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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 17, 2006

UI Horn Choir And High School Students Present Concert March 5

The University of Iowa Horn Choir will be joined by horn players from area high schools in presenting a free concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 5, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The UI Horn Choir is made up of UI students and horn players from the local community. It is directed by Jeffrey Agrell, a faculty member of the UI School of Music.

The joint performance with high school students is an annual event, and follows a day of workshops and classes in horn playing. The program of the concert ranges from hunting horn music to classics to jazz.

The combined group of 30 horn players will perform three pieces: "St. Hubert's Mass" by Albert Sombrun, and arrangement of Victor Young's jazz standard "Stella by Starlight," and to end the program, a horn choir arrangement of Tchaikovsky's rousing "1812 Overture."

Other works on the program, performed by the UI Horn Choir, will include "Hornplayers' Retreat" and "Pumping Song" by David Stanhope, conducted by Matt Hellenbrand; "Harlem Nocturne" by Earle Hagen, arranged and conducted by Alissa Coussens; and "Fantasie on a Theme by Strauss" by UI alumnus Andrew Boysen, conducted by Patrick Creel.

UI percussion students Virginia Armstrong and Jeff Strom will assist the Horn Choir in a performance of "Patterns" by Tyler T. Ruberg. And finally, the group will present a "soundpainting" performance, "Dragons of Pilatus" by Ron Pierson with narrator Michael Krzankowski.

"Soundpainting" is a system of conducting/composing developed for musicians, dancers, poets, actors and visual artists working in the medium of structured improvisation. It includes a vocabulary of gestures made by the conductor/composer indicating the type of improvisation to be made by the performers.  

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, teaches introduction to improvisation 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.

Agrell began composing and arranging during his college years and played jazz guitar and electronic music in the 1980s. For the past decade he has had a steady stream of commissions from professional chamber music ensembles. His works have appeared on CD and have been broadcast on radio and television nationally and internationally. Several of his compositions have won awards.

Widely respected as performer, teacher and composer, Agrell has performed and given clinics and lectures at regional, national and international workshops. He is on the faculty of the Asian Youth Orchestra in Hong Kong and was recently elected to the Advisory Council of the International Horn Society. He is currently working on a multi-volume method that integrates traditional technique with aspects of improvisation, jazz and contemporary music.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact

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,