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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 16, 2009

UI jazz faculty ensemble performs Jan. 25

The oftEnsemble, a jazz combo of faculty, alumni and a doctoral student from the University of Iowa School of Music, will present a free concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25, in the Congregational/United Church of Christ, 30 North Clinton St., across from the UI Pentacrest in Iowa City.

The concert will present new compositions and arrangements from the members of the ensemble.

John Rapson, the director of jazz studies at the UI and a member of the group, said the oftEnsemble was founded to bring together local jazz professionals "to play original work in an effort to connect the community with our students."

Membership of the group has changed over the years, but the oftEnsemble will feature seven players Jan. 25: Brent Sandy, faculty member, trumpet; Robert Domsic, alumnus, saxophone; Joel Vanderheyden, a student working on a doctoral of musical arts degree, saxophone; Rapson, faculty member, piano; Steve Grismore, faculty member, guitar; Scott Barnum, alumnus, bass; and Jim Dreier, faculty member, drums.

The program for the concert will include: "Gargoyles" by Vanderheyden; "Nardis" and "Street," arrangements by Rapson; "Elizabeth" and a new piece written by Rapson; Grismore's "Dowery, Dowery, Where's the Dowery"; and "Boojaloo" by Sandy.

OftEnsemble was formed in 1994 by Grismore and Tim O'Dell, both graduates of the UI jazz program, as an opportunity for local professionals to write new music steeped in the jazz tradition and to play together in a larger ensemble.

Highlights of the band's past include the commission of "Sound Luminesce" by AT&T, which featured musicians in Tokyo performing live with oftEnsemble via fiber optics. More recently, the ensemble was featured on the album "Water and Blood: the Billy Higgins Improvisations" released by Nine Winds recordings.

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, 319-384-0072 (office) 319-541-2846 (cell),