CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Feb. 1, 2002
NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: Zdechlik is pronounced ze'DECK-lick
UI Symphony Band concert Feb. 16 highlights Honor Band Weekend at UI
The University of Iowa Symphony Band will present a free concert at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 16 in Hancher Auditorium on the UI campus. Myron Welch, director
of UI bands, will conduct the concert, which will also feature guest conductor
The concert is part of the annual Honor Band Weekend at the UI. Each year
approximately 125 high school musicians from around the state are invited
to campus to play with a distinguished guest conductor and to attend clinics
on their individual instruments.
The high school Honor Band will present its own free concert, with Zdechlik
as the guest conductor, at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17 in Hancher Auditorium.
The Feb. 16 concert, by the Symphony Band is a preview of the concert that
the ensemble will present at the national convention of the American Bandmasters
Association (ABA) March 7 in Wichita, Kansas. The American Bandmasters Association,
the country's most prestigious band organization, was founded in 1929 by the
famed band conductor/composer Edwin Franko Goldman.
The theme of the concert is "Music with an ABA Connection." Each
of six works on the concert was written by, for, or in memory of an ABA member.
Works on the program will be "Pacific Fanfare" by Frank Ticheli;
Overture to "The School for Scandal," by Samuel Barber; Zdechlik's
"Hats Off to Thee"; "Parade" from the "Pacific Celebration
Suite" by Roger Nixon; John Philip Sousa's "Solid Men to the Front";
and a band arrangement of the Finale from the opera "Andrea Chenier"
by Umberto Giordano.
Ticheli is composer-in-residence of the Pacific Symphony and a member of
the faculty of the University of Southern California. His many works for concert
band have won both critical accolades and major awards.
His "Pacific Fanfare" was completed in 1994, as a gift to conductor
Carl St. Clair and the Pacific Symphony. The score is a tribute to the Venetian
composer Giovanni Gabrieli, who made use of the space of St. Mark's Cathedral
with multiple choirs and antiphonal fanfares. In a similar way, Ticheli divides
the brass and percussion section into two choirs, adding a solo trumpet and
horn that play from backstage. The UI Symphony Band is playing from a pre-publication
copy of Ticheli's band arrangement of the original, written for an orchestral
Nixon, who taught at San Francisco State University, wrote the "Pacific
Celebration Suite" for the 1976 bicentennial of the city of San Francisco.
The San Francisco Presidio and the Mission San Francisco des Asis were established
in 1776, when California was still Spanish territory; thus
San Francisco had its bicentennial in the same year as the United States.
The score embodies imagery from the early history of San Francisco.
Zdechlik's "Hats Off to Thee" was written in memory of Frank Bencriscutto,
director of bands from at the University of Minnesota 1960-92 and one of Zdechlik's
teachers. Originally composed for brass choir, it will be performed in Zdechlik's
recent edition for full symphonic band.
Composed in 1918, "Solid Men to the Front!" is one of Sousa's marches
with a definitely military flavor. It is one of several marches Sousa wrote
to appeal to the patriotic fervor of World War I, including the "U.S.
Field Artillery" and "Sabre and Spurs." It was premiered at
the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, at a benefit concert for the State
Women's War Relief, performed by Sousa and the combined bands of the U.S.
Navy's Atlantic Fleet.
Typifying the "verismo" style of Italian opera at the turn of the
20th century, Giordano was primarily concerned with intensity of action and
theatrical effectiveness in his operas. "Andrea Chenier," premiered
in 1896, is set in the time of the French Revolution. The title character
was a historical figure who returned to France from London, where he was secretary
to the French ambassador. With the revolution at its height, he came under
suspicion and was forced into hiding. Arrested by chance, he was executed
in 1794 at the age of 31.
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. 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.
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.
A native of Minneapolis, Zdechlik graduated from the University of Minnesota
with a doctorate in music composition and theory. He taught for two years
at the high school level, and for more than 25 years was on the faculty of
Century College in White Bear Lake, Minn., where he taught music theory, conducted
the concert and jazz ensembles and served as chair of the Music Department.
He retired from Century College in 1997.
A prolific composer, Zdechlik has more than 30 works published by the Neil
Kjos Music Company. His works are performed by high school, college and community
bands in the United States, Europe and Japan. Zdechlik has conducted in 35
states, Japan, Scotland and England. He is also a jazz pianist, and in the
summer of 1990 led a two-week State Department-sponsored tour of Paraguay
and Uruguay with his 17-piece big band.
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 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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