"The Unsung Hero" the theme for Festival of Bands Gala Concert

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or rpritcha@coe.edu

2014-03-24 13:54:36 - General

Coe President Dave McInally will be the featured electric guitar soloist for "Chicken Pickin" from "Gee's Bend," composed by Cedar Rapids native Michael Daugherty, at the Coe College Festival of Bands Gala Concert. This arrangement was specially prepared for the Coe College Concert Band by William Carson, marking its world premiere.

"The Unsung Hero" is the theme for this year's Coe College Festival of Bands Gala Concert, to be held on Saturday, April 5 at 8 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium. The event features the Coe College Concert Band and several guest soloists, under the direction of Coe Music Professor William Carson. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors, and they will be available at the door.

At the concert, a variety of unusual instruments will be featured, such as tuba, bass clarinet, piano, electric guitar, and even a cell phone. Coe President Dave McInally will make his local musical debut playing the final movement of an electric guitar concerto, while the world premiere of "Fanfare for the Unsung Hero" by guest composer and director Matt Conaway will begin the program. The concert will feature something for everyone, as the music of a wide range of composers will be performed during the concert, from Michael Daugherty to Billy Joel.

Other numbers written and conducted by Conaway will be premiered for the first time in Iowa, including "The Parting Glass" and "Minimalist Dances." Billy Joel's "Cradlesongs," arranged by Coe Assistant Professor of Music Steve Shanley, will feature Coe senior Gina Ostrander on the piano.

Coe President Dave McInally will be the featured electric guitar soloist for "Chicken Pickin" from "Gee's Bend," composed by Cedar Rapids native Michael Daugherty. This arrangement was specially prepared for the Coe College Concert Band by William Carson, marking its world premiere. "Blue Bells of Scotland" by Arthur Pryor, arranged by Pearson, will be conducted by Shanley with a bass clarinet solo by Carson. The "Concerto for Cell Phone" by James Stephenson will feature Shanley on the cell phone.

The Coe College Festival of Bands

This year's concerts will feature more than 500 musicians of all ages from across Eastern Iowa, April 1-6. With four performances featuring eight bands, the Coe Festival of Bands has grown to become one of the largest non-competitive events of its kind in Iowa.

Featured ensembles performing during the event include the Coe College Concert Band, the Coe College Jazz Ensemble, the Kirkwood Community College Concert Band, the New Horizons Band, and honor bands featuring elementary, middle school and high school students. The concerts are sponsored by Coe College, the C.L. Barnhouse Company, and Friends of Music at Coe.

Fulfilling the traditional role of guest composer/conductor will be Matt Conaway, who serves as an assistant professor of bands at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. He is associate director of the famed "All-American" Marching Band, directs the University Concert Band and Varsity Band, assists with the basketball pep bands as a director and staff arranger, and is the department's technical coordinator. Prior to this appointment, he served for 10 years as the director of bands for the West Lafayette Community School Corporation, during which time the program received many state and national accolades for musical excellence.

Conaway's compositions for band range from very beginning through very advanced, based on his experience working with all levels of performers in grades 5-12. Conaway is also an accomplished arranger, and has written for athletic bands at Indiana University, Purdue University and many high schools throughout the Midwest. His arrangements have been heard on the national stage at multiple bowl games and college basketball tournaments since 1999.

The specific events are as follows:

Tuesday, April 1 - Kirkwood Community College Concert Band conducted by Beth Zamzow and the New Horizons Band directed by Alan Lawrence, at 7:30 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public.

Saturday, April 5 - Elementary School Honor Band Concert at 4 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium, guest composer/conductor Matt Conaway. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors, and they are available at the door.

This concert marks the 12th time elementary honor band students have been selected to perform at Coe College, making it a unique event in the state. Students in grades four through six will be playing in two separate bands, which are designated as the Coe College Crimson Elementary Honor Band and the Coe College Gold Elementary Honor Band.

Saturday, April 5 - Festival of Bands Gala Concert featuring the Coe College Concert Band directed by William Carson, with guest composer/conductor Matt Conaway, at 8 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors, and they are available at the door.

Sunday, April 6 - Coe College Junior Honor Band conducted by Steve Shanley, and Coe College Senior Honor Band directed by William Carson, with special guest composer/conductor Matt Conaway, at 4 p.m. in Sinclair Auditorium. In addition, the Coe College Jazz Ensemble will perform, under the direction of Steve Shanley. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students and seniors, and they are available at the door.

The Coe Jazz Ensemble will perform "Four-Five-Six" by Count Basie, arranged by Frank Foster; "Cry Me A River" by Arthur Hamilton, arranged by Wes Anderson and featuring Taylor Stoddard on vocals, both Coe seniors; and "Spain" by Chick Corea, arranged by Paul Jennings.

For more information on Festival of Bands events, contact the Coe Music Department at 319-399-8521.