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Release: Oct. 25, 2002


The 34th annual Band Extravaganza will feature the top bands from the University of Iowa School of Music at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 12 and 13, in Hancher Auditorium on the UI campus.

The Band Extravaganza features three ensembles: the Hawkeye Marching Band, under director Kevin Kastens; the Johnson County Landmark jazz band, directed by John Rapson; and the Symphony Band, conducted by guest conductor Dan Presgrove.

Over the past 33 years, the Band Extravaganza has become one of the UI’s most popular events. Audiences are drawn from across the state, including high school band members and their directors, former band members, Hawkeye fans and just about anyone who enjoys a rousing concert of band music.

The UI Symphony Band performs many of its own full-length concerts during the year, both on and off-campus. Presgrove, who is music director and conductor of the Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensembles at Washington University of St. Louis, is standing in as conductor of the Symphony Band for Myron Welch, UI director of bands, who is on sabbatical.

Presgrove will conduct the Symphony Band in three pieces for the Band Extravaganza: a band arrangement of “Alborada del Gracioso” by Maurice Ravel; “Three Dance Episodes” from “On the Town” by Leonard Bernstein; and “New York” from “East Coast Pictures” by Nigel Hess.

Johnson County Landmark (JCL) is the UI’s ensemble devoted to the performance of original works by the great composers of the big-band jazz repertory. Consisting of the best jazz players at the School of Music, JCL is known for picking up the prizes at jazz festivals and contests around the country.

For the concert, JCL will play Frank Foster’s bop-oriented arrangement of the Duke Ellington standard, “In a Mellotone.”; “Jack the Knife,” Ray Santons’ jazz arrangement of the Kurt Weill song “Mack the Knife” from “The Threepenny Opera”; “Davenport Blues” by the early-jazz cornetist and Davenport native Bix Beiderbecke, in a version by prominent jazz arranger Gil Evans; and Charles Mingus’ “Gunslinging Bird,” as written for the current Mingus Big Band by the group’s lead alto saxophonist, Steve Slagle

As always, the Hawkeye Marching Band promises to provide lots of fun and surprises. The band will play selections from the 2002 football-season half-time shows, including the traditional band skits and a performance by the drum line, and concluding with the traditional UI songs “On Iowa” and the “Iowa Fight Song.”

In their performance, the Hawkeye Marching Band will feature Pres Maxson from Deerfield, Ill., in his fourth year as drum major; and new Golden Girl Dianna Reed from Norwalk, Ia.

In addition to his duties as drum major of the Hawkeye Marching Band, Maxson is an instructor at the Smith-Walbridge Drum Major Clinics and spends time working with high school music programs. He will graduate from the UI in December with a degree in English. Before coming to the UI, he spent two years as drum major of the Deerfield, Ill., High School Warrior Marching Band. He also plays bass with the UI Pep Band and fronts an Iowa City-based rock group.

Reed graduated as the 2002 Valedictorian of Norwalk High School, where she served as president of the National Honor Society, captain of the varsity football and basketball cheerleading squads, captain of the dance team, and a participant in vocal and instrumental music. She has been twirling since the age of four and holds the National Show Twirling Champion, Miss Majorette of Iowa and Miss Majorette of the North titles. She is currently America’s Junior Miss for Iowa.

Kastens is associate 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. Before coming to the UI in 1998 Kastens served five years at the University of Missouri, where he directed the marching band, Marching Mizzou, and the pep band for men’s basketball games.

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. A leader in the field of computer-assisted marching band drill design, he helped develop “Drill Quest,” a drill-writing software program.

Rapson joined the faculty of the UI School of Music as director of jazz studies in August 1993. He is a recording artist for the Sound Aspects and Nine Winds labels whose work mixes ethnic and experimental elements with more conventional jazz forms. His professional career began in Los Angeles, and he has since performed with a number of leading jazz artists on both coasts. Rapson previously taught at Westmont College in Santa Barbara and later at Wesleyan University in Connecticut before coming to Iowa City.

One of Rapson’s recordings with JCL, “A Mingus Among Us,” was described as “over 70 minutes of sweet, sophisticated jazz classics” in ICON magazine, and River Cities Reader commented that “JCL, the top big band for the University of Iowa School of Music, captures the power of Mingus’ music wonderfully.” JCL recently released a new album of original pieces by Rapson entitled “Daydreams from the Prairie” on Nine Winds.

Presgrave graduated from Ohio University with a degree in music theory and attended Washington University I St. Louis. After four years as solo trumpet with the Military Airlift Command Band at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, Presgrave was invited to join the Washington University music faculty. He is also music director of the St. Louis Wind Symphony, a professional wind ensemble.

Tickets for reserved seats for the Band Extravaganza are available for $4 from the Hancher Auditorium Box Office. Box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher’s website:< >.

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. Information may be requested by e-mail: <>.

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 on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <>.