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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 4, 2005

Tubist John Manning Featured At Feb. 19 Symphony Band Concert

The University of Iowa Symphony Band will feature tubist John Manning, a recent addition to the UI School of Music faculty, on a free concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19 in Hancher Auditorium on the UI campus.

The concert, under the direction of Myron Welch, is part of the Honor Band Weekend at the UI. Each year approximately 120 high school musicians from around the state are invited to campus to play with a distinguished guest conductor and to attend clinics on their individual instruments. The high school Honor Band will present its own free concert, with Terry Austin from Virginia Commonwealth University as the guest conductor, at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 20, in Hancher.

For the Saturday concert, the UI Symphony Band will perform "Monument Fanfare and Tribute" by Philip Rothman; the Symphony No. 2 for band by Frank Ticheli; "Four Temperaments for Tuba" by Michael Brand; "Suite of Old American Dances" by Robert Russell Bennett; and "George Washington Bicentennial March" by John Philip Sousa, performed in honor of the 150th anniversary of Sousa's birth.

Rothman's "Monument Fanfare and Tribute" was written to be performed in 2000 for the celebration of the birthday of Civil War hero and former president U.S. Grant, which takes place annually at the General Grant National Memorial in Manhattan, popularly known as "Grant's Tomb." The score -- combining brass flourishes with an expansive melody -- has reached beyond the initial occasion to be performed at band conferences and clinics around the country.

A professor of composition at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, Ticheli has been widely recognized for his music for concert band. He has appeared as guest conductor of his music with bands at American universities and music festivals world wide. He has also been composer in residence with the Pacific Symphony, and his orchestral works have been performed throughout the United States and Europe.

The Symphony No. 2 has three movements with titles referring to celestial light: "Shooting Stars," "Dreams Under a New Moon" and, in an indirect reference to the sun, "Apollo Unleashed." Each movement calls on the instrumental colors of the band to portray in music the imagery suggested by the title.

Brand wrote his "Four Temperaments for Tuba" for British tuba virtuoso Stephen Sykes. "We agreed," Brand wrote, "that whilst there should be display elements within the piece, it should be accessible to good tuba players and tuneful at the same time." Each of the "temperaments" is a variation on a brief theme stated at the outset. The first is neo-classical; the second is a "swing variation" scored the soloist with a jazz big-band lineup. The third variation, for woodwinds and tuba, is contemplative. The last is a scherzo, with opportunities for the soloist to show off.

Although his name is not familiar outside the music business, Robert Russell Bennett had an enormous impact on American music. As the arranger of more than 200 Broadway shows, he virtually created the "Broadway sound." In addition to this prolific career, Bennett wrote music under his own name, in every medium from chamber music to opera, including symphonies and a number of works for the concert band.

In the "Suite of Old American Dances," composed in 1950, Bennett aimed to recreate the mood of Saturday night barn dances remembered from his childhood. He described the score as "native American dance forms . . . treated in a 'riot' of instrumental colors." The five dances are "Cake Walk," "Schottische," "Western One-Step," "Wallflower Waltz" and "Rag."

A founding member of the award-winning Atlantic Brass Quintet, Manning joined the UI faculty in 2004 and conducted his first outdoor Holiday concert on the UI Pentacrest in December. He has toured across the United States and around the world with the Atlantic Brass Quintet, including performances in Korea, Japan, Costa Rica, France, Kuwait, India, Pakistan, England, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

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. Outside the realm of classical music, he has performed with the Shirim Klezmer Orchestra, Naftule's Dream, Brass Planet, the Pee Wee Fist, the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra, Arlo Guthrie and John Lithgow.

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.

Welch has been director of bands at the UI since 1980. In addition to conducting the Symphony Band and Chamber Wind Ensemble, Welch coordinates the graduate program in band conducting, and he teaches courses in instrumental methods, conducting  and band literature. 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.

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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