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Release: Jan. 31, 2003

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Photo: Mark Camphouse

The University of Iowa Symphony Band will feature two guest artists -- saxophonist Kenneth Tse and composer/narrator Mark Camphouse -- on a free concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, in Hancher Auditorium on the UI campus. The concert, under the direction of Myron Welch, will also feature the Honor Band brass section -- high school students who are visiting the UI to participate in the annual Honor Band.

The concert is part of the Honor Band Weekend at the UI. Each year approximately 120 high school musicians from around the state are invited to campus to play with a distinguished guest conductor and to attend clinics on their individual instruments. The high school Honor Band will present its own free concert, with Camphouse as the guest conductor, at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, in Hancher Auditorium.

For the Saturday concert by the UI Symphony Band, Camphouse will be featured as narrator in his own work “The Shining City,” based on the speeches of President Ronald Reagan. Camphouse has not previously appeared as the narrator of this work, which draws on nine of President Reagan’s speeches and his Nov. 1994 letter to the American people.

“This work is not about partisan politics,” the composer says. “It is about enduring American values and principles (that) continue to resonate powerfully and promise to inspire future generations of Americans.”

Tse, who joined the UI faculty in the fall of 2002, will perform the Concerto for Alto Saxophone, op. 26, of American composer Paul Creston. The concerto was, with the Suite, op. 5, and the Sonata, op. 19, one of three works commissioned from Creston by saxophonist Cecil Leeson. Originally written for saxophone and orchestra, it was premiered in 1944 by the New York Philharmonic, and transcribed for band by the composer in 1963.

Born in New York as Giuseppe Guttoveggio, as a child Creston studied piano, organ and composition informally. Prior to moving to San Diego as 1976, he worked as a theater organist and taught at several colleges in the New York area. Largely self-taught, he nonetheless achieved wide acclaim for his teaching and his works, including six symphonies and 15 concertos. He also wrote several theoretical works dealing with contemporary musical styles, including “Principles of Rhythm,” “Creative Harmony” and “Rational Musical Notation.”

For the concert finale, the Honor Band brass will be stationed in the Hancher Auditorium balcony. They will play antiphonal parts with the Symphony Band’s performance of the “Berceuse and Finale” from Igor Stravinsky’s “The Firebird,” as arranged for band by Edwin Franko Goldman.

One of the great composers of the 20th century, Stravinsky first came to international fame with his three ballet scores composed for the impresario Serge Diaghilev and his Ballets Russes. All three were premiered in Paris, “The Firebird” in 1910, “Petroushka” in 1911 and -- in one of the most famous theatrical scandals of history, causing a riot in the audience -- “The Rite of Spring” in 1913.

The first of the three ballets, “The Firebird” owes much to Stravinsky’s teacher, the great Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, from whom Stravinsky borrowed a luxurious use of orchestral color. The ballet’s ending -- the “Berceuse and Finale” -- has often been performed separately from the complete score and has become a popular item on both orchestral and band programs.

Other works on the concert will be “Whirr, Whirr, Whirr” by Ralph Hultgren and “Passacaglia (Homage on B-A-C-H)” by Ron Nelson.

Tse joined the UI faculty in the fall of 2002. As a Yamaha performing artist and Vandoren endorsed artist, Tse is an active international performer and clinician. He has given performances and master classes in many parts of Asia, Europe and the United States. Many composers have written pieces for him, including saxophone sonatas, saxophone concertos, solo and chamber works by David DeBoor Canfield, John Cheetham, and Leonard Mark Lewis.

Upon his 1996 Carnegie Hall debut, the New York Times heralded Tse as “a young virtuoso” and the Herald Times described his playing as “virtuosic brilliance” with a “beauteous, ever-so-smooth voice.”

Tse studied at Indiana University with the internationally acclaimed American artist and teacher Eugene Rousseau, who is a UI graduate. He has appeared as a soloist with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Hong Kong Wind Philharmonia, Indiana University Wind Ensemble, Baylor University Wind Ensemble, Emory University Wind Ensemble, Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony and Des Moines Symphony, among others. He has solo compact disc recordings on Crystal Records, RIAX Records, and Enharmonic Records.

More information about Tse is available on his web page, at

Camphouse has been director of bands at Radford (Va.) University since 1984. A native of Chicago, he was a serious composer in his teens, and the Colorado Philharmonic premiered his First Symphony when he only 17. He received his formal musical training at Northwestern University. His works for band have been performed in the United States and abroad, and have been recorded on the Albany, Citadel and Summit labels.

Camphouse has served as guest conductor, lecturer and clinician in 38 states, Canada and Europe. He is an elected member of the American Bandmasters Association and serves as coordinator of the National Band Association Young Composer Mentor Project. He has received Radford University’s highest faculty honor, the Dedmon Award for Professorial Excellence, as well as the 2002 Outstanding Faculty Award of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, which recognizes faculty at the states colleges and universities for demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and public service.

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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