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Release: Jan. 4, 2002

Photo: UI School of Music faculty member Mark Weiger, a founding member of WIZARDS! The Double Reed Consort, which will perform in the 2001-2002 Target Community Concert Series at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 in Clapp Recital Hall on the University of Iowa campus.

Wizards! Double Reed Group Will Perform In Arts Share Series

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- WIZARDS! The Double Reed Consort will perform on the 2001-2002 Target Community Concert Series at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 in Clapp Recital Hall on the University of Iowa campus.

UI School of Music faculty member Mark Weiger is a founding member of WIZARDS!, which features exclusively woodwind instruments with double reeds -- including oboes, English horns and bassoons. In addition to Weiger, members of the group are Andrea Gullickson, oboe and oboe d'amore; S. Blake Duncan, English horn; and Greg Morton, bassoon.

The group currently gives nearly 30 concerts each year, and they have toured through more than a dozen states, including performances in Chicago, Philadelphia, Kansas City and Washington, D.C. The group has released several CDs, to critical acclaim.

WIZARDS! has gathered the world's largest library of double reed music and has expanded the literature by commissioning more than a dozen works.

In addition to the customary double reed instruments, WiZARDS! often includes the less common members of the family in its performances. These include the piccolo oboe -- a smaller, higher pitched and more difficult-to-play cousin of the oboe -- the alto-voiced oboe d'amore, and the very low-pitched contra bassoon.

WiZARDS! was featured as the chamber group in residence for the education component of the Great Music West Festival in Utah and Idaho. Reviewers called their festival concert "a dazzling performance" and "an outstanding musical adventure for all." Another critic commented, "the audience was spellbound by their uniqueness and quality."

Since coming to Iowa in 1988 Weiger has performed as a soloist throughout the United States, Canada, England, Mexico, Austria, France and Italy, presented two recitals in Carnegie Hall in New York, been a finalist in nine international competitions, won First Prize in the Queens Philharmonic Concerto Competition (NY), performed double concertos with the Chicago Symphony's former principal oboist, Ray Still, and presented solo recitals with many other notable oboists.

As the first oboist to serve as an Artistic Ambassador through the U.S. Information Agency, Weiger performed recitals in Nepal, Pakistan, Israel, Jordan and Sri Lanka. The Tel Aviv News commented: "The quality of collaborative artists in the US Artistic Ambassador program is now unparalleled. On balance, [they] were perhaps the most successful Artistic Ambassadors USIS has ever programmed."

Children and seniors will be admitted to the Jan. 19 concert free of charge. A one-dollar donation is suggested for adults, and will be accepted at the door.

UI Arts Share, which administers the concert series, provides artistic resources from the Iowa Center for the Arts to schools and community organizations. The 2001-02 Arts Share roster includes approximately 100 faculty and graduate students in music, theater, dance, the visual arts and creative writing.

UI Arts Share and Target Stores began a partnership in 1995 designed to sponsor field trips, dance workshops and performances for children in the Iowa City area. "Last year we discovered that the Target Community Concert Series really fills a need in the community for family oriented arts performances," says Diane Kenney Handler, Arts Share director. "The time and format are perfect for children, and you can't beat the price."

Other remaining concerts in the series will be presented by the Iowa Brass Quintet, the UI Steel Band, UI Dancers In Company and the La Fosse Baroque Ensemble.

For more information about the Arts Share program, call director Diane Kenney Handler at (319) 335-1618 or send an e-mail to Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the Arts Share office in advance.

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. You may visit the Arts Share web site at <>. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <>.