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Release: Nov. 27, 2002

(Photo: Kevin Kastens, who directs the Hawkeye Marching Band, will lead the UI Concert Band in a shared concert with the University Band at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.)

UI University And Concert Bands Present Free Concert Dec. 11

The University and Concert Bands from the University of Iowa School of Music will present a joint concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

University Band is under the direction of UI graduate assistant Ken Thompson. The Concert Band: is directed by Kevin Kastens, a UI faculty member and director of the Hawkeye Marching Band. Graduate student Max Chernick will be a featured guest conductor with the Concert Band.

As major ensembles of the UI School of Music, the two bands are open to all UI students by audition. Their joint concert will be free and open to the public.

The University Band will play five original works for band: “Parade of the Wooden Warriors” by Adam Gorb, Fantasia for Band by Vittorio Giannini, “Rejouissance” (Rejoicing) by James Curnow and March: “Omega Lambda Chi” by Charles Ives.

“Parade of the Wooden Warriors” is intended to describe the advance and retreat of an imaginary army in ancient times. The music is styled after Renaissance dance music.

Vittorio Giannini, most familiar to band audiences for his Symphony No. 3 for band, began his career as a violinist, but always had an interest in the band. He grew up around band music, since his father was an organizer for the Philadelphia Royal Marine Band. The Fantasia was commissioned in 1963 by the Northern Westchester and Putnam County Music Teachers Association.

“Rejouissance” is a French word meaning rejoicing, and also refers to 17th- and 18th-century compositions that are short, lively and bring enjoyment to the listener. This work is a fantasia based on Martin Luther’s chorale melody “Ein Feste Burg” (A mighty fortress) and was commissioned by the St. Joseph (Mich.) Municipal Band.

Following the performance by the University Band, the Concert Band will play five works. Kastens will conduct “Inglesina” (The little English girl) by Davide Delle Cese, “The Solitary Dancer” by Warren Benson, “Colonial Song” by Percy Aldridge Grainger, and “Mutanza” (Variation) by James Curnow; and Chernick will conduct a performances of Vincent Persichetti’s “Pageant.”

The oldest work on the program, “Inglesina” (The little English girl) was written in 1897 while Delle Cese was bandmaster at Bitonto, a town near the Adriatic seaport city of Bari, Italy. “Inglesina” has been a popular concert march for many decades. Col. (Ret.) John R. Bourgeois, former conductor of the United States Marine Corps Band, edited this arrangement for modern concert band instrumentation in 2000.

“Pageant” was commissioned for the 1953 American Bandmasters Association Conference by Edwin Frank Goldman, who conducted the premiere. Originally titled “Morning Music For Band,” the work opens in a slow tempo with a motif in the horn that is used throughout both sections. The solemn opening section is succeeded by a vivacious parade, introduced first by the snare drum. The two principal subjects are developed simultaneously to the climax.

Benson is professor emeritus in composition at the Eastman School of Music. “The Solitary Dancer” is considered a masterpiece in economy of resources, sensitivity for wind and percussion colors, and subtle development and recession of instrumental and musical frenzy. Benson wrote, “the work refers to the quiet, poised energy that one may observe in a dancer in repose, alone with her inner music.”

Kastens is associate professor of music and assistant 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.

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.

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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