 26 -- Kronos Quartet, Terry Riley's "Sun Rings"

Oct. 30 -- Wayne Shorter

Nov. 6 -- Pacifica Quartet

Nov. 16 -- Compania Nacional de Danza

Nov. 23 -- Michael Moschen

Dec. 10 -11 -- "Voice of the Dragon"

Dec. 14 -- Sweet Honey in the Rock

Jan. 24 -- Urban Bush Women, "Shadow's Child"

Feb. 1 -- Dianne Reeves

Feb. 12 -- Pamela & Claude Frank

Feb. 19 -- David Finckel & Wu Han

Feb. 28 -- Joshua Bell, violin

March 4-9 -- "Riverdance"

March 30 -- Inti-Illimani

April 2 -- Youssou N'Dour

April 11 -- The Tallis Scholars

April 13 -- Keith Brion as John Philip Sousa, with the UI Symphony Band

April 15-16 -- Stuttgart Ballet, "Romeo and Juliet"

April 30 - May 1 -- Nederlands Dans Theater II