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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 6, 2004

Flutist Will Be Soloist For UI Symphony Band Concert Feb. 21

The University of Iowa Symphony Band will feature flutist Tamara Thweatt, a member of the UI School of Music faculty, on a free concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21 in Hancher Auditorium on the UI campus.

The concert, under the direction of Myron Welch, is part of the Honor Band Weekend at the UI. Each year approximately 100 high school musicians from around the state are invited to campus to play with a distinguished guest conductor and to attend clinics on their individual instruments. The high school Honor Band will present its own free concert, with David A. Waybright from the University of Florida as the guest conductor, at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22, in Hancher.

For the Saturday concert by the UI Symphony Band, Thweatt will perform with the band in Camille Saint-Saens' "Air de Ballet" and Antonio Vivaldi's Concerto for Piccolo. The band will also play an arrangement of the Overture to "Colas Breugnon" by Dmitri Kabalevsky, the Variations for Wind Band of Ralph Vaughan Williams, "Musica Boema" by Zdenek Lukas and "Gazebo Dances" by John Corigliano.

Although not as well known as Shostakovich and Prokofiev, Kabalevsky was one the major Russian composers of the 20th century. A graduate of the Moscow Conservatory, he taught composition there for many years. A conservative and prolific composer, he survived the artistic upheavals of Soviet musical life unscathed. The Overture to Kabalevsky's 1938 opera "Colas Breugnon" is a portrait of the hero, a cross between Robin Hood and the rebellious 15th-century French lyrical poet Francois Villon.

Vaughan Williams composed the Variations for Wind Band in 1957 from the National Brass Championship of Great Britain. Along with the Ninth Symphony, it was completed shortly before the composer's death. It has since been scored for the contemporary American concert band by Donald Hunsberger, conductor and music director of the Eastman Wind Ensemble. The score consists of a theme and 11 variations treating the theme with a variety of compositional techniques including chorale, fugue and canon.

A native of the Czech Republic, Zdenek Lukas is largely a self-taught composer. He lived for many years in Plzen (Pilsen), where he was active with Czech radio and worked as a choral conductor. He is an extremely prolific composer who has written for a variety of media. "Musica Boema" was commissioned in 1977 by Stanley DeRusha, who was director of bands at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Lukas makes extensive use of Czech folk tunes, irregular in length and modal in tonality, in the score.

Corigliano, winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his Symphony No. 2, is one of the most successful and celebrated living American composers. Active in many fields of composition, he has received commissions from the Metropolitan Opera, the Chicago Symphony and the New York Philharmonic, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, flutist James Galway and the Boston Symphony, among many others. His music for the 1999 film "The Red Violin" won the Academy Award for best original score.

The composer wrote, "'Gazebo Dances' was originally written as a set of four-hand piano pieces dedicated to certain of my pianist friends. I later arranged the suite for orchestra and for concert band, and it is from the latter version that the title is drawn. The title 'Gazebo Dances' was suggested by the pavilions often seen on village greens in towns throughout the countryside, where public band concerts are given on summer evenings."

Thweatt joined the faculty of the UI School of Music in the fall of 2003. She was a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 2000-2002, following the completion of her doctorate from the University of Michigan in 1999. A busy orchestral musician, she has also performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra and many regional ensembles.

As a Fulbright Scholar to England, Thweatt spent a year of intensive study in the studio of Trevor Wye and performed in Fulbright-sponsored recitals in London and Berlin. She also holds a masters degree from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree from Florida State University.

Prior to coming to Iowa, Thweatt served on the faculties of Concordia College in Ann Arbor and the Interlochen Arts Camp. She has an interest in Baroque music, especially the works of J. S. Bach. She has studied the Baroque flute and has performed the solo flute part in Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 with the Michigan Chamber Players. She recently performed the Vivaldi C Major Piccolo Concerto with the Pontiac Oakland Symphony and the C.P.E. Bach Flute Concerto in A Major with the Bach Sinfonia. She also enjoys chamber music of all styles and periods, and has performed George Crumb's "Vox Balaenae" (The voice of the whale) at Interlochen.

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.

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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