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University of Iowa News Release


April 19, 2007

Manning And Huckleberry Will Not Open For The Beatles April 30

Tuba performer and teacher John Manning and pianist Alan Huckleberry from the University of Iowa School of Music will present a recital featuring music written and arranged for tuba -- including a piece by a composer whose band opened for the Beatles in 1966 -- at 8 p.m. Monday, April 30, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Going beyond the tuba-piano repertoire, Manning and Huckleberry will be assisted on some pieces in the program by flutists Gro Sandvik and Nicole Esposito, and tubist Josh Calkin. Sandvik is a visiting faculty member at the UI, and Esposito is a professional flutist living in Iowa City.

The recital will be free and open to the public.

One piece on the program is considered a standard part of the recital repertoire for tubists: the Sonata for tuba and piano by Paul Hindemith, which was written in 1950 as part of the composer's efforts to provide quality solo repertoire for instruments that otherwise had little from which to choose.

Two other original works for tuba and piano are more recent and less well known: "White Stones" for tuba and piano by Marti Epstein and "Four Vignettes" by Vernon Miller, Jr.

Robert Schumann's Three Romances, which opens the program, was originally written for oboe and piano, and it was arranged for tuba by one of Manning's teachers, Floyd Cooley, a faculty member at DePaul University in Chicago.

Two works call for more unusual scoring: Theme and Variations for two tubas and piano by Jerry Owen, the Alma A. Turechek Professor Emeritus of Music at Coe College; and the tongue-in-cheek "Trio [sic] Sonata for two flutes, tambourine and tuba" by P. D. Q. Bach.

"This program began when I learned that I had the opportunity to perform a recital with Alan Huckleberry," Manning said. "I immediately chose the Hindemith Sonata not only because it is one of the staples of tuba literature, but has one of the most difficult piano parts in the tuba literature. I knew that Alan had the chops and the musicality to create an inspiring performance!"

Manning described some of the other pieces on the program. "Last year, I performed Jerry Owen's 'I Shall Buy a Black Horse' in recital, and Jerry recommended his new work for two tubas," he said. "In addition to showcasing an Iowa composer, the performance will feature my graduate teaching assistant, Josh Calkin, with me and Alan."

"'White Stones' is a haunting and minimal work for solo tuba and piano by UI alumna Marti Epstein. And Miller's 'Four Vignettes' range in character and emotion from mournful and anxious to melancholy to a driving jazz finale."

Miller, who once studied tuba and now teaches school, turns out to be a story in his own right, Manning said. "He is presently a teacher of instrumental music, computer music technology and guitar in the Maplewood-South Orange Public School in New Jersey, where he directs the seventh and eighth grade bands and jazz ensembles. But interestingly, in 1966 he was a member of a rock band called 'The Remains,' who opened for the Beatles on their final U.S. tour."

Ending the concert on a playful note, Manning and Huckleberry will be joined by Sandvik and Esposito to perform the "Trio [sic] Sonata for two flutes, tambourine and tuba" by P.D.Q. Bach, the humorous alter ego of composer Peter Schickele (see

"A typical trio sonata was generally scored for two melody instruments and a basso continuo," Manning explained. "This nomenclature is deceptive, as a basso continuo includes a keyboard instrument and a bass instrument, such as a cello or bass viol, so that it takes four to play a trio sonata! In typical fashion, Schickele complicates matters by scoring his trio sonata for two flutes, tuba -- and tambourine! -- thus the editorial notation '[sic].'

"Huckleberry will be playing the tambourine, at his insistence."

Manning is a founding member of the award-winning Yamaha performing ensemble, the Atlantic Brass Quintet, with whom he has toured across the United States and around the world, including performances at the White House, Tanglewood, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and June in Buffalo. An active freelance musician, he has performed with the Boston Symphony, the Empire Brass and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. He joined the UI faculty in 2004. More information:

An active solo pianist and chamber musician, Huckleberry joined the UI faculty in 2003. He has performed both in recitals and as a soloist with orchestras in Germany, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Spain, France and the United States. He is also a prizewinner of numerous national and international piano competitions, including the first prizes in the German National Competition and the University of Michigan concerto competition. For more information, see:

Sandvik has served as solo flutist in the Bergen Philharmonic since 1967. She has an active career as soloist and chamber music performer, which includes premier performances of works written especially for her as well as the Scandinavian premier of John Corigliano's Concerto for Flute. She also teaches on the faculty of the Grieg Academy at the University of Bergen. She is visiting professor of flute in the UI School of Music for the academic year 2006/2007. See:

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

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; cell: 319-541-2846;