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University of Iowa News Release

March 28, 2006

Iowa City New Horizons Band Will Present Spring Concert April 15

The New Horizons Band, sponsored by the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center, the University of Iowa College of Education and the UI School of Music, will present its spring concert at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 15, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Don Coffman from the UI College of Education and School of Music is the conductor of the New Horizons Band, whose members are 50 and older. Their concert will be free and open to the public.

Richard Caplan, a retired faculty member from the UI College of Medicine, will be featured as soloist in a performance of the first movement of Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor. Also appearing on the concert will be assistant conductors Erin Wehr-Flowers, a doctoral student in music education from Knoxvile, Ia., and Daniel Terrell, an undergraduate in music education from Boone, Ia.

The complete program for the April 15 concert will be:

-- "Celebration!" by Wally Mead, with Terrell conducting;

-- "The Whistler and His Dog" by Arthur Pryor, edited for band by Loras Schissel, featuring piccolo soloist Jan Nelson;

-- "While I Watched the Yellow Wheat" by Larry Daehn, with Wehr-Flowers conducting;

-- "Rollo Takes a Walk" by David Maslanka, with Terrell conducting;

-- "Legends and Heroes" by Piere La Plante, with Wehr-Flower conducting;

-- "The Echo Never Fades" by David Gillingham, featuring Beverly Mueller, alto saxophone, and Caplan, piano;

-- Caplan in his performance of the first movement of Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor, arranged for band by D. F. Bain;

-- "Carnaval in Sao Paulo" by James Barnes, with Terrell conducting; and

-- "Benny Goodman, King of Swing," arrangements by Paul Murtha of Goodman's "Stompin' at the Savoy," "Sing, Sing, Sing" and other favorites, featuring clarinet soloist Eugene Spaziani.

In Maslanska's score, Rollo is a fictional character created by the American composer Charles Ives and used in his musical writings to illustrate ultra-conservative musical tastes. Rollo may not know anything about music, but he knows what he likes -- usually something banal or too-often-played. Among the kinds of music Rollo does not like are, not surprisingly, Ives' own pieces and modern music in general.

Maslanka develops Ives' satirical character, taking Rollo on a musical outing in which all the ideas, though original, are commonplace and even deliberately hackneyed. The piece is intended as a good-humored, gentle parody of concerts in the park and of some bands in which the composer has played where the tuning was less than perfect. The piece is not intended as a put-down of bands but rather as an exploration of the "out-of-tune" or "microtonal" character that Maslanka views as a forceful original element in American music.

La Plante's "Legends and Heores" is subtitled "American Folksong Suite No. 1" and features three songs: "Patrick on the Railway," "Sweet Betsy from Pike" and "Little David, Play on Your Harp."

The first of these originated in the 1840s and refers to the Irish immigrants who faced discrimination and could only find menial jobs as common laborers. Sweet Betsy from Pike" was popular with the '49ers during the gold rush days. The African-American spiritual "Little David, Play on Your Harp" portrays the Biblical battle between David and Goliath. Drums suggest the impending struggle as Little David enters the field of battle -- cautious, yet confident. In short order, David ends Goliath's fighting days with a single stone from his trusty sling.

"The Echo Never Fades" was written in memory of a high school alto saxophonist, Tyler Brett Caruso of St. Charles, Illinois. The title comes from a phrase in a poem that Tyler had written. The melody, played by the alto saxophone at the beginning of the work, represents "Tyler's theme." The score is not an elegy for Tyler, but represents an expression of admiration and celebration of his life as a leader in his school and community.

The New Horizons Band provides opportunities for adults 50 and older to learn or resume playing a musical instrument and enjoy playing with others. The band rehearses on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center. The program also includes beginning band classes Monday evening at the Senior Center, with no previous experience required for participation.

Since its establishment in 1995 the program has grown from 24 to nearly 80 members and has expanded to include a beginning and intermediate band, led by Wehr-Flowers, multiple chamber groups and a Swing Band. Altogether these groups perform about 90 concerts annually.

The Iowa City group is a member of the New Horizons International Music Association. More information is about the local band is available on the web at and about the international organization at

Caplan plays clarinet with the New Horizons Band and piano for its Silver Swing jazz band. Since retiring from Dermatology and the Program in Biomedical Ethics and Medical Humanities at the UI College of Medicine, he has been able to give more time and effort to music-making, particularly as a pianist in chamber music. Prior to entering medical school, he earned a master's degree in composition with Phillip Greeley Clapp, the long-time head of the School of Music, and has continued to perform musically throughout his life.

A member of the music education faculty at the UI, Coffman has more than 25 years of teaching experience spanning all age levels. He currently teaches courses in conducting, methods for teaching instrumental music in schools, psychology of music and techniques for researching and measuring musical behaviors.

An active researcher in life-long learning in music, his articles regularly appear in music education research journals including the Journal of Research in Music Education, Update, the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Psychology of Music and Psychomusicology.

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.

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