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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 22, 2005

Philharmonia Orchestra And Student Conductors Perform Oct. 9

The University of Iowa Philharmonia Orchestra will present a free concert, under the direction of four graduate student conductors, at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Conductors for the concert will be Jason Hooper, Alec Mariani, Jeremy Starr and Samuel Stapleton.

The Philharmonia Orchestra is part of the orchestra program of the UI School of Music, which includes the University Symphony and three chamber orchestras. William LaRue Jones is director of orchestral studies at the UI School of Music.

The program for the Oct. 9 concert by the Philharmonia will be:

--Symphony No. 85 in B-flat major ("La Reine") by Joseph Haydn, Jeremy Starr, conductor.

--"Pavane for a dead Princess" by Maurice Ravel, Samuel Stapleton, conductor.

--"Pas de six" from the opera "William Tell" by Gioacchino Rossini, Alec Mariani, conductor.

--"Rocky Point Holiday" by Ron Nelson, Jason Hooper, conductor.

The four pieces in the program were chosen for being accessible to the public and to provide the variety of styles the student performers need to become familiar with. In this case, the program includes pieces that can be considered Classical (Haydn), Romantic (Rossini), Impressionist (Ravel) and contemporary (Nelson).

Mariani has a bachelor's degree in music education from the State University of New York College at Potsdam and a master's degree in double bass performance from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He was a member of the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra, the Nevada Chamber Symphony, the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, the Saginaw Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Northern New York. Mariani taught orchestra in the Las Vegas Metropolitan area at both the high school and middle school level for eight years between 1997-2005. He currently plays in the Cedar Rapids Symphony while studying at the UI School of Music with Volkan Orhon for a doctorate in double bass performance and with William LaRue Jones for a master's degree in orchestral conducting.

Stapleton received his bachelor's degree in violin performance from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He has spent the past two years teaching private and group Suzuki violin lessons in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids and playing with the Cedar Rapids and Dubuque Symphonies. Samuel has performed with orchestras in Italy, Germany and Austria. He was concertmaster of a world youth symphony in Matsumoto, Japan. This fall marks his first semester studying with Jones for a master's in orchestral conducting.

Starr received his bachelor of music degree from Brigham Young University, where he served as concertmaster of the Philharmonic Orchestra. While in Utah, he played in the first violin section of the Orchestra on Temple Square, the performing and recording volunteer orchestra for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. During the summers of 2002 and 2003, he led the Idyllwild Festival Orchestra as concertmaster and has played in the Wichita Symphony. This is his second year studying with Jones in the master's degree orchestral conducting program.

Hooper transferred to the UI School of Music from Oklahoma State University. There, he studied conducting with Richard Prior while teaching lessons in the horn studio, teaching undergraduate music theory and serving as the associate conductor of the Oklahoma State University Symphony Orchestra. Hooper also headed the student chamber recitals and conducted ensembles in the student composers' concert. He received a bachelor's degree in horn performance from Oklahoma State in 2003. At the UI he is studying orchestral conducting with Jones in the master's degree program.

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.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072,