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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 9, 2007

Bravura Orchestra Program Feb. 24 Is 'Sure To Entertain And Inspire'

The University of Iowa Philharmonia Orchestra and five student conductors will present a free concert of overtures and other bravura orchestra pieces at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Jeremy Starr, the manager of UI orchestras and one of the five conductors, commented: "From the magic horn call in Weber's Overture to 'Oberon' to lush themes of atypical Ives, Rossini's well-known 'Barber of Seville,' a work by former UI professor Donald Martin Jenni and the strains of 'God Save the Tsar' in Tchaikovsky's 'Marche Slave,' the afternoon is sure to entertain and inspire all audiences."

The five pieces on the program and their conductors will be:

--The Overture to "Oberon" by Carl Maria von Weber, conducted by Starr.

--The Postlude in F major by Charles Ives, conducted by Lucas Darger.

--The Overture to "The Barber of Seville" by Gioacchino Rossini, conducted by Samuel Stapleton.

--Jenni's "Elegy and Dance for Small Orchestra," conducted by Alec Mariani.

--Tchaikovsky 's "Marche Slave," op. 31, conducted by Kevin Pearce.

The conductors are all students of William LaRue Jones, UI director of orchestral studies.

Starr received his bachelor of music degree from Brigham Young University, where he served as concertmaster of the Philharmonic Orchestra. While in Utah he played in the first violin section of the Orchestra on Temple Square, the performing and recording volunteer orchestra for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. During the summers of 2002 and 2003 he led the Idyllwild Festival Orchestra as concertmaster and has played in the Wichita Symphony.

Mariani has a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York College at Potsdam and a master's degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He currently plays double bass in the Cedar Rapids Symphony while studying at the UI School of Music with Volkan Orhon for a doctorate in double bass performance and with Jones for a master's degree in orchestral conducting.

Pearce was assistant director of bands and orchestras at Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Flossmoor, Ill., where he conducted orchestras, concert bands and jazz ensembles, as well as the school's annual musical theater production. He received his bachelor's degree in music education from Indiana University.

Stapleton received his bachelor's degree in violin performance from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He has spent the past two years teaching private and group Suzuki violin lessons in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids and playing with the Cedar Rapids and Dubuque symphonies. He was concertmaster of a world youth symphony in Matsumoto, Japan.

Darger received a bachelor's degree from the University of Utah. He has performed on orchestra tours internationally, including a month-long tour through the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Germany. He was assistant conductor with the All City Children's Orchestra in Utah from 1998, eventually becoming conductor of the ensemble. In 2004 he became associate conductor of the Lincoln Youth Symphony, leading them through the end of the 2005-06 season.

One of four major orchestral ensembles in the UI School of Music, the Philharmonia features an expandable instrumentation that allows for a variety of repertoire from Classical to contemporary composers. Designed for undergraduate students, Philharmonia presents two or more concerts each semester and is conducted by graduate conducting majors in the School of Music.

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;