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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 20, 2005

UI Symphony Band Presents 'Glorioso' Concert Nov. 4

The University of Iowa Symphony Band will present "Glorioso," a free concert of music from the late 19th to the late 20th centuries, at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Myron Welch, the conductor of the Symphony Band, will share the podium with two doctoral students in band conducting in the UI School of Music, Craig Aarhus and Larry Petersen.

The concert takes its title from one of the works on the program, "Glorioso" by Japanese composer Yasuhide Ito. "This colorful work is based on both Gregorian chants and Japanese melodies and is scored to give a unique Japanese tone color and quality to the ensemble" Welch said.

Ito teaches at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, and is an instructor at the Tokyo Conservatoire Shobi, the Sakuyo College of Music and the Senzoka College of Music. He also directs the Tsukuba University Band and is a member of the Japanese Bandmasters Association. Among his many compositions are more than 30 works for wind band.

"Gloriosa" was commissioned and premiered by the Sasebo Band of the Maritime Self-Defense Force. It was inspired by the music of the "hidden Christians," who entered Japan in defiance of orders from the Tikugawa Shogunate in Edo (Tokyo) in 1614. During the next two centuries, the Latin words of Gregorian chant were gradually "Japanized." Thus, the subtitle of "Gloriosa" is the hidden Christians' Japanized pronunciation of the same word, "Guruiyoza."

"There is great contrast between the thinly scored solos and the full, rich ensemble, which includes the great pipe organ in Clapp Recital Hall," Welch said. "This extended work for band is exciting for both the player and the listener."

In addition to the title piece, other works on the "Gloriosa" program are:

--"The Duke of Marlborough" Fanfare by Percy Aldridge Grainger.

--"with brightness round about it" by Nancy Gailbraith.

--"Tunbridge Fair" by Walter Piston, conducted by Petersen.

--"Fiesta del Pacifico" (Pacific festival) by Roger Nixon, conducted by Aarhus.

--The Suite from the Ballet "Pineapple Poll" by Sir Arthur Sullivan.

Galbraith, who teaches composition at Carnegie-Mellon University, wrote that "with brightness about it" is "a tonal work for wind ensemble that develops largely through the use of minimalist techniques. These techniques combine with the extensive use of percussion and piano to create an exotic atmosphere throughout the development section."

Piston taught composition for many years at Harvard University, and was considered one of the most important American music educators and composers during his lifetime. "Turnbridge Fair" was commissioned by the League of Composers in 1950 and premiered by the Goldman Band with the composer conducting. The score is contrapuntal throughout, using informal jazz-like rhythms and sonorities in a more formal structural setting.

Nixon is professor emeritus at San Francisco State University, where he taught for many years. He has composed orchestral, chamber, choral and band music, among other works. One of several festivals held annually in California to celebrate the state's Spanish history, the "Fiesta del Pacifico" is held in San Diego for 12 days each summer and features an historical play with a cast of more than 1,000, a parade, a rodeo and street dances.

Sullivan is best known as the composer of "H.M.S. Pinafore," "The Mikado," "The Pirates of Penzance," and other operettas written in collaboration with William Gilbert. The ballet "Pineapple Poll" is a parody of these well-known operettas based loosely on the same story as "H.M.S. Pinafore." According to Charles MacKerras, the British conductor who arranged the ballet, "The score is a patchwork quilt of tunes from most of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas. Every bar . . . is taken from some opera or other."

The Symphony Band is one of three concert bands in the UI School of Music. As the top ensemble in the band area, the Symphony Band plays concerts both on campus and for national and regional music education conferences across the country.

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.

Aarhus is an Iowa Performance Fellow who holds a bachelor's degree from Auburn University and a master's degree from the UI. He has been a public school band director in Alabama and is currently on leave from his position as assistant director of bands at Mississippi State University.

Petersen is in his second year as a graduate assistant with the UI bands. He earned a bachelor's degree from South Dakota State University and a master's degree from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. He was previously a band director in the South Dakota public schools.

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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