Monthly Archives: March 2011

School of Music students recognized for research

Three students from the School of Music were winners in the arts division of the at the 13th annual James F. Jakobsen Graduate Conference on Saturday, March 26, 2011.

Katheryn Lawson, a master’s student in musicology, won first place for her topic, The Female Voice(s) in Ousmane Sembène’s Moolaadé. Kira Horel, doctoral student in conducting (The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films: Examining Leitmotifs Associated with the Shire, Hobbits, Frodo and Gollum) and Jessica Kizzire, a doctoral student in musicology, (The Place I’ll Return to Someday: Associations with the Ancient in Final Fantasy IX) tied for third place.

The Jakobsen Conference gives UI graduate students experience presenting their research in a conference-like atmosphere without leaving home. This year, a total of 136 graduate students in arts and research; biological and health sciences; creative works; the humanities; mathematical, physical and engineering sciences; and social sciences and education presented their research.

The James F. Jakobsen Graduate Conference was established in 1998 (known as the Jakobsen Forum at that time) and is a unique University of Iowa event. Through the generous contributions from the Jakobsen Family, Graduate College, and local businesses, Graduate Student Senate is able to bring a local venue in which students can present research and graduate work. The Jakobsen Conference is a local conference, currently only for University of Iowa graduate students, and is entirely run by fellow graduate students in Graduate Student Senate. The conference is held every Spring semester and provides a forum for oral and poster presentations.

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Eldon Obrecht, emeritus professor of music, dies at 90

Emeritus Professor of Music Eldon R. Obrecht, 90, died Monday, March 7, 2011 at Oaknoll Retirement Center in Iowa City. Eldon joined the UI music faculty in 1947, serving as professor of double bass, music appreciation, and composition until 1992.  Eldon performed as principal bass in the Quad Cities Symphony until he retired in 2003.

Dr. Obrecht was born June 6, 1920, in Rolfe, Iowa; son of William and Harriet (Petronek) Obrecht. From early on Eldon chose to live a life embracing music. He graduated high school in 1936, and then attended the University of Iowa where he earned his Master’s in Composition in 1942. In 1943 he was married to Maxine Schlanbusch, who shared his passion for music. Shortly after marriage Eldon served in the U.S. Navy during WWII. Upon returning home, they moved briefly to the East Coast where he was a member of the National Symphonic Orchestra in Washington D.C. In 1947, Eldon was invited back to the University of Iowa by Philip G. Clapp to pursue his doctoral degree and join the faculty. One of Eldon’s prized accomplishments was teaching the Music Appreciation Classes that were broadcast on WSUI until 1973. He influenced many students’ lives, both musicians and non-musicians alike. He was an accomplished educator, performer, composer, author, musician and most of all a loving husband and father. Eldon retired from the University in 1990, but continued to teach double bass students until 1992. Even in retirement he pursued his love for music.

Eldon’s family includes his brother, Robert Obrecht of Redding, CT; daughters, Celia Obrecht (Stephen Hutchens) of Bellingham, WA, Julia Hardie (Gary) of Waco, TX, Nancy Jephcote of Martha’s Vineyard, MA. and Martha Spangler (David) of Ft. Lauderdale, FL; ten grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Maxine; parents, and half-brother, Arthur Erwin Obrecht.

A memorial service will be held 1:30 p.m., Saturday, April 2nd, 2011, at the Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service in Iowa City with a time of visitation following the service. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Eldon Obrecht Fund at the University of Iowa School of Music, which will be used to fund a scholarship in his name. Contributions may be sent to the University of Iowa Foundation, c/o Eldon Obrecht Fund, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, IA 52244. Online condolences may be sent to Eldon’s family through the web @


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Tuba/Euphonium Studio Wins Accolades

Tuba/Euphomium Professor John Manning and six of his students recently attended the Great Plains Regional Tuba Euphonium Conference in Pittsburg, KS, where Professor Manning performed on a faculty showcase recital and the students competed in several competitions. ALL of them won something:

Kate Wohlman earned an Honorable Mention and Aaron Gaither won First Place in the over-21 solo tuba category. Karina Ferrera won Second Place in the over-21 solo euphonium category and Ben Reid won Third Place in the under-21 euphonium solo competition. Finally, the University of Iowa Tuba-Euphonium Quartet won First Place in the quartet competition.

Tuba euphonium workshop in Des Moines, IA

Tuba euphonium workshop in Des Moines, IA

Earlier in the semester, the entire University of Iowa Tuba Euphonium studio presented a day long tuba-euphonium workshop in Des Moines, IA. The event was held at the Temple for the Performing Arts in downtown Des Moines, and was attended by over thirty high school and middle school students and their band directors. The schedule of events included a warm-up class, a masterclass presented by Professor John Manning, a Hawkeye Marching Band presentation, private lessons taught by Manning and his students, and a “Tuba Hawks” Recital, which included solos, chamber music, and the UI tuba-euphonium ensemble.

“The event was a great success,” said Manning. “We had a great turnout, and both the Des Moines students and my students learned a lot.” Each of the students received a free copy of Manning’s solo CD, and and souvenirs provided by UI Admissions. Manning commented, “I was very proud of my students, and grateful to them and the School of Music for sponsoring this event. We hope to repeat this type of event in the future”

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Save the Date: Music Building Benefit Concert with Eugene Rousseau on May 3, 2011

Music Building Benefit Concert with Eugene Rousseau on May 3, 2011

The University of Iowa School of Music is honored to present a concert with acclaimed saxophonist, Eugene Rousseau, on Tuesday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Englert Theatre, 221 East Washington Street, Iowa City, IA.

The event will be a benefit concert and marks an exciting first step in raising resources to build a new home for the School.  Tickets are currently on sale through the Englert Box Office.  General admission is $25 per ticket, youth tickets $10, and UI student tickets costing just $5.00.  We hope that you will join us as we embark on this new journey!

Mr. Rousseau will be performing with both student and faculty ensembles during the first half of the concert.  The second half of the concert will feature the world-renown musician with the Johnson County Landmark jazz band, under the direction of John Rapson.    We look forward to seeing you on May 3, 2011.  Save the date!!


Paul Hindemith,  Konzertstück for Two Saxophones, with Stephen Page (DMA Candidate)

Ludwig van Beethoven, op.11 Trio, with Anthony Arnone, cello, and Uriel Tsachor, piano

Bernard Heiden, Intrada, with Nicole Esposito, flute, Andrew Parker, oboe, Maurita Mead, clarinet, Benjamin Coelho, bassoon, Jeffrey Agrell, horn


Round Midnight, Thelonious Monk (arr. David Baker) – Eugene Rousseau, baritone saxophone

Body and Soul, Green/Heyman/Sour/Eyton (arr. Rich Shanklin) – Eugene Rousseau, soprano saxophone

Harlem Nocturne, Earle Hagen (arr. Eugene Rousseau) – Eugene Rousseau, alto saxophone

Woodchoppers’ Ball, Woody Herman and Joe Bishop – Eugene Rousseau, clarinet

“In the hands of Eugene Rousseau, the saxophone becomes a facile and beautifully modulated wind instrument, capable of fine song and great flexibility.”
– Washington Post

The proceeds from this concert will only be used to fund the non-Federal share of the project cost or for project improvements and will not be used to duplicate any benefit under the Public Assistance Program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  If any gift is associated with any naming recognition at a specific gift level, the naming is not any indication that the funds were used to construct any specific space or portion of space in the building, but is a recognition naming opportunity for a certain level of gift.

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