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University of Iowa News Release

April 13, 2006

Workshops For Young Bass Players Will Lead To Public Concert April 29

A workshop for young double bass players will culminate in a concert featuring both the professional bass player/teachers and the student participants in the workshop, at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 29, in the Choral Room, Room 1077 of the UI Voxman Music Building. The concert will be free and open to the public.

This will be the third annual workshop organized by Volkan Orhon, professor of double bass at the UI School of Music. The workshop is geared toward elementary through high school students. With separate sessions for grades 4-7 and 8-12, material will be presented that is appropriate for the age and skill of all participants.

"The workshop presents student-friendly information about double bass performance issues such as audition preparation and fingering and bowing techniques, as well as solo and orchestral master classes," Orhan explains. "We also will form bass ensembles in the afternoon for the chamber music concert featuring students and faculty."

Joining Orhon this year for workshop teaching and the concert will be Mark Urness, the bass instructor at Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wis., and Anthony Cox, a member of the UI School of Music jazz faculty.

Orhon said that the program for the concert would not be known until the participants show up and start working together. "We usually find out what we are playing the day of the event," he said.

Orhon's professional career spans a variety of solo, orchestral and chamber music performing and teaching across the country and around the world. He has played with internationally recognized musicians including double bassist Gary Karr and the Emerson String Quartet. He has performed as soloist with orchestras across the country, including the El Paso Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Connecticut Orchestra, Connecticut Valley Chamber Orchestra, Cortlandt Chamber Orchestra and Northern Westchester Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to his solo playing, he has been a member of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Connecticut Opera Orchestra and a freelance musician throughout New England. He also participated in a European tour with the Fazil Say and Kudsi Erguner Jazz Quartet, performing at the Montreux, Paris, Antibes, Montpellier, Istanbul and Izmir jazz festivals.

Orhon joined the UI faculty in the fall of 2002. During the summer he teaches at the Kinhaven Music School in Weston, Vt. He has served on the faculties of the University of Connecticut, Central Connecticut State University, University of Massachusetts, Hartt School Community Division of the University of Hartford, and Summer Strings Music Festival in Pocatello, Idaho. Orhon is a D'Addario Diamond Performing Artist, and performs exclusively on D'Addario Strings.

Urness is a versatile bassist, composer and educator. His diverse performance experience encompasses orchestral, chamber, jazz, salsa and solo playing. He has served as principal bassist for the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre and for five seasons was principal bassist for the Cedar Rapids Symphony. He freelanced in New York City for two years. He was awarded First Prize in the International Society of Bassists (ISB) Jazz Competition, and he performed with Bill Mays and Tim Froncek at the 2001 ISB Convention.

His compositions appear on several recordings, including the Bob Washut Trio's "Songbook," Triptych's "Play Here" and "Northern Exposure" by the University of Northern Iowa Jazz Band I. Recent recordings include "Mafficked Simulacrum" with the UI jazz faculty group, oftEnsemble; a new album with the salsa band Orquesta Alto Maiz; and a project with Iowa City's eclectic jazz quartet, OddBar.

Prior to his appointment at Lawrence University, Urness taught at the UI, Coe College and the University of Northern Iowa. He received a master's degree in double bass performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a bachelor's degree from the UNI, and he studied music and computer science at the UI.

Cox's interest in the bass was first stimulated when, at the age of 18, he saw Stanley Clarke performing on the electric and upright bass. A few months later he saw the great Charles Mingus perform with his quintet, and he was truly hooked on playing the instrument. He later received a scholarship to attend and study music at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, where he performed in jazz ensembles, the chamber orchestra and the symphony.

After further study he embarked upon his performing career in New York, where he performed with some of the greatest instrumentalists and composers, including Henry Threadgill, Stan Getz, Elvin Jones, Anthony Davis, Joe Lovano, Jack Walrath (trumpeter for Charles Mingus) and Kenny Burell. Since 1990 Cox has toured and recorded with his own ensembles as well as performing as co-leader of ensembles.

An avid educator, Cox has held residencies at schools and arts agencies around the world, including in Hamburg, Germany; at the Knitting Factory and Riverside Church in New York; and the Twin Cities Jazz Society's "Jazz from J-Z" Music Series in St. Paul. He was curator of the Music Series at the Illusion Theatre in Minneapolis and is a board member of Headwaters Music, a performance organization for new music located in Minneapolis.

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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