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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 29, 2004

UI Collegium Tubum Celebrates Season With Outdoor Performance Dec. 10

The University of Iowa Collegium Tubum -- also known as the UI Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble -- has a new director, but it will honor a longstanding and popular tradition when it presents its annual outdoor performance of holiday music at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10 on the front steps of Macbride Hall on the UI Pentacrest.

The new director is John Manning, who joined the faculty of the UI School of Music as tuba professor at the beginning of the fall semester. "Continuing the tradition of my predecessor Bob Yeats, I will be donning my Santa suit and conducting the Collegium Tubum and other tuba-toting members of the community in a short concert of holiday favorites," Manning said.

Since it is outside, the concert will naturally be free, and Manning promises that it will take place, regardless of weather. In Iowa, that is of course a significant promise: The concert has often been played amid snow flurries, and in some past years frigid temperatures have forced the group to perform in tag-team fashion, with members periodically retreating indoors to un-freeze their valves.

To heighten the festive spirit of the event, ensemble members customarily decorate their instruments, and some wear costumes of their own.

Manning said the pieces on the planned program have been arranged by past and  present members of the UI tuba-euphonium studio. This year's concert will feature a new arrangement by graduating senior Amy Letcher of "The Dreidel Song."

"This is Amy's fifth holiday tuba event, and she thought that it was time to include a Hanukkah tune in our repertoire," Manning said.

Other music to be performed will include familiar Christmas carols and other seasonal favorites and, as always, a surprise or two for those hardy enough to show up for the alfresco performance.

"All members of the community who play a tuba, euphonium, baritone horn or sousaphone are welcome to join us in this annual tradition," Manning said. "There will be free candy canes for the kids and hot cocoa and cookies provided by the museum. And I hope people will stick around and explore the museum after the concert."

As a founding member of the award-winning Atlantic Brass Quintet, Manning has toured across the United States and around the world. The quintet has won six international chamber music competitions and performed at the White House, Tanglewood, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Savannah Onstage, the Sacramento Festival for New American Music and other festivals and concert series around the country.

An active freelance musician, Manning has performed with the Boston Symphony, the Empire Brass and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. He has also served as principal tubist with the Vermont Symphony and Albany (N.Y.) Symphony. As a Yamaha solo artist he has appeared at Louisiana State University Octubafest, the International Tuba Euphonium Conferences 2000 and 2002, and Music Educators Conferences in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Prior to coming to the UI, Manning was on the faculty of the Boston Conservatory, Boston University's School for the Arts, the Tanglewood Institute and the University of Massachusetts. He has conducted tuba master classes around the United States and worked with brass students in Japan, Costa Rica, Panama, Egypt and Oman.

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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