The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 27, 2005

Local Students Attend Honor String Orchestra At UI

Students from (hometown) are among 21 high school string players from Iowa and Illinois who participated in the annual Honor String Orchestra at the University of Iowa School of Music Friday and Saturday, Jan. 21 and 22

The activities concluded with a free public concert under the direction of Jean Montes, a UI alumnus and director of orchestral studies and coordinator of strings at Virginia Commonwealth University, on Jan. 22 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Students attending the event play in the orchestra at (name of school). Students who participated in the UI Honor String Orchestra are: (name of student; year in school; instrument). They are students of (high school orchestra director).

Students were selected for the Honor String Orchestra by the recommendation their high school orchestra directors. During the two-day event, the students participated in orchestra rehearsals as well as sectional rehearsals and master classes with members of the UI School of Music faculty: Katherine Wolfe, violin; Christine Rutledge, viola; Anthony Arnone, cello; and Volkan Orhon, double bass.

A native of Haiti, Montes received a doctorate in orchestral conducting from the UI, studying with William LaRue Jones, director of orchestral studies. Prior to his appointment at Virginia Commonwealth, Montes served as artistic director of the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies in Minneapolis. In addition to providing artistic leadership for the organization, which includes six full orchestras during the school year and three during the summer, he led rehearsals and performances of the top orchestra. He has also served as Artistic Director of the Greater Cedar Rapids Youth Symphonies and was the founding director of the St. Ambrose University/Community Symphony Orchestra and Applied Cello faculty in Davenport. He has also conducted the Green Bay Youth Symphony Concert Orchestra. Montes continues to share his talents with his homeland by frequently conducting L'Orchestre Philharmonique Ste Trinite and the Holy Trinity Youth Orchestra.

A cellist and orchestral musician as well as a conductor, Montes has performed recitals at the Lawrence University Conservatory in Haiti, and with the Fox Valley, Green Bay, Johnstown and Altoona Symphonies. He also worked as a cello specialist at the Lawrence University Arts Academy and coached youth orchestra cello, viola sections and chamber music in New York, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Oregon and Minnesota.

Montes was appointed by the mayor of Minneapolis to serve as the 2004 co-chair of Minneapolis Mosaic, a summer project that showcases the talents of more than 150 culturally diverse artistic and performance groups from the Minneapolis area. He led the first performance of the Minneapolis Mosaic Symphony Orchestra -- an orchestra of professional, community and student musicians -- at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis in July 2004. Montes led a youth orchestra in a sold out performance of Prokofiev's ballet "Romeo and Juliet" in collaboration with the Metropolitan Ballet project in the Twin Cities and guest conducted the Cedar Rapids Symphony in two performances of "Green Eggs and Ham," based on the popular Dr. Seuss book and composed by Robert Kapilow.

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

* * *

EDITORS: Receipt of this release indicates that students from your community or readership area participated in the Honor String Orchestra at the UI School of Music. The students are listed below, arranged alphabetically by town. Each town is followed by school names, the names of students, the year in school and the instrument that each plays. The high school orchestra director's name appears after each school's listing. Please note that the list is based on information provided by the students; we have given you all the information we currently have available. For clarification, or to arrange local photo opportunities, you may contact the local school or orchestra director.

CEDAR RAPIDS: Jefferson High School -- Theresa Auchus, senior, violin; Laura Schwab, senior, cello; Lydia Staton, senior, bass; Jonathan Werstein, senior, bass (Martin Clancey)
KALONA: Iowa Mennonite -- Eleonor Martin, sophomore, violin (Bradley Kauffman)
IOWA CITY: West High School -- Elke Reynolds, senior, violin
MOUNT VERNON: Mount Vernon High School -- Chelsea Ciha, senior, cello; Melanie Corpe, sophomore, cello; Nikki Gnatek, junior, violin; Aryn Walton, senior, violin (Tabitha Kaminsky)
SIOUX CITY: Wamberg East High School -- Jolie Farley, sophomore, viola; Kali Lewis, junior, viola; Claire May-Patterson, sophomore, viola; Seth May-Patterson, senior, viola; Lisa Smith, sophomore, violin; Rebecca Vanderham, junior, violin (Eleonor May-Patterson)

PEORIA: Richwoods High School - Ian Brown, junior, bass; John Losby, sophomore, violin; Erin Rickey, sophomore, violin; Amy Schlicher, freshman, violin; Jin Tran, senior, violin (Todd Schifeling) (Rod Mueller, Centennial High School, Champaign, IL)

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,