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University of Iowa News Release

April 5, 2005

Iowa Brass Quintet Will Perform April 13

Iowa Brass Quintet, a resident faculty ensemble at the University of Iowa School of Music, will present a free concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The Iowa Brass Quintet (IBQ) performs on the UI campus each semester and for schools, universities, civic concert associations and professional meetings throughout the United States. Its current members are David Greenhoe and Barbara Deur, trumpets; Jeff Agrell, horn; David Gier, trombone; and John Manning, tuba.

The April 13 IBQ concert will feature the following works:

-- "Capriccio On the Departure of his Beloved Brother" by J.S. Bach, as arranged for brass quintet by the group's former horn player, UI emeritus faculty member Paul Anderson;

-- "Acrostic Variations" by David Dzubay;

-- "Triangles" for horn, trombone and tuba by John Stevens; and

-- Quintet for Brass Instruments by Alvin Etler.

Manning said that the first piece on the program is Bach's only example of instrumental program music describing a specific series of events. "It's a musical voyage of emotions," Manning said.

"Each section has a descriptive and evocative title -- 'In a Coaxing Manner, Friends Try to Dissuade Him from His Intended Journey,' 'They Describe the Dangers Connected with Travel to Distant Places' and so forth. The final two movements depict the arrival of the coach, which in Bach's day was announced by the fanfare of a bugle-like instrument known as the post-horn. Titled 'The Postillion's Fanfare' and 'Fugue in Imitation of the Postillion's Fanfare,' these movements justify the transcription of this work for brass and illustrate Bach's genius for counterpoint."

In April of 2004 the IBQ performed Dzubay's "Saint Vitus' Dance" and enjoyed that so much that they decided to play his "Acrostic Variations" for this performance. The work was commissioned by the St. Louis Brass Quintet and was dedicated to one of its trumpeters, Allan Dean. The title refers to the use of the words whose first letters spell out Dean's name to describe the variations. The first movement consists of variations titled "Aubade" (Evening serenade), "Light", "Lyric," "Agile" and "Nocture" (spelling ALLAN); and the second consists of "Drone," "Elusive," "Ablaze" and "Noble" (spelling DEAN).

The trio for lower brass instruments, "Triangles," will feature three of the members of the IBQ: Agrell on horn, Gier on trombone and Manning on tuba. The group will record the piece for CD by Gier.

Born in Battle Creek, Iowa, in 1913, Etler was known as an oboist, composer, author and music educator. Greenhoe once performed the Quintet for the composer, and Manning recently recorded it with the Atlantic Brass Quintet. It is considered one of the classic -- as well as out as one of the most difficult! --works for brass quintet of the 20th century.

Founded in the early 1950s, the IBQ has been widely acclaimed for its artistry in the performance of music of all periods and premieres of new compositions. The quintet's CD "Americana: A University of Iowa Celebration" features works by composers associated with the UI, either as faculty or students in the School of Music, or whose works have been favorites of the group over the years. It was released as part of the celebration of the UI Sesquicentennial in 1997.

Greenhoe has been on the faculty of the UI School of Music and the principal trumpeter of the Quad City Symphony since 1979. He is also chair of the brass area at the UI and is active as a soloist and recitalist. During summer seasons he performs as solo trumpeter with the Lake Placid (N.Y.) Sinfonietta, a post he has held since 1975.

Deur is a member of the Quad Cities Symphony and has been a trumpet instructor at UI. She has performed widely as a soloist and clinician, has been principal trumpet of the Des Moines Symphony and has been a member of the Cedar Rapids Symphony.

Gier came to the UI in August 1995. He has taught at Baylor University and Central Connecticut State University. He began his professional career in New England as a member of the Springfield (Mass.) Symphony and Orchestra New England. He has performed with numerous professional ensembles, including the New Haven, Hartford, Waco and San Angelo symphonies, and Keith Brion's Peerless Sousa Band. He is currently principal trombone of the Breckenridge (Colo.) Festival Orchestra.

Agrell joined the UI School of Music faculty in 2000 after a 25-year career as symphony musician. At the UI he teaches horn, directs the Horn Choir, coaches chamber music and performs with the Iowa Brass Quintet. Before coming to Iowa, he was associate principal horn with the Lucerne (Switzerland) Symphony Orchestra 1975-2000, playing symphonic music, opera, operetta, ballet, musicals choral music and chamber music.

A founding member of the award-winning Atlantic Brass Quintet, Manning joined the UI faculty in 2004. Manning has performed with the Boston Symphony, the Empire Brass and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and served as principal tubist with the Vermont Symphony and Albany (N.Y.) Symphony. 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 in the United States, Asia and Central America.

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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