Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 24, 2008

UI Symphony Band returns to West High for varied program Nov. 5

The University of Iowa Symphony Band will present its second concert of the year with director Richard Mark Heidel at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, in the Auditorium of West High School on Melrose Avenue on the west side of Iowa City.

The concert, which will be free and open to the public, will also feature UI graduate student Michael D. Hart as guest conductor.

The varied program will include both classic and new works for concert band:

--"Canzona," composed in 1951 by Peter Mennin, is an energetic original work for band by a significant American composer.
--"O Magnum Mysterium," a choral work from 2003 by Morten Lauridsen, was transcribed for band by H. Robert Reynolds.
--"Old Wine in New Bottles" is a charming chamber work by English composer Gordon Jacob. Hart will conduct the Chamber Winds in this setting of four early English songs,  "Wraggle Taggle Gypsies," "The Three Ravens." "Begone Dull Care" and "Early One Morning."
--The Symphony No. 3 ("Slavyanskaya") by Russian composer Boris Kozhevnikov is one of the first symphonies for band.
--"Zion" was composed in 1998 by American composer Dan Welcher.
--"The White Rose," one of John Philip Sousa's less familiar marches, will close the concert in an edition by bandleader and Sousa scholar Keith Brion.

One of the leading American composers and music educators of the 20th century, Mennin taught composition at the Juilliard School of Music, was director of the Peabody Conservatory and served as president of Juilliard. He was considered one of the New York school American composers of the mid-20th century, along with Aaron Copland, Roy Harris, Vincent Persichetti, Randall Thompson and William Schuman. Mennin's only work for band, "Canzona" was composed a commission from band conductor Edwin Franko Goldman and the League of Composers.

Lauridsen's choral setting of the Christmas text "O Magnum Mysterium" ("O great mystery") has become one of the world's most performed and recorded compositions since its 1994 premiere by the Los Angeles Master Chorale conducted by Paul Salamunovich. Reynolds arranged the symphonic wind version with the approval and appreciation of the composer.

Kozhevnikov studied at the Kharkov Music-Dramatic Institute and the Military School of Music in Moscow. Among his works are his orchestral "Dance Suite on Ukrainian Themes" from 1935 and "Sinfonietta" from 1936. The Symphony No. 3, subtitled "Slavyanskaya," is based on folk themes. One of the first symphonies composed for concert band, the Symphony No. 3 has only recently been introduced to American audiences, in a modern edition prepared by John R. Bourgeois, director emeritus of the U.S. Marine Band.

"Zion" is the third and final installment of a series of works by Welcher inspired by national parks in the western United States. "It is my intention to convey more an impression of the feelings I've had in Zion National Park in Utah than an attempt at pictorial description," the composer wrote.

"Zion is a place with unrivalled natural grandeur (where) the traveler is constantly overwhelmed by towering rock walls on every side -- but it is also a place with a human history, having been inhabited by several tribes of Native Americans before the arrival of the Mormon settlers in the mid-19th century.

"It is the religious fervor of these persecuted people that I was able to draw upon in creating 'Zion' as a piece of music. There are two quoted hymns in the work: 'Zion's Walls' and 'Zion's Security,' which I found in the same volume ... that inexhaustible storehouse of 19th-century hymnody called 'The Sacred Harp'."

Heidel joined the UI faculty in August as director of bands. A native of Texas, he received bachelor's and master's degrees from Texas Tech University and a doctorate in music education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Ensembles under Heidel's direction have performed at state, regional and national conferences and on tour in England, Ireland and the United States. He maintains a busy schedule as a guest conductor, adjudicator, clinician, guest lecturer, arranger and custom drill designer. His list of publications includes numerous articles in the National Band Association Journal and Teaching Music. For more information visit

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. 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 and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then 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, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0072 (office) 319-541-2846 (cell),