Feb. 27, 2009
University and Concert Bands share concert March 9
The University and Concert Bands from the University of Iowa School of Music will present a joint concert at 8 p.m. Monday, March 9, in the Main Lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union. The performance will be free and open to the public.
The Concert Band is directed by Kevin Kastens, a member of the School of Music faculty who teaches band arranging and marching band techniques and also leads the Hawkeye Marching Band during the fall semester.
Michael Hart, a UI graduate student in band conducting, will appear as a guest conductor with the Concert Band, and is also the director of the University Band.
For the Concert Band's portion of the program, Kastens will conduct "Burst" by Sean O'Loughlin, "Interpretations" by Roger Cichy and "Mutanza" by Jim Curnow. Hart will come on as guest conductor to lead two pieces: "Lux Aurumque" (Light and gold) by Eric Whitacre and "Shepherd's Hey" by Percy Grainger.
"Interpretations" was commissioned for a collaborative arts project for the Mount St. Charles Academy in Woonsocket, R.I. This commission was designed to draw on the academy's departments of fine arts, music and dance. Cichy's composition is a musical interpretation based on four selected student art pieces. Following the completion of the musical score, the academy's dance department choreographed dances based on the newly composed music.
In some agricultural districts in England, teams of "Morris Men" decked out with jingling bells and other finery can still be seen dancing to traditional dance tunes such as the "Shepherd's Hey," which are traditionally played on the fiddle or on pipe and tabor (fife and drum). In his setting, Grainger used four variants of the basic tune that were collected in the early 20th century.
"Mutanza" -- a 16th-century Italian term for variation -- can be described as a large-scale, elaborately conceived work composed of a theme and five widely contrasting variations. The opening 11-note theme provides the material for each of the five variations. "Mutanza" won the American Bandmasters Association/Ostwald Award in 1980, one of many awards Curnow's compositions have received.
Hart will conduct four pieces with the University Band: "Rejouissance" by James Curnow, "Down a Country Lane" by Aaron Copland, "Foshay Tower March" by John Philip Sousa and "Grant Them Eternal Rest" by UI alumnus Andrew Boysen Jr.
One of Sousa's least known works, "Foshay Tower," has an interesting history. It was written for the dedication of Wilbur Forshay's corporate headquarters in Minneapolis on Labor Day, 1929. When the stock market crashed several weeks later, Foshay's finances were found to be extremely corrupt. Sousa, not wanting to be associated with Foshay, stopped performing the march in his concerts. As a result, it remained unknown for nearly 40 years until it was rediscovered in 1988.
Currently teaching at the University of New Hampshire, Boysen holds a doctorate from the Eastman School of Music, a master's degree from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree from the UI. "Grant them Eternal Rest" was commissioned by Andrew Mast -- another UI alumnus -- and the St. Ambrose University Symphonic Band and is dedicated to those who lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Kastens joined the UI faculty as director of the Hawkeye Marching Band in 1998. He has presented workshops and clinics and appeared as guest conductor throughout the Midwest and Canada. For more information visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/bios/CONDkastens.htm.
As a graduate student in the School of Music, Hart has worked with the Hawkeye Marching Band and the UI Pep Band. He is an adjunct faculty member at Iowa Wesleyan College.
Two of the concert wind ensembles in the UI Band Department, the University and Concert Bands are open to UI students. They share the program for a concert at least once each semester. For more information on UI bands, visit their Web page at http://www/uiowa.edu/~bands/.
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 http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to http://list.uiowa.edu/archives/acr-news.html and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.
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