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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 27, 2004

UI University And Concert Bands Present Joint Concert March 8

The University and Concert Bands from the University of Iowa School of Music will present a joint concert at 8 p.m. Monday, March 8 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 by audition to all UI students. They present at least one joint concert each semester.

The Concert Band performs under the direction of Kevin Kastens, who is also director of the Hawkeye Marching Band and associate director of bands in the School of Music. Graduate student Sean Harris will also conduct one work on the program. Saxophone soloists Michael Hester (left), a guest artist from Tucson, Ariz., and Kenneth Tse from the UI music faculty, will also be featured on the concert.

Harris will lead the Concert Band in a performance of "The Hounds of Spring" by Alfred Reed.

The next three pieces will feature the saxophone soloists with the band, playing music that was popular with virtuoso soloists with John Philp Sousa's band and other turn-of-the-century showmen. Tse will play "Nadine" by H. Benne Henton, arranged by Tom Kloss; Hester will play "Beautiful Colorado" by Joseph De Luca, arranged by Charles J. Roberts; and both together will perform Jules A. Demerssemann's showpiece "The Carnival of Venice" as arranged by Fred Hemke and transcribed by Daniel Brame.

The Concert Band will close their portion of the program with "La Fiesta Mexicana" by H. Owen Reed.

Alfred Reed is one of America's most prolific and frequently performed composers of music for concert bands. "The Hounds of Spring" was inspired by the poem "Atalanta in Calydon," written in 1865 by English poet Algernon Charles Swinburne. It is cast in the fast-slow-fast format of the early 18th-century Italian opera overtures and aims to capture the contrasting exuberant, youthful gaiety and sweetness of tender love portrayed in Swinburne's poem.

"La Fiesta Mexicana" is subtitled "A Mexican Folk Song Symphony." It was written after Reed spent a year in Mexico on a Guggenheim Fellowship studying folk music and composing. The entire work depicts a religious festival, faithfully representing all of the contrast and contradictions of these events. It is both serious and comical, festive and solemn, devout and pagan, boisterous and tender. The three movements are titled "Prelude and Aztec Dance," "Mass" and "Carnival."

The University Band is conducted by graduate student Michael Knight, who will lead the band in five works:
--"American Riversongs" by Pierre La Plante;
--"Symphonic Suite" by Clifton Williams;
--"O Magnum Mysterium" by Morten Lauridsen, transcribed for band by H. Robert Reynolds;
--"Chorale and Shaker Dance" by John Zdechlik; and
--"March of Might" by Robert Russell Bennett.

"American Riversongs" is based on music written about and associated with America's waterways, including "Down the River" "Shenandoah," a brass band rendition of Stephen Foster's "The Glendy Burk" and a Creole bamboula tune associated with the Louisiana delta.

"Chorale and Shaker Dance" has been part of the standard band repertoire ever since its premiere in 1972. The well-known, traditional Shaker melody " 'Tis a Gift to be Simple" forms the basis for the majority of this work, and occurs in various harmonic and rhythmic presentations.

Robert Russell Bennett was best known for his many Broadway orchestrations. His "March of Might" comes from a television score for "Nightmare in Red," an NBC documentary that aired as part of the network's "Project 20" series. This piece exemplifies Bennett's unique approach to one of the concert band's most traditional genres.

Born in Kalamazoo, Mich., Hester has had an unusual career as a classical saxophonist. He has performed and recorded with Navajo musician and multiple Grammy Award nominee, R. Carlos Nakai; toured Australia with the Arizona Saxophone Quartet and Mexico with The TOS Performing Arts Ensemble; improvised in performance and on recordings with the Sonoran Consort; recorded a CD of music by Bizet with the Orquesta Filarmonica de la Ciudad de Mexico; performed countless recitals; made dozens of solo appearances with orchestras and bands; recorded more than 10 CDs including two solo discs and premiered many original compositions for saxophone including nine dedicated specifically to him.

Hester has held faculty positions at Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona. He currently lives and teaches a private studio in Tucson. Additional biographical information:

Tse joined the UI faculty in the fall of 2002. As a Yamaha performing artist and Vandoren-endorsed artist, Tse is an active international performer and clinician. He has given performances and master classes in many parts of Asia, Europe and the United States. Many composers have written pieces for him, including saxophone sonatas, saxophone concertos, solo and chamber works by David DeBoor Canfield, John Cheetham, and Leonard Mark Lewis.

Tse studied at Indiana University with the internationally acclaimed American artist and teacher Eugene Rousseau, who is a UI graduate. He has appeared as a soloist around the world and has solo compact disc recordings on Crystal Records, RIAX Records, and Enharmonic Records. More information about Tse is available on his web page, at http://

Kastens is associate professor of music and 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.

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.

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,