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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 28, 2004

36th Annual Band Extravaganza Features Three UI Bands Nov. 16-17

The annual Band Extravaganza -- the biggest, brassiest UI band concert of the year -- will showcase the top bands from the University of Iowa School of Music for the 36th year in a row, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 16 and 17, in the UI Hancher Auditorium.

The Band Extravaganza features three ensembles: the Hawkeye Marching Band, under director Kevin Kastens; the Johnson County Landmark jazz band, directed by John Rapson; and the Symphony Band, conducted by Myron Welch.

Over the past 35 years, the Band Extravaganza has become one of the UI's most popular events. Audiences are drawn from across the state, including high school band members and their directors, former band members, Hawkeye fans and just about anyone who enjoys a rousing concert of band music.

The UI Symphony Band performs many of its own full-length concerts during the year, both on and off-campus. Welch, who is the UI director of bands, will conduct the Symphony Band in Dmitri Shostakovich's "Festive Overture"; Shafer Mahoney's "Sparkle"; the trombone section showpiece "Teddy Trombone" by Henry Fillmore; and John Philip Sousa's march "The Royal Welch Fusiliers."

Johnson County Landmark (JCL) is the UI's ensemble devoted to the performance of original works by the great composers of the big-band jazz repertory. Consisting of the best jazz players at the School of Music, JCL is known for picking up the prizes at jazz festivals and contests around the country.

For the concert, JCL will play Buck Clayton's "Avenue C" and Quincy Jones' "Count 'Em" -- both written for the Count Basie Band -- and Rapson's Brazilian-tinged "Saideira em Barao Geraldo."

As always, the Hawkeye Marching Band promises to provide lots of fun and surprises. The band will play selections from the 2004 football-season half-time shows, including the traditional band skits and a performance by the drum line, and concluding with the traditional UI songs "On Iowa" and the "Iowa Fight Song."

The performance will showcase the band's current drum major, Dameon Place, and Golden Girl Diana Reed. Place is in his first season as drum major and his third season in the band. A music education major, he plays in many ensembles at the School of Music. A graduate of Oskaloosa High School, he was drum major with the Oskaloosa Marching Indians for two years.

Reed made her debut as the Hawkeye Marching Band Golden Girl this season. A native of Norwalk, Iowa, she graduated as the 2002 Valedictorian of Norwalk High School. In high school she served as president of the National Honor Society, captain of the varsity football and basketball cheerleading squads and captain of the dance team, and participated in vocal and instrumental music. She has been twirling since the age of four and holds the National Show Twirling Champion, Miss Majorette of Iowa and Miss Majorette of the North titles. She majors in Performing Arts and Business Administration at the UI.

Kastens is 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. Before coming to the UI in 1998 Kastens served five years at the University of Missouri, where he directed the marching band, Marching Mizzou, and the pep band for men's basketball games.

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.

Rapson joined the faculty of the UI School of Music as director of jazz studies in August 1993. A recording artist for the Sound Aspects and Nine Winds labels, he is a composer and trombonist whose work mixes ethnic and experimental elements with more conventional jazz forms. His recent experimental jazz recording "Dances and Orations" has been hailed as "one of the most vital CDs to come around in a long time" in Jazziz and as "a conceptual and musical triumph" by Josef Woodard in the Independent.

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 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.

Tickets for reserved seats for the Band Extravaganza are available for $5 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, which 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.

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,

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