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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 24, 2007

Flute-harp duo will feature music by living Iowa composers Sept. 30

Flutist Claudia Anderson and harpist Jeanmarie Kern Chenette will present "From Prairie to Stars: Music in Iowa and Beyond," featuring traditional music literature for harp and flute together with works composed by living Iowa composers, at 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30, in Clapp Recital Hall on the University of Iowa campus.

The concert, which is free and open to the public, is presented by the UI Center for New Music. Anderson and Chenette are part of the New Prairie Camerata, a core ensemble of flute, violin and harp based in Grinnell that often links performance with history and architecture by performing in nontraditional spaces.

The program for the Sept. 30 concert will be:

-- "The Song of the Lark" by Charles Rochester Young;

-- "4 ways of looking at the moon" by Brooke Joyce;

-- "Dances and Variations" by Katherine Hoover;

-- "Songs Without Words" by Jeremy Beck;

-- Serenade No. 10 by Vincent Persichetti;

-- "Nocturne, Lullaby, and Canticle" by Jerry Owen;

-- "Danse lente" by Joseph Jongen; and

-- "Bordel 1900" from "Histoire du Tango" by Astor Piazzolla, arranged by K. Vehmanen.

Joyce, Beck and Owen are the Iowa composers on the program. The others represent a variety of traditions, from Persichetti's American 20th-century modernism to the "new tango" of Piazzolla.

Joyce is on the faculty at Luther College in Decorah. He wrote that his score "offers various soundscapes of characteristic phenomena associated with the moon." Its four movements are named for these specific phenomena: "Waxing Gibbous" (a phase of the moon between first quarter and full), "Mare Imbrium" (Sea of rains, the largest crater on the moon), "Breccia" (a type of lunar rock) and "Syzygy" (the phenomenon in which three astronomical objects appear to form a straight line, as in a lunar eclipse).

A former member of the faculty at the University of Northern Iowa, Beck now lives in Louisville, Ky. The "Songs without Words" comprises "three movements, each of which reflects the tone and structural content of an individual poem," Beck wrote. The movements are "Night Watch," a 1987 poem by Vikram Seth; "mists of brightness," a phrase from Edna St. Vincent Millay's Sonnet XVIII in "Second April"; and "Irresistible Death," inspired by Pablo Neruda's "The Heights of Macchu Picchu," a meditation on life and death.

An alumnus of the UI, Jerry Owen taught for more than 30 years at Coe College in Cedar Rapids. His "Nocturne, Lullaby, and Canticle" was composed on the birth of Owen's first grandchild. The nocturne mixes simple with more florid lines between flute and harp, while the lullaby is more elegiac and features each instrument in separate soliloquies. The third movement is fast moving, passing through both rhythmic and delicately melodic sections before a serene close.

A complete description of the program, with a listing of individual movements, program notes, and biographies of the performers, can be found on the Center for New Music Web page at

An alumna of the UI School of Music, Anderson is principal flute with the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony and teaches at Grinnell College. She received a Fulbright scholarship for study in Italy and was subsequently principal flute of the Orchestra del Teatro Massimo in Palermo. She has taught at the UI, the University of Northern Iowa, Ithaca College and the University of California at Santa Barbara. Her recorded solo and duo performances can be found on the Centaur, Neuma and CRI labels.

Chenette served 12 years as principal harpist with the Cedar Rapids Symphony and currently performs with the Des Moines Symphony. She is instructor of harp and lecturer in music at Grinnell College and has served on the faculty of Iowa State University. As a performer she has ventured beyond the realm of traditional classical harp literature through her collaborations with contemporary composers and her studies of Celtic, West African and Latin American harp traditions. An advocate for expansion of the harp repertoire, she has worked to bring new music and world musical sources to her concert audiences and harp students.

A flexible organization devoted to the presentation of the music of the past 100 years, the Center for New Music is directed by David Gompper, a faculty member in the theory and composition area of the UI School of Music. Part of the UI Division of Performing Arts in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the center supports its own performing ensemble and presents concerts by guest artists.

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 (office), 319-541-2846 (cell),