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

University of Iowa News Release

Release: April 18, 2003

Old Gold Singers Feature Guests On Annual "Swing Into Spring" Concert May 2

The University of Iowa Old Gold Singers will host choirs from Des Moines, Delhi and Waconia, Minn., for their annual "Swing Into Spring" concert at 8 p.m. Friday, May 2 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

An ensemble of the UI School of Music, the Old Gold Singers are led by UI graduate student Tina Thielen-Gaffey. The group consist of 26 singers, plus a rhythm section of four.

The guest choirs performing with the Old Gold Singers will be:
-- Power Company, the Waconia High School Show Choir from Waconia, Minn., directed by Aaron Olsen;
-- the Maquoketa Valley High School Vocal Jazz Ensemble from Delhi, directed by Beth Mueller; and
-- the Des Moines Youth Choir, a city-wide choral group for high school students that performs both choral music and show-choir arrangements, directed by Barb Sletto.

The Old Gold Singers have often included Iowa high school show choirs on their concerts. This year, the opportunity to include a group from Minnesota came about when the OGS was invited to Waconia High School as a featured group at their annual invitational event in January. Thielen-Gaffey was impressed with Waconia's Power Company, who have been grand champions in several show choir competitions, and offered them the opportunity to visit Iowa for the annual "Swing Into Spring" concert.

In addition to the guest performances, the Old Gold Singers will also be performing two separate smaller shows. The first, "A Little Bit of Jazz," includes "Singing' in the Rain," as sung by Thielen-Gaffey, Old Gold member Jackie Cresto, and UI graduate students Jamie Bender, David Puderbaugh and Marc Falk.

Other vocal jazz selections for this portion of the program will be "The Lady is a Tramp," "Mas Que Nada," "Big Time" and "Jump, Jive, and Wail."

For "Little Bit of Jazz" the Old Gold Singers' rhythm section will be joined by an instrumental combo made up of performance majors in the UI School of Music. Members of Old Gold Singers will be featured in choreography based on ballroom dance.

The second Old Gold Singers show features Latin music, including several Gloria Estefan hits, "South of the Border," "Hot Hot Hot," and a Linda Eder hit, "Never Dance."

U of I graduate student Jamie Bender serves as the Old Gold Singers' choreographer. "Swing Into Spring" will also feature choreography by group members Beth Many, Jackie Cresto, Courtney Cordova, Andrew Weakly, Calvin Fan, Melissa Dykstra, Cassi Powell and Steve VanDerLaan.

The Old Gold Singers is a select musical group whose members are chosen by audition. In addition to "Swing Into Spring," their campus performances include the annual "Cocoa and Carols" and "Fall Festival" concerts. The group also travels throughout Iowa, performing for schools and community groups. Past tours outside the state have taken them to New York, Washington, D.C., and the Bahamas.

Thielen-Gaffey is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in choral conducting at the UI School of Music. She is serving a two-year leave of absence from the faculty of the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She received a bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and a master's degree in choral conducting from Western Michigan University.

While at Western Michigan, Thielen-Gaffey was conductor of the Treble Chorus as well as an ensemble member and soloist with Western Michigan's award-winning Gold Company and the University Chorale. Prior to her studies at Western Michigan, she taught in the public schools of Wisconsin for eight years.

General seating ticket prices for "Swing Into Spring" are $10 ($8 for seniors, UI students and youth). Tickets are available from the Hancher Auditorium Box Office.

Hancher Auditorium 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. This number will be answered by box office personnel prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair access and seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The line 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 and brochures 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 <>.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072,