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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 28, 2005

Iowa Brass Quintet Presents Cross Section Of Brass Repertory Nov. 11

The Iowa Brass Quintet, a resident faculty ensemble at the University of Iowa School of Music, will present a variety brass music on a free concert at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11 in 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 members are David Greenhoe and Barbara Deur, trumpets; Jeff Agrell, horn; David Gier, trombone; and John Manning, tuba.

The program for the Nov. 11 concert will be:

-- "William Boyce Suite," music by 18th-century English composer William Boyce, transcribed for brass quintet by Howard Cable;

-- "Passages," composed in 1996 by Patrice Caratini;

-- "Laudes, composed in 1971 by Jan Bach; and

-- Overture to "Colas Breugnon" by Soviet Russian composer Dmitri Kabalevsky, arranged for brass quintet by Gary Schlecta.

"The four diverse works on this program represent a colorful cross-section of the repertoire available to modern brass quintets," Manning said. "The 'William Boyce Suite,' transcribed for the Canadian Brass from Boyce's symphonies, displays the ability and necessity for brass quintets to tap the music of the past. These five movements show off the virtuosity of each of the members of the quintet, from the brilliance of the trumpet in F to the dark sonority of the tuba."

"Passages" is a four-movement contemporary work for brass quintet making use of the jazz idiom. Caratini is the leader of one of France's top big bands and an esteemed jazz bassist who has performed and recorded with numerous jazz legends. "Passages" has become so popular in France that it is required repertoire for many brass quintet competitions.

"We really enjoy working on this piece, since several of the members have some background in jazz," Manning said. "We recently returned from a tour of high schools in the Chicago area where this piece was especially well received."

Bach's 'Laudes' has become one of the staples of brass quintet literature. The composer exploits the wide range and versatility of the brass instruments and call for numerous extended techniques, especially in the lively Scherzo movement that features odd meters, flutter-tonguing and mutes for all five players -- including the tuba. The title has a double meaning: First, the Latin word "Laudes" means "praise" and is part of the Roman Catholic liturgy; second, the word is the pronounced as "loud A's," and in fact the composer works loud A-naturals into each movement.

The final work is a transcription of a 20th-century opera overture. The overture was made famous by the conductor Arturo Toscanini and is an extremely challenging transcription when reduced to a mere five voices.

Manning noted that many of the works on this program have personal connections with the members of IBQ. For example, he has fond memories of performing the Boyce and the Jan Bach at the International Brass Quintet Competition in Narbonne, France, in 1992 as a member of the Atlantic Brass Quintet -- performances that resulted in the Atlantic winning the "Premier Prix" in the competition.

Gary Schlecta, the arranger of the Kabalevsky, is a good friend of the IBQ and has graciously donated his newest editions to the group.

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 and Hartford symphonies, and Keith Brion's Peerless Sousa Band. He is currently principal trombone of the Quad City Symphony and 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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