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

Oct. 30, 2003

35th Annual Band Extravaganza Features Three UI Bands Nov. 18-19

The 35th annual Band Extravaganza will bring the top bands from the University of Iowa School of Music into Hancher Auditorium for performances at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 18 and 19.

The Band Extravaganza features three ensembles: the Hawkeye Marching Band, under director Kevin Kastens; the Johnson County Landmark jazz band, directed by acting director Brent Sandy; and the Symphony Band, conducted by Myron Welch.

Over the past 34 years, the Band Extravaganza has become one of the UI's most popular events. Audiences are drawn from across the state, including high school band members and their directors, former band members, Hawkeye fans and just about anyone who enjoys a rousing concert of band music.

The UI Symphony Band performs many of its own full-length concerts during the year, both on and off-campus. Welch, who is the UI director of bands, will conduct the Symphony Band in three pieces for the Band Extravaganza: Paul Creston's "Celebration Overture," "Spoon River" by Percy Grainger, and Gustav Holst's First Suite in E-flat.

Johnson County Landmark (JCL) is the UI's ensemble devoted to the performance of original works by the great composers of the big-band jazz repertory. Consisting of the best jazz players at the School of Music, JCL is known for picking up the prizes at jazz festivals and contests around the country.

For the concert, JCL will play "Moten Swing," an Ernie Wilkins arrangement of the Bennie Moten number, and "The Eternal Triangle," John Clayton's arrangement of Sonny Stitt's original.

As always, the Hawkeye Marching Band promises to provide lots of fun and surprises. The band will play selections from the 2003 football-season half-time shows, including the traditional band skits and a performance by the drum line, and concluding with the traditional UI songs "On Iowa" and the "Iowa Fight Song."

In their performance, the Hawkeye Marching Band will feature their new drum major, Dameon Place, and Golden Girl Diana Reed, now in her second year with the band.

Place is a music education major from Oskaloosa, Iowa. Having marched as an alto saxophone player in the Hawkeye Marching Band for two years, Place took over the drum major position this fall. He was drum major of the Oskaloosa High School marching band for two years.

A native of Norwalk, Iowa, Reed was the 2002 Valedictorian of Norwalk High School. In high school she was president of the National Honor Society, captain of the varsity football and basketball cheerleading squads and captain of the dance team, and she participated in vocal and instrumental music. She has been twirling since the age of four and holds numerous titles, including Miss Majorette of Iowa, National Show Twirl Champion and State of Iowa Grand Strut and Twirling Champion. She is a business major at the UI.

Kastens is 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. Before coming to the UI in 1998, Kastens served five years at the University of Missouri where he directed the marching band, Marching Mizzou, and the pep band for men's basketball games.

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. A leader in the field of computer-assisted marching band drill design, he helped develop "Drill Quest," a drill-writing software program.

Sandy, who joined the jazz faculty in 2000, is a jazz trumpet and flugelhorn performer, teacher and clinician. Sandy performs regularly with local jazz groups including the Orquesta de Jazz y Salsa Alto Maiz, the OddBar Trio and Equilateral. As a member of the Orquesta Alto Maiz and Oddbar he has made seven CDs, toured Europe in 1998 and twice been featured on "Jazzset with Branford Marsalis" on National Public Radio. He is an educational specialist/clinician and Conn Vintage One artist with United Musical Instruments, a division of United Musical Instruments, USA, and serves on the board of directors of the Iowa City Jazz Festival.

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.

Tickets for reserved seats for the Band Extravaganza are available for $5 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, 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.

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.

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