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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 31, 2003

University Choir Will Sing About Water In Nov. 9 Concert

The University Choir, a major choral group at the University of Iowa School of Music, will present "water music" -- not the popular orchestral piece by Handel, but a program of choral music about rain, rivers and oceans -- at 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The concert, which is free and open to the public, will be under the direction of Timothy Stalter, UI director of choral activities, and Fred Kiser, a graduate student in the School of Music.

"This whole program is about water and images associated with water," Stalter said. "That includes dolphins, fishing, snow, bathing, rain, rivers, streams, oceans, crossing over the water to the other side -- both physically and spiritually -- and so forth

"It is a program which crosses many styles and periods with diverse poetry and beautiful images of water."

Baritone John Muriello, a faculty member in the School of Music, will join the choir for its opening selections from the oratorio "Elijah" by Felix Mendelssohn: "Lord, Thou hast overthrown thine enemies," followed by the chorus "Thanks be to God!" in which the music depicts a great downpour that breaks the drought and brings salvation to the land.

A diverse set of songs will follow, including "Old Joe Has Gone Fishing" from Benjamin Britten's opera "Peter Grimes," "The Snow" by Edward Elgar and a choral arrangement of the spiritual "Deep River."

Kiser will conduct the men of the choir in two works, arrangements of the sea chantey "A Capital Ship" and a traditional tune known as "Mouth Music."

The remaining portion of the program features a wide diversity of styles: "Quiet Rain" by Hildor Lundvik; "Water Night" by Eric Whitacre; a contemporary aleatoric piece with many elements of chance in the performance, "Miniwanka, of the Moments of Water" by R. Murray Schafer; and "Just as the Tide was Flowing" by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Stalter joined the UI faculty as director of choral activities in 1999. He directs Kantorei, the premier choral ensemble of the School of Music, teaches graduate conducting courses and administers the graduate program in choral conducting. He has research interests in teaching conducting to undergraduate and graduate students and historical music performance practices. An active member of the American Choral Directors Association, he frequently presents clinics and workshops in choral conducting around the United States.

In addition to conducting and teaching choral music, Stalter is active as a tenor soloist in the United States and abroad. A specialist in the music of the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods, he is known for his performances as the Evangelist in the Passions of J.S. Bach and Heinrich Schuetz. He has appeared as tenor soloist with Apollo's Fire, the Newfoundland Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony, the Robert Shaw Festival Singers in France, the Robert Shaw Chamber Choir in Atlanta, the Classical Music Seminar and Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria, and the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival. He has recorded as tenor soloist with conductor Robert Shaw on two compact discs released on the Telarc label.

Prior to coming to the UI, Stalter was on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Goshen College in Indiana. He received a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, where he studied with renowned choral conductor Robert Fountain, and a masters from the University of Illinois, where he studied with Don Moses, who was UI director of choral activities in the 1980s.

A singer whose work ranges from opera and operetta to concert and musical theater, Muriello joined the UI School of Music faculty in the fall of 1997. His most recent engagements include performances in the title role of the UI Martha-Ellen Tye Opera Theater production of Tartuffe in 2001, and the Riverside theatre's production of "Sweet and Hot." In the fall of 1998 he made his directing debut with the UI School of Music production of the musical comedy "The Fantasticks," and he directed the School of Music production of "She Loves Me" in 1999.

Muriello has performed operatic and musical theater roles with Opera Carolina, the Banff Centre in Canada, L'Opera Francais of New York, Skylight Opera Theater, Ohio Light Opera and the Southeastern Savoyards of Atlanta. He performed as the Narrator and Mysterious Man in Sondheim's "Into the Woods" and Marcello in "La Boheme" for Lyric Opera Cleveland. Other roles have ranged from Guglielmo in Mozart's "Cosi fan tutte" to Voltaire in Bernstein's "Candide."

He has also performed in concert and recital throughout the Midwest and the Southeast, singing in performances of Vaughan Williams' "Five Mystical Songs" and "Hodie," the Brahms "Requiem" and the Bach Mass in B minor.

He was a winner in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions in North Carolina, in the Washington International Competition and the Louise D. McMahon International Song Competition in Oklahoma, and toured two seasons with the Mantovani Orchestra.

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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