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University of Iowa News Release


March 16, 2007

Percussion Weekend March 24-25 Will Be Part Of School Of Music Centennial

Iowa Percussion will make its contribution to the University of Iowa School of Music's year-long Centennial Celebration with performances, lectures and other events featuring internationally known UI alumni as well as student performers, Saturday and Sunday, March 24 and 25, in the UI Voxman Music Building.

The following events will all be free and open to the public:

-- 1 p.m. Saturday, March 24, in Dixon Hall of Voxman Music Building: Percussion clinics featuring contemporary percussion soloist Steven Schick, hand drum artist Yousif Sheronick and steel pan performer John Wooton, all of whom are internationally known alumni of the UI.

-- 8 p.m. Saturday, March 24, in Clapp Recital Hall: Concert by Iowa Percussion, directed by Dan Moore, with Schick, Sheronick and Wooton as guest soloists. The concert will feature premieres of works by David Lang and Paul Elwood as well as music from Japan, China and the Middle East, and will be preceded by a lecture by Lang at 7:30 p.m. in the Clapp Hall Lobby.

The complete program will include Schick in the premiere of the "I Walk" from Lang's opera "Hunger," Sheronick in a performance of his own "Duo 77" and Wooton playing an arrangement of "What a Wonderful World." Other works on the program will be Lang's arrangements of "The Anvil Chorus," "Unchained Melody" and "String of Pearls"; the premiere of "Well, Maybe I Did " by Paul Elwood; "Z Conversion" by Minoru Miki; Harold Arlen's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"; and Moore's arrangement of the tradition Chinese "Slithering Dragon, Leaping Tiger."

-- 3 p.m. Sunday, March 25, in Clapp Recital Hall: The sixth biennial Thomas L. Davis Alumni Concert, featuring a cast of characters from the 48-year history of percussion at the UI. The university's first professor of percussion, Davis will be on hand for the event, which will include percussion soloists, ensembles and the first Iowa Percussion Alumni Steel Band.

One of the most active performing groups at the UI School of Music, Iowa Percussion presents concerts and educational programs on campus and across Iowa. Each year the group performs for hundreds of Iowa school children through the UI Arts Share program.

Formed in 1958 as the UI Percussion Ensemble, the organization performs musical styles ranging from ragtime and jazz to 20th century concert idioms and traditional musical styles from Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia. In addition to the standard percussion repertoire, the ensemble regularly performs the newest music written by both professional composers and students.

Hailed by the New York Times for his "dazzling improvisations," Sheronick appears internationally as soloist and chamber musician with world-renowned groups and artists including Philip Glass, Ethos Percussion Group, Glen Velez, Foday Musa Suso, Simon Shaheen, Henry Threadgill and the Paul Winter Consort. His style encompasses traditions and instruments from the Middle East, North and West Africa, Brazil, India and Europe. An active clinician, Sheronick teaches master classes in the United States and abroad and serves on the faculties of the University of Bridgeport and Concordia Conservatory.

For more information, including a biography, lists of recordings and pictures, visit the Web page

Wooton is the director of percussion studies at the University of Southern Mississippi. A native of Lafayette, La., he has received degrees from the UI, the University of North Texas and the University of Southwestern Louisiana. Wooton plays drum set for the USM Jazz Quintet and leads his professional steel band "Kaiso!" From 1988 to 1992 he was percussion coordinator and pep band director for UI bands. Wooton has held the Drum Corps Midwest Individual Snare Drum title, the Percussive Arts Society Snare Drum Individual title and placed in the top ten D.C.I. Snare Drum Individuals for three consecutive years.

For more information, see:

Schick was born in Iowa and raised in a farming family. For the past 30 years he has championed contemporary percussion music as a performer and teacher. In addition to his studies at the UI, he received the Soloists Diploma from the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany. Schick was the percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars from 1992-2002. From 2000 to 2004, he served as artistic director of the Centre International de Percussion de Genève in Geneva, Switzerland. He is the founder and artistic director of the percussion group "red fish blue fish" and serves on the faculty of the University of California, San Diego, and the Manhattan School of Music.

More information is available through the UCSD School of Music Web page,

"There is no name yet for this kind of music," wrote Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed of Lang's work. His music has been heard and acclaimed world wide, in performances by the Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Santa Fe Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Kronos Quartet; at Tanglewood, the BBC Proms, the Munich Biennale, the Settembre Musica Festival, the Sidney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival, and the Almeida, Holland, Berlin and Strasbourg Festivals.

The founder of the Bang On A Can Festival in New York, Lang is a graduate of the UI School of Music. More information is available at

Davis was born in Casper, Wyo. He received bachelor's and master's degrees from Northwestern University. While at Northwestern, he helped to create the percussion ensemble with the Percussion Pops Orchestra, of which he was a founding member. In 1958 he was a performer and arranger on the seminal percussion recording of the period, "Music for Bang, Baroom, and Harp."

Davis joined the faculty of the UI School of Music that year, becoming one of the first percussion professors in the country. Over the next 38 years he was percussion area head and director of the UI Percussion Ensemble. He was also director of the Hawkeye Marching Band and head of the Jazz Studies program, which he originated. His former students include performers, educators, school of music deans and directors, and professionals in a variety of other fields.

An internationally known percussionist, composer and teacher, Moore has experience from concert to marching percussion, and from jazz to classical styles. Performing all aspects of percussion, including keyboard percussion, drum set, ethnic, multi-percussion and electronic instruments, he is considered a "total percussionist." He joined the UI music faculty in 1996 as only the second full-time professor of percussion at the UI. For more information see:

Established in 1906, the UI School of Music will celebrate its centennial throughout the 2006-07 academic year. The celebration features a series of concerts throughout the year, many of them presenting premieres of new works commissioned from UI alumni. The full schedule of centennial events can be found online at

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;