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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 26, 2003

UI Bands Present Joint Concert Dec. 10

The University and Concert bands from the University of Iowa School of Music will present a joint concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The groups are two of the concert wind ensembles in the UI Band Department. They are open by audition to all UI students, and they present at least one joint concert each semester.

The Concert Band performs under the direction of Kevin Kastens, who is also director of the Hawkeye Marching Band and associate director of bands in the School of Music. Graduate student Carl Collins will also conduct one work on the program.

The Concert band will play five pieces on the concert:
--"Kirkpatrick Fanfare" by Iowa City native and UI graduate Andrew Boysen Jr.;
--"Midway March" from the 1976 film "Midway" by John Williams;
--the First Suite in F by Thom Ritter George, conducted by Collins;
--"Variations on a Korean Folk Song" by John Barnes Chance; and
--a band transcription of the Polka and Fugue from the opera "Schwanda the Bagpiper" by Jaromir Weinberger.

Boysen is a faculty member in the music department at the University of New Hampshire, where he conducts the wind symphony and teaches conducting, orchestration and composition. Born in Iowa City, Boysen earned his doctorate in wind conducting at the Eastman School of Music, his master's degree in wind conducting at Northwestern University and his bachelor's degree in music education from the UI.

George's First Suite in F was written for the United States Navy Band on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. About the work, George has written: "The first movement, 'Sea Chantey,' is not based on any particular sea chantey. Rather, it catches the flavor of the genre -- confident, humorous and upbeat. The second movement, 'Song of the Bells,' is wistful in character, perhaps symbolizing the loneliness and grandeur of the sea. The third movement, 'Country Dance,' serves as an intermezzo. It has a simple, melodious, and natural character to bridge the moods of the second and fourth movements. The final movement, 'Rumba Rumba,' shows Navy men having fun in a South American port."

"Variations on a Korean Folk Song" won the American Bandmasters Association Ostwald Award for John Barnes Chance the year following its composition. The composer wrote, "I became familiar with the folk song known as 'Arrirang' while serving in Seoul, Korea, as a member of the Eighth U.S. Army Band in 1958-59. The tune is not as simple as it sounds, and my fascination with it during the intervening years led to its eventual use as the theme for this set of variations."

The University Band is conducted by graduate student Sean Harris. Harris will lead the band in five works:
--"Cenotaph" by Jack Stamp;
--"Ode and Epinicion by James Curnow;
--"In Memoriam: Kristina" by Bruce Yurko;
--"A Festival Prelude" by Alfred Reed; and
--"Iowa Band Law March" by Karl King, who directed the Fort Dodge Municipal Band for more than 50 years.

The Michigan State University Symphonic Band premiered Curnow's "Ode and Epinicion" on April 7, 2002, with the composer, a Michigan State alumnus, conducting. It was written in honor of Curnow's close friend, David Catron, an outstanding conductor and music educator. All of the melodic, motivic and developmental music is derived directly from the Michigan State University alma mater, "MSU Shadows," though the material itself never actually appears in its entirety.

"In Memoriam: Kristina" was written in memory of Kristina Damm, a horn player in the Clearview Regional High School Band in Mullica Hill, N.J. Paul Tomlin, the director at Clearview, said, "May 'In Memoriam' live, so the unrealized potential of Kristina may be experienced by all who come to know this composition."

Karl King was a prolific composer of music for concert, circus and military bands. He wrote nearly 300 marches, overtures and novelty numbers played by bands all over the world. In passing the Iowa Band Law of 1922, the first of its kind, the Iowa Legislature enabled local communities to levy a small tax to support a local municipal band. More than 40 states eventually passed similar legislation, and King wrote the "Iowa Band Law March" to commemorate the event.

Kastens is associate professor of music and 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.

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.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072,