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University of Iowa News Release

Release: March 24, 2003

Keith Brion Will Bring John Philip Sousa To Life At Hancher April 13

The University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium will present Keith Brion conducting the UI Symphony Band in a recreation of performances by John Philip Sousa, America's most famous band conductor and composer of military marches, at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 13.

The performance, the third in an annual series of collaborations between Hancher Auditorium and the UI School of Music, will feature three soloists from the music faculty: David Greenhoe, trumpet; Rachel Joselson, soprano; and Katherine Eberle, mezzo-soprano.

Previous concerts featuring Hancher artists with School of Music performers were concerts by the University Symphony with pianist Van Cliburn in 2000 and mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade in 2001.

Brion is a human time-machine who has made a career of transporting audiences to the "gilded age" of turn-of-the-century America with his Sousa performances. Dressed in a replica of Sousa's uniform and conducting in a style modeled on Sousa's own performances, Brion presents carefully researched concerts that are just like those Sousa conducted -- full of a variety of music ranging from light classics and virtuoso solos to the marches for which Sousa is best known.

Known as "The March King," Sousa performed around the world from the 1880s up until his death in 1932, wrote operettas as well as military marches, and created one of the most famous pieces of Americana, "Stars and Stripes Forever," which Brion's program identifies as "the greatest march ever written."

When Brion conducted the Cedar Rapids Symphony two years ago, George Ford praised the concert in the Gazette: "Brion, who assumed the persona of Sousa, from his physical appearance to the composer's distinctive conducting style, put the CRSO through its paces with a concert of familiar compositions.

"Should Keith Brion return to Cedar Rapids or Eastern Iowa in the near future, you would be well advised to attend one of his Sousa concerts. It will prove to be a most enjoyable evening."

The April 13 concert will include Sousa's band arrangement of the Overture from Giuseppe Verdi's "La forza del destino" (The force of destiny); Sousa's "Under the American Flag" and "Variations on Gershwin's 'Swanee'"; and a George M. Cohan sing-along, as part of the concert's "Patriotic Finale."

Greenhoe will play one of the great virtuoso cornet solos from the Sousa era, "The Carnival of Venice" by Sousa's solo cornetist and assistant director, Herbert L. Clarke. Joselson will be featured in an aria from the opera "Andriana Le Couvreur" by Sousa's contemporary Francisco Cilea. And Eberle will sing Jerome Kern's "All the Things You Are," written in 1939 for the musical show "Very Warm for May."

The concert will close with encores, selected from a list of 24 Sousa Marches, including such favorites as "The Thunderer," "El Capitan," "Washington Post" and, of course, "the greatest march ever written," "Stars and Stripes Forever."

Brion will be in Iowa City for a week of rehearsals and outreach activities leading up to the April 13 concert. He will rehearse with the New Horizons Band at the Iowa City Senior Center, meet with residents of the Oaknoll Retirement Residence, and make other appearances in the community.

The Symphony Band is the top concert wind ensemble in the UI School of Music. In addition to a series of free concerts on the UI campus, the Symphony Band performs on tour throughout Iowa and the Midwest.

As director of bands at Yale University, Brion led the Yale Band in concerts at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and in an all-Ives program at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw. Prior to coming to Yale, he was the founder and music director of the North Jersey Wind Symphony and a long-time band educator and music supervisor in the New Jersey public schools.

He has published many editions for band, including the music of Charles Ives, Percy Grainger, John Philip Sousa, and D.W. Reeves, and is the author of numerous articles. He has published a series of editions of Sousa's music in collaboration with Loras Schissel, curator of the Sousa collection at the Library of Congress. Brion is currently recording the complete wind music of John Philip Sousa for Naxos records with London's Royal Artillery Band. Four volumes of a projected 16 CD series have been completed.

Tickets for Keith Brion's Hancher performance with the UI Symphony Band are $20, $18 and $15. Discounted tickets are available for UI students at $16 and $10; senior citizens at $16, $14.40 and $12; and for youth 18 and under at $10, $9 and $7.50.

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, 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.

Corporate sponsor of the concert by Keith Brion and the Symphony Band is West Music Company through the University of Iowa Foundation. 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,

PHOTOS are available at

OTHER INFORMATION: Additional information on Keith Brion and the New Sousa Band can be found at