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University of Iowa News Release

May 11, 2005

UI Percussionists Will Honor Former Professor In Biennial Concert May 14

University of Iowa percussion area head Dan Moore, Iowa percussion students and returning percussion alumni will present the Thomas L. Davis Percussion Concert, honoring the former UI percussion teacher, at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 14, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

This will be the fifth biennial concert presented in honor of the former UI percussion instructor, marching band director and jazz studies head since Davis' retirement in 1996. Admission to the concert will be free, but contributions will be solicited for the Thomas L. Davis Percussion Award, a scholarship established in Davis' honor through gifts to the University of Iowa Foundation.

Moore, who succeeded Davis to become the second percussion faculty member in the history of the UI, commented: "Thomas L. Davis was the first professor of percussion at the UI, and every other year we get together to celebrate this great man's 38 year career here at Iowa.

"We also use the opportunity to increase the endowment of the Thomas L. Davis Percussion Award, which provides nearly $1000 in support to UI percussion majors each year. We will feature percussion alumni, and, of course, Davis's music."

The Thomas L. Davis Percussion Award was established in 1996 through the efforts of Davis' friends, family and former students. The fund supports two awards each year: the Thomas L. Davis Freshman award, given each fall to help an outstanding first-year percussion student purchase equipment and music necessary for successful percussion study; and the Thomas L. Davis Upperclassman Award, given each spring to an outstanding graduating senior who has consistently served the percussion area over and above the call of duty. The upperclassman award is designed to help offset the considerable costs associated with preparation of the senior recital.

Davis was born in Casper, Wyo. He received bachelor's and master's degrees from Northwestern University. While at Northwestern, he helped to create the percussion ensemble with the Percussion Pops Orchestra, of which he was a founding member. In 1958 he was a performer and arranger on the seminal percussion recording of the period, "Music for Bang, Baroom, and Harp."

Davis joined the faculty of the UI School of Music that year, becoming one of the first percussion professors in the country. Over the next 38 years he was percussion area head and director of the UI Percussion Ensemble. He was also director of the Hawkeye Marching Band and head of the Jazz Studies program, which he originated. His former students include performers, educators, school of music deans and directors, and professionals in a variety of other fields.

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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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

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