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University of Iowa News Release

April 16, 2004

UI University And Concert Bands Present Joint Concert April 28

The University and Concert Bands from the University of Iowa School of Music will present a free concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 28 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Two of the concert wind ensembles in the UI Band Department, the University and Concert Bands are open to UI students. They present at least one joint concert each semester.

The Concert Band is conducted by Kevin Kastens. Their performance will feature oboist Mark Weiger, a member of the School of Music faculty, as soloist and doctoral student Kenneth Thompson as guest conductor.

Weiger will perform "Fantasie sur 'Martha'" (Fantasy on the opera "Martha") by Casimer Theophile Lalliet, as arranged for oboe and band by Kastens, who will also lead the band in the "American Overture" of Joseph Willcox Jenkins and the Armenian dances of Alfred Reed. Thompson will conduct "An American Elegy" by Frank Ticheli.

Lalliet was the leading French oboist of the late 19th century and the composer of works that showcased the oboe as a virtuoso solo voice. The "Fantasie sur 'Martha'" is drawn from themes of the opera of the same name by Friedrich von Flotow, which was written and premiered in 1847. A set of variations on operatic melodies, the "Fantasie" allows the oboist to give life to melodic phrases while dazzling with two-voiced textures, double tonguing and circular breathing. Kastens transcribed the work for Weiger.

"An American Elegy" was commissioned by the Columbine Commissioning Fund, a special project sponsored by the Alpha Iota Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi at the University of Colorado on behalf of the Columbine High School Band. It was written as an expression of hope, in memory of those who lost their lives at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, and to honor the survivors. The composer writes "I hope the work can also serve as a reminder of how fragile and precious life is, and how intimately connected we all are as human beings."

The University Band, under the direction of UI graduate assistant Carl Collins, will perform five pieces: "Sun Dance" by Frank Ticheli, "With Quiet Courage" by Larry Daehn, "Three London Miniatures" by Mark Camphouse, "Serenade" by Derek Bourgeois and "The Silver Quill" concert march by Dale Harpham and Sammy Nestico.

Daehn wrote "With Quiet Courage" in memory of his mother. "She inspired many people because of her grace, kindness and strength," Dahen writes. "In mid-life she was struck by many health problems (but) she wanted no pity. She was more concerned about those around her...

"There is not a day that I don't think of her, and others tell me that they also remember her often. She inspired many of us. Whenever we face great obstacles, we think of the courage and determination of Lois Daehn, and we know that we can go on and face just about anything, because she did; because she courageously lived her life and faced her death with quiet courage."

Derek Bourgeois, an English composer of music for television and the concert stage, explained the origin of his unusual "Serenade," originally composer for organ: "I wrote all the music for my own wedding. The 'Serenade' was the closing movement as we processed out and was originally entitled 'Wedding March' (the publishers changed the title). I had strict instructions from my bride-to-be. The piece was to be jolly so that no one would feel like bursting into tears as they so often do in weddings. Also it was to be in an irregular meter so that the guests would be unable to march out of the church in step."

Kastens is associate professor of music and assistant 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. A leader in the field of computer-assisted marching band drill design, he helped develop "Drill Quest," a drill-writing software program

Since coming to Iowa in 1988 Weiger has performed as a soloist throughout the United States, Canada, England, Mexico, Austria, France and Italy, presented two recitals in Carnegie Hall in New York, been a finalist in nine international competitions, won First Prize in the Queens Philharmonic Concerto Competition (NY), performed double concertos with the Chicago Symphony's former principal oboist, Ray Still, and presented solo recitals with many other notable oboists.

Weiger is a founding member of the double reed quartet WiZARDS!, which has released three CDs to critical acclaim, toured 18 states and presented educational residence programs throughout the West and Midwest. As the first oboist to serve as an Artistic Ambassador through the U.S. Information Agency, Weiger performed recitals in Nepal, Pakistan, Israel, Jordan and Sri Lanka. The Tel Aviv News commented: "The quality of collaborative artists in the US Artistic Ambassador program is now unparalleled. On balance, [they] were perhaps the most successful Artistic Ambassadors USIS has ever programmed."

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.

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