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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 29, 2008

Annual UI Band Extravaganza moves to Carver-Hawkeye Arena

Always one the most popular events on campus, the University of Iowa Band Extravaganza has offered a consistent combination of crowd-pleasing concert music and jazz, in addition to rousing fan favorites from the Hawkeye Marching Band.

But in 2008, the 40th annual Band Extravaganza will be different in two ways: Due to last summer's floods on the UI arts campus, the event has moved from its usual venue in Hancher Auditorium to Carver-Hawkeye Arena, with a single performance at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19.

And Richard Mark Heidel, the new UI director of bands, will make his first Band Extravaganza appearance with the Symphony Band. Heidel replaced Myron Welch, the long-time UI director of bands, after Welch's retirement earlier this year.

Over the past 39 years, the Band Extravaganza has become one of the UI's most anticipated events. Audiences are drawn from across the state, including high school band members and their directors, former band members, Hawkeye fans and just about anyone who enjoys a rousing concert of band music.

This year's performers will be the three top bands at the UI: the Symphony Band, under Heidel; the Johnson County Landmark (JCL) jazz big band, under John Rapson, UI director of jazz studies; and the Hawkeye Marching Band, under Kevin Kastens.

The top concert ensemble in the UI Department of Bands, the Symphony Band performs many of its own full-length concerts during the year, both on and off campus. The band will perform three works: "Summon the Heroes," written by Oscar-winning composer John Williams for the opening ceremony of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta; "Irish Tune from County Derry," the classic band arrangement of the song better known as "Danny Boy," by Percy Grainger; and America's favorite march, "The Stars and Stripes Forever" by John Philip Sousa.

JCL is the UI's ensemble devoted to the performance of original works by the great composers of the big-band jazz repertory. Consisting of the best jazz players at the School of Music, JCL is known for picking up the prizes at jazz festivals and contests around the country.

Drawing on the program of their Nov. 9 concert at the Englert Theatre, "Jazz in a New Millennium," JCL will play "You Don't Know What Love Is" by Don Raye and Gene de Paul, arranged by Los Angeles jazz saxophonist and an adjunct professor at USC, Kim Richmond; "10" by Norwegian jazz composer Helge Sunde; and Miles Davis' "Nature Boy," arranged by UI doctoral student Joel Vanderheyden.

Because the Hawkeye Marching Band is a big draw for ardent Hawkeye fans, Band Extravaganza performances always feature a sea of black-and-old-gold in the audience. This year the band will recap music from the 2008 marching season. Maintaining a long-lasting tradition, the band will also feature their golden girl, Chelsea Russell from Williamsville, N.Y.; the drum major, Chet Aliga from Wheaton, Ill.; the band's entire drumline; skits by band members; and the traditional UI songs "On Iowa" and Meredith Willson's "Iowa Fight Song."

Heidel joined the UI faculty as director of bands in the fall of 2008. At the UI he directs the Symphony Band, teaches graduate courses, guides the graduate band conducting program, and coordinates UI bands. He also maintains a busy schedule as a guest conductor, adjudicator, clinician, guest lecturer, arranger and custom drill designer. For more information visit

Rapson joined the faculty of the UI School of Music as director of jazz studies in August 1993. A recording artist for the Sound Aspects and Nine Winds labels, he is a composer and trombonist whose work mixes ethnic and experimental elements with more conventional jazz forms. For more information on Rapson visit

Kastens joined the UI faculty as director of the Hawkeye Marching Band in 1998. He also directs the Concert Band, teaches band arranging and marching band techniques, and is the director of the Iowa Summer Music Camps. He has presented workshops and clinics and appeared as guest conductor throughout the Midwest and Canada. For more information on Kastens visit

Tickets for the Band Extravaganza are $5 in advance or $7 at the door. Advance tickets may be ordered online at

The Hancher box office, also displaced by the June flood, is open for phone or walk-up business in Suite 107 in the south building of the Lindquist Center, at the corner of Madison and Burlington Streets, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. Parking is available in the metered lot by the UI Main Library on Madison Street or in the Old Capitol Town Center parking ramp at the corner of Clinton and Burlington Streets.

From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail at

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. For more information visit

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),