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Release: March 29, 2002

University Symphony and Symphony Band will share concert program April 10

Two of the most popular concert ensembles from the University of Iowa School of Music -- the University Symphony and the Symphony Band -- will share a concert program at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 10 in the UI Hancher Auditorium.

Their joint concert will be free and open to the public.

Each group will play two pieces: The University Symphony under conductor William LaRue Jones will feature flutist Tadeu Coelho in the "Tango Concerto" by Christopher Caliendo, followed by the "Romantic" Symphony by Howard Hanson; and the Symphony Band under conductor Myron Welch will play "Fiesta!" by Philip Sparke and Symphony No. 4 by David Maslanka.

Although both groups have long been a familiar part of the performance scene on the UI campus, and they sometimes share some of the same wind players, they have never presented a formal concert together.

The idea for a joint concert came about, the directors say, as a solution to a scheduling problem. Both groups have been on tour -- the Symphony Band played for the national convention of the American Bandmasters Association in Wichita, and the University Symphony played concerts in Kansas City -- and the symphony is scheduled to perform on April 4 for a national electronic music event on campus. Because of these commitments, both directors found they had limited time to prepare for the usual spring concerts on campus.

"When we talked about it, we thought now would be a good time to share a concert," Jones said. "With our recent programming activities, it seemed like a good solution to problems we both faced.

"This shared program might be a first step toward other plans. We've talked about going on concert tour together, where we could play gala programs in a major hall like Orchestra Hall in Chicago, as part of a recruiting tour for students."

Welch noted, "We have been trying to arrange a shared concert with the orchestra for several years. I hope all the ensembles can present different combinations of shared concerts in the future. We each have our own audience, and this type of scheduling enables each group's audience to learn about the other fine performing ensembles in the School of Music. We share players and we can share audiences, too.

"This should be an exciting concert for the listeners and the players."

An experienced composer for film and television, Caliendo received an Emmy nomination for the western series "Paradise" in 1988 and wrote music for other series including "Dallas" and "Knott's Landing." He has received many awards for his work, including the Henry Mancini Film Music Scholarship, the Leonard Goldberg Music Scholarship for Composition, the Artin Arslanian Music Scholarship for Composition, the Wilma Drama Scholarship for Outstanding Achievement in the Humanities and a decorative scroll honoring his "outstanding gifts as composer, pianist, guitarist and conductor" from the City of Los Angeles.

In 1992 Caliendo became the first American commissioned by the Pope for the Festival of Sacred Contemporary Music and the only composer in Vatican history to be twice commissioned by the same festival. His musical drama derived from that commission, "The Mystic Saints," was premiered by UCLA's department of music. The entire musical drama is being coordinated for a PBS special presentation from Saint Peter's Square in Vatican City.

Howard Hanson was a distinguished American composer, conductor, educator and advocate of American music. Born in Wahoo, Neb., to Swedish emigrants, he began music studies as a child. His Scandinavian heritage played a life-long role in the inspiration of his works, which combine the influence of Sibelius and Grieg with a distinctive American flavor.

Hanson was a leading practitioner of a style known as "American Romanticism," dedicating his professional life to the encouragement, creation and preservation of beauty and emotional expressiveness in music. He cherished these ideals and his conviction that musicians and audiences could respond to each other with mutual respect. From 1924 to his retirement in 1964 Hanson served as Director of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.

Sparke was born in London and studied composition, trumpet and piano at the Royal College of Music, where he wrote several works for the College Wind Orchestra. He has continued to write for wind and brass bands, and has toured as conductor and contest judge through most of Europe, to the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

"Fiesta!" was commissioned for the 50th anniversary of the United States Army Field Band and was premiered by them with conductor Col. Jack Grogan, Jr., in October 1996.

A native of New Bedford, Mass., Maslanka studied at the New England Conservatory, the Oberlin Conservatory, the Mozarteum in Salzburg and Michigan State University. He taught at Kingsborough College of the City University of New York from 1970 to 1992 He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Music Center, the Macdowell Colony, the Martha Baird Rockefeller Foundation and the New York State Arts Council.

His Symphony No. 4 was commissioned by the University of Texas Wind Ensemble, the Stephen F. Austin University Band and the Michigan State University Band. It was completed at the composer's home in Missoula, Montana, in 1993.

Maslanka has written, "The roots of Symphony No. 4 are many. The central driving force is the spontaneous rise of the impulse to shout for the joy of life. I feel it is the powerful voice of my adopted western Montana, and the high plains and mountains of central Idaho. . . . I am set aquiver and am forced to shout and sing."

Coelho joined the UI music faculty in 1997. An international touring artist sponsored by the Miyazawa Flute Company, he has appeared as soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe and the Americas. He has performed as first solo flutist with the Santa Fe Symphony, the Hofer Symphoniker in Germany and the Spoletto Festival Orchestra in Italy. In the summer of 1996 he was invited to play with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood under conductors Bernard Haitink, Robert Shaw and Robert Spano.

Coelho's performances have consistently earned high critical praise. Following a series of concerts in Brazil, one critic commented that he "played with musicality and beautiful sound. His virtuosity and clear performance are remarkable." Another critic wrote that "there is no doubt about his virtuoso abilities, topped with a degree of musicianship that was magnificent and complete."

Coelho performs a wide range of repertoire, with special interest in the music of Latin America. His CD recording of the music of Brazilian composers was released on Tempo Primo in 1995, and he also recorded works by Thomas Delio on 3D Classics. His CD of 20th-century Mexican flute music was released in the spring of 1999 and is available, along with Coelho's other recordings, from Eble Music in downtown Iowa City.

A UI music alumnus, Jones joined the faculty of the School of Music in 1997 as director of the University Symphony and director of orchestral studies. Prior to joining the UI faculty, Jones was the founding music director/administrator of the internationally recognized Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.

Jones is a highly honored musician, having received the Twin Cities Mayors' Public Art Award, the American String Teachers Association Exceptional Leadership and Merit Award and the David W. Preuss Leadership Award. He has also been selected Musician of the Year by Sigma Alpha Iota , a music honorary society.

Jones has appeared as a guest conductor with the Minnesota Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Sinfonie Orchester AML-Luzern (Switzerland) and other orchestras around the world. He has conducted all-state and festival orchestras in 46 states and five Canadian provinces. He has been conductor-in-residence at the North Carolina School of the Arts and the University of Miami (Fla.).

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.

Prior to joining the UI faculty Welch 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.

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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