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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 20, 2003

Tubas Will Celebrate Halloween In Oct. 31 Concert

"Tubawe'en I," a concert of music by tubas and other low brass instruments presented in celebration of the Halloween season, will be at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31 in Harper Hall of the UI Voxman Music Building.

The concert is under the direction of David Spies (left), who joined the School of Music faculty in August to teach tuba and euphonium. Spies will perform as soloist on the concert and direct the Collegium Tubum -- an ensemble of tubas together with its tenor-range relative, the euphonium. Student soloists and ensembles of tubas and euphoniums will also be featured.

"Tubawe'en I is the beginning of an annual tradition for the low brass studio at the School of Music," Spies said. "Tubawe'en is an opportunity for students to perform a studio recital in conjunction with the faculty and for the public to be introduced to the instruments in a less formal setting than a standard recital situation. Although recital etiquette is encouraged, so is attending in costume!"

Spies described Tubawe'en I as "the culmination of Octubafest 2003," a celebration of the tuba and related instruments that has included concerts and other events for tuba students in the School of Music.

One of the high points of the concert will be Spies' performance of "Civilization and Its Discontents" for solo tuba by Richard Wilson. The suite of solo pieces is in five movements: "Overcoming the Forces of Nature," "Soap as a Measure of Civilization," "Love, Necessity, and the Death Instinct," "The Aggressive Impulse Thwarted" and "Bad Conscience and the Superego."

The program will also include several works featuring student soloists on tuba and euphonium, and a series of student tuba/euphonium ensembles playing music ranging from an arrangement of "Quam Pulchra Es" by the Renaissance English composer John Dunstable to Charles Gounod's tongue-in-cheek "Funeral March of a Marionette."

Under Spies' direction, the Collegium Tubum will play a series of works, including John Stevens' "Power," motets by Anton Bruckner and Edvard Grieg's "In The Hall of the Mountain King" from "Peer Gynt."

Spies currently teaches euphonium and tuba, coaches brass chamber music and performs with the Iowa Brass Quintet as a visiting faculty member at the UI School of Music. Spies previously served for seven years on the faculty of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, during which time he also taught at Northwestern State University of Louisiana.

Spies is an active performer and teacher throughout the United States. In addition to numerous solo recitals, he has performed with the Fort Worth, Shreveport, Richardson, New Haven and Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestras, Dallas Wind Symphony and U.S. Coast Guard Band. As principal tubist with the North Texas Wind Symphony he has recorded 10 compact disks for the Klavier Wind Recording Project, several recordings with the First Brigade Civil War Brass Band of Watertown, Wisc., and recordings for both Centaur and Mark Records.

A freelance musician in Dallas-Fort Worth for nearly a decade, he has performed with popular artists including Kenny Wayne Shepherd, LeAnn Rimes, Roy Clark and James Taylor. An active chamber musician as well, Spies has performed with the New York Woodwind Quintet, Meridian Arts Ensemble and the Canadian Brass.

Currently the managing editor for the International Tuba-Euphonium Association (ITEA) web site, Spies is also a reviewer for the "New Materials" column of the ITEA Journal. He was twice selected Outstanding Graduate Student in Instrumental Studies at the University of North Texas, where he completed his doctorate. He is also a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Yale University, where he was awarded the first Artist Diploma ever to be received by a low brass musician.

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,