The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024

Release: Oct. 25, 2002


The University of Iowa Percussion Ensemble will present the music of the versatile American rock-star/composer Frank Zappa in a “family-friendly” format, with performances at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, and 2 p.n. Sunday, Nov. 10, in the Space/Place Theatre of UI North Hall.

The multi-talented Frank Zappa was musician, composer, satirist, political activist, playwright and rock star. The creative force behind the Mothers of Invention, he was known for his wit, his bizarre sense of humor and his tireless campaign to protect First Amendment rights. Many times, however, the outrageous subject matter of his songs obscured the fact that Zappa was a gifted composer and talented musician. A truly original personality, he was equally a counter-culture cult figure and a serious composer who wrote complex works for orchestra.

Recognizing Zappa’s reputation, Moore is quick to assure audiences that nothing offensive will be included in the Percussion Ensemble performances. “Our program will be ‘G-rated’ and family-friendly,” he said. “This will allow families and even younger audience members to experience the music of this iconic American composer.”

The program will focus on Zappa’s instrumental works including “Peaches En Regalia,” “The Dog Breath Variations” and “ Black Page: Parts I and II,” as well as instrumental re-workings of some of his most popular songs, including the disco send-up “Dancin’ Fool.”

The Percussion Ensemble will also present two of Zappa's best known social commentary compositions, “Trouble Every Day,” written following the1965 Watts Riots, and “I'm The Slime,” about what Zappa called “the slime oozin’ out from your TV set” back in 1973.

One of the most active performing groups at the UI School of Music, the Percussion Ensemble presents concerts and educational programs on campus and across Iowa. Each year the group performs for hundreds of Iowa school children through the UI Arts Share program.

Formed in 1958, the UI Percussion Ensemble performs musical styles ranging from ragtime and jazz to 20th century concert idioms and traditional musical styles from Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia. In addition to the standard percussion repertoire, the ensemble regularly performs the newest music written by both professional composers and students.

With an extensive array of instruments -- from traditional drums, xylophones and cymbals to just about anything that can be struck, scraped, shaken or smashed together -- Percussion Ensemble performances are known for their variety and fast-paced programming, presented with humor, drama and old-fashioned showmanship.

An internationally known percussionist, composer and teacher, Moore has experience from concert to marching percussion, and from jazz to classical styles. Performing all aspects of percussion, including keyboard percussion, drum set, ethnic and multi-percussion, he is considered a “total percussionist.”

In 1998 Moore received a grant from the UI Central Investment Fund for Research Excellence to produce a CD of his arrangements of the Percussion Pops music of legendary percussionist Dick Schory, a pioneer of the contemporary percussion ensemble. “Percussion Pops 2000 presents Jungle Fever: The Music of Dick Schory” was recorded by the UI Recording Studios and released in 1999.

Moore joined the UI music faculty in 1996. Only the second full-time professor of percussion at the UI, he succeeded Thomas L. Davis, who taught percussion at the UI for more than 35 years. He is a performing artist for the Yamaha Corporation of America, Sabian Ltd., and Innovative Percussion. He has written for Jazz Player, Sticks and Mallets and Percussive Notes magazines.

General Admission tickets for the Percussion Ensemble concerts are $10 ($5 for UI students) on Friday, $5 on Sunday with family tickets available for $20. Tickets are available in advance from the University Box Office in the Iowa Memorial Union, 319-335-3041 or toll-free 800-346-4401. The fax number is 319-335-3407. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 5-9 p.m. Sunday. Any remaining tickets will be on sale at the door. In addition to cash and checks, the University Box Office accepts MasterCard, Visa , American Express and Discover cards.

Tickets will also be available at the door, starting 45 minutes before each performance.

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 <>.