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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 24, 2006

University And Concert Bands From UI Present Joint Concert March 8

The University and Concert Bands from the University of Iowa School of Music will present a joint concert under the direction of graduate student conductors at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 8 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Their concert will be free and open to the public.

Two of the concert wind ensembles in the UI Band Department, the University and Concert Bands are open to UI students. They share the program for a concert at least once each semester.

The Concert Band will be directed by Craig Aarhus. "This program contains a variety of music, including two transcriptions, a standard march and three original works for concert band," Aarhus said. "I think these pieces will prove enjoyable to most everyone the audience." 

The six pieces on the Concert Band's program are: "Ride" by Samuel Hazo; the "Alla Marcia" movement from Jean Sibelius' "Karelia" Suite, arranged for band by Richard Franko Goldman; "Eternal Father Strong to Save" by Claude T. Smith; "Lux Aurumque" by Eric Whitacre; "El Camino Real" by Alfred Reed; and "The U.S. Field Artillery March" by John Philip Sousa.

Hazo wrote "Ride" for his good friend Jack Stamp, director of bands at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The score describes the composer's experience following Stamp to his home, which turned out to be a wild ride down country roads. "Since I didn't know how to get to Jack's house from the university, he told me to follow him," Hazo wrote. "'Ride' was written and titled for that exact moment in my life when Jack Stamp's generosity and lead foot were as equal in their inspiration as the beautiful Indiana, Penn., countryside blurring past my car window."

"Lux Aurumque" (Light and gold) was originally a choral work. Recently, the Texas Music Educators Association and a consortium of Texas band directors commissioned the composer to adapt the piece for concert band. In his new version, Whitacre retained the original character of the work with its lush chords and suspensions, but changed the climax to include the "Bliss" theme from his opera "Paradise Lost."

Alfred Reed, who died in 2005, has been one of the most successful and frequently performed composers for concert band over the previous 50 years. "El Camino Real" (The royal road) was commissioned by the 581st Air Force Band and was premiered by that group in Sarasota, Fl., in 1985. The three-part work is based on a series of chord progressions common to Spanish flamenco guitarists, whose fiery style and brilliant playing have captivated music lovers around the world.

Darrin Oehlerking will lead the University Band in their performances of five pieces: "Prelude, Siciliano and Rondo" by Malcolm Arnold, arranged by John P. Paynter; "Cajun Folk Songs" by Frank Ticheli; "Old Churches" by Michael Colgrass; "Three Folk Miniatures" by Andre Jutras; and "Royal Canadian Mounted Police Regimental March" by Charles O'Neill.

One of the most prominent composers for wind band of the last 20 years, Colgrass composed "Old Churches" to recall the tradition of Gregorian chant. The score uses unusual percussion and instrumental techniques to create the image of praying and singing monks.

Jutras' "Three Folk Miniatures" is a suite of three French Canadian folk songs. The original songs tell stories with characters that range from a beautiful girl finding true love to the rough and burly loggers of the Quebec forests.

A Canadian, Oehlerking will end his portion of the program with the traditional march of Canada's national police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. While very little law enforcement is conducted on horseback, the RCMP still employs their tradition of the Musical Ride, which thrills audiences across North America each year.

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.

Oehlerking received a master's degree from the University of Manitoba (Canada) School of Music and is currently a doctoral student of Myron Welch in the UI School of Music. He taught in the Manitoba public schools for eight years, most recently as director of bands at Glenlawn Collegiate Institute in Winnipeg.

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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