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University of Iowa News Release


March 29, 2007

Brass Quintet Will Play Old And New Favorites April 11

The Iowa Brass Quintet, a resident faculty ensemble at the UI School of Music, will present a concert of favorites old and new at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The concert will be free and open to the public.

The Iowa Brass Quintet (IBQ), performs on the UI campus each semester and for schools, universities, civic concert associations and professional meetings throughout the United States. Its current members are David Greenhoe and Brian Umlah, trumpets; Jeff Agrell, horn; David Gier, trombone; and John Manning, tuba.

"Old" favorites on the program are two works that the quintet has performed in the past: "The Golyardes' Grounde" by Malcolm Forsyth and the Quintet, op. 73, by Malcolm Arnold. The "new" favorites are works that are already among their favorites, even though April 11 will be the first time the IBQ has played them: the Quintet, op. 79, by Vagn Holmboe, "Six Affinities" by Elizabeth Gould and "The Flying Boy" by Steve Rouse.

"The Golyardes' Grounde" was written for and recorded by the Canadian Brass nearly 30 years ago The title of the piece is partially a mystery: no one seems to know what "Golyarde" means. "Grounde" refers to the phrase in the bass that is repeated over and over through much of the piece.

Holmboe was a Danish composer who wrote in a neoclassical style, and he is considered to be the most important Danish composer after Carl Nielsen. The IBQ discovered his quintet, composed in a tonal style based on fragments of melody that are manipulated and transformed, while preparing repertoire to play for the UI's recent Scandinavian/Nordic Fest.

Not much is known about Elizabeth Gould Hochman, except that she was a composer and piano teacher at the University of Toledo from 1945-1992. Agrell, the IBQ's horn player, added that "the quirky and jazzy movements are fun to play and to listen to."

"The Flying Boy" was composed for trombonist Brett Shuster and the Louisville Brass Quintet and features the trombone in a solo role throughout -- making it a favorite of trombonists everywhere. The movements -- "Soaring," " Floating" and "Aerial Acrobatics" -- exploit different aspects of the trombone.

Agrell describes Arnold's Quintet as "one of the best-loved and most frequently-performed brass quintets in the repertoire. It makes considerable demands on all players individually as well as the ensemble as a whole with its many quick and tightly interweaving lines."

Arnold began his career as a professional trumpeter, but by the time he was 30 he was composing full-time. A relatively conservative composer of tonal works, he wrote many film scores, winning an Academy Award in 1957 for "The Bridge on the River Kwai," famous for its use of a whistled version of the "Colonel Bogey" march.

Founded in the early 1950s, the IBQ has been widely acclaimed for its artistry in the performance of music of all periods and premieres of new compositions. The quintet's CD "Americana: A University of Iowa Celebration" features works by composers associated with the UI, either as faculty or students in the School of Music, or whose works have been favorites of the group over the years. It was released as part of the celebration of the UI Sesquicentennial in 1997.

Photos and biographies of the faculty members of the IBQ can be found through the School of Music Web page,

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;