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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 1, 2004


Cedar Rapids' Syndicate Joins Old Gold Singers For Annual 'Fall Festival' Oct. 16

The Old Gold Singers, the University of Iowa show choir, will feature The Syndicate -- a Cedar-Rapids barbershop quartet -- as guest artists for their annual "Fall Festival" performance at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

An ensemble of the UI School of Music, the Old Gold Singers will be led by UI graduate assistant Michael Reese. The group consists of 28 singers, plus a 10-member instrumental combo.

The Old Gold Singers (OGS) will perform a set featuring lesser-known selections from Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, along with a few 1980s songs about love. The set includes arrangements by Reese as well as UI music alumnus Pete Eklund, who is currently teaching at the University of Nebraska.

The complete program for the OGS will be "The Devil You Know," arranged by Eklund; a medley of "Hot Blooded" and "Cold Hearted Snake," arranged by Reese; "Just In Time," arranged by Steve Anderson; "Listen To My Heart," arranged by Eklund; a medley of "Money" and "Laughin' All The Way To The Bank;" "My Love Is A Fire," arranged by Andy Cosentino; and "Renegade," aranged J.D. Smith.

Throughout the OGS set, choreography will be provided by students in the group.

Syndicate is well known locally as the early morning Valentine's Day quartet on KCRG-TV Channel 9 in Cedar Rapids. Over the past four years, the group has progressed from their first meeting to selection last fall as the second-place novice quartet in the Central States District of the Barbershop, out of more then 40 entries.

Syndicate members include lead Scott Muters, bass David Lasley, tenor Mike Harrington and baritone Jeff Tilson. They are a mixed group professionally as well as vocally. Respectively, they are a middle school music teacher at Roosevelt Middle School in Cedar Rapids; a self-employed computer consultant; the operations manager of Gordon Sevig Trucking in Walford; and the chief of police in Vinton.

In his first year as director of the OGS, Reese is a UI doctoral student in choral conducting. He spent eight years in the Cedar Rapids Public Schools, including six as director of the "West Side Delegation" at Jefferson High School. Under his direction, "West Side Delegation" received either first runner-up or grand champion honors for Best Vocals, Best Choreography and Best Band at competitions in Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Missouri.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Reese served on the board of the Iowa Choral Director's Association from 1996 to 2003. He has served as Fall Student Symposium Chair, Youth Choir Clinic Coordinator, Choral Selection Committee Member, Choral Composition Committee Member, Reading Session Chair for the 2002 NCACDA Convention in Des Moines, IA, and recently completed his second term as Repertoire and Standards Chair for Male Choirs in Iowa. 

The Old Gold Singers are a select musical group whose members are chosen by audition. In addition to the "Fall Festival," their campus performances include the holiday favorite "Cocoa and Carols" and the annual "Swing Into Spring" concert. The group also travels throughout Iowa, performing for schools and community groups. Past tours outside the state have taken them to New York, Washington, D.C., and the Bahamas.

Tickets for "Fall Festival" are $10 ($8 for UI students, seniors and youth under 18) and may be purchased from the Hancher Auditorium Box Office. Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to 319-353-2284.

People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158. This number will be answered by box office personnel prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair access and seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The line is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website:

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail: <>.

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,