Jerry Owen - News
 

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NEWS

"The entire concert was filled with music that could be immediately understood and enjoyed. Dr. Owen's work is exquisitely crafted, filled with obvious intelligence and compositional integrity, and is also highly compelling and appealing, as evidenced by the standing ovation at the evening's end." 

-Robert Nassif, Iowa Composers Forum Newsletter

 

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Recently ...

The Trio Concertant Over Czech Folk Songs originally written for the Red Cedar Chamber Music ensemble was recently performed as the Concertant Over Czech Folk Songs in new media.  Its four movements were recently transcribed for chamber orchestra and for string quartet.  The chamber orchestra version was performed by the Coe College Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Owen in September of 2016, and the string quartet version has been toured by the newly minted form of the Red Cedar Chamber Music ensemble during their 2016-17 concert series at schools, libraries, and residences, culminating in a "main stage" performance at the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library in Cedar Rapids, IA, on February 26th, 2017.

Music Director of the Cedar Rapids Municipal Band, Dr. Steve Shanley, premiered a new work for trumpet solo and concert band, SOARING ON AIR, on the concerts of July 13, 2016, at the Johnson STEAM Academy, and 17, at Ellis Park, as a part of their regular season.  Trumpeter, commissioner, and dedicatee Alan Naylor was the featured soloist.

Maestro Ivar Lunde, Music Director of the Eau Claire (WI) Chamber Orchestra, selected the Suite From Grant Wood Country to open his final concert as Conductor of that ensemble.  The concert was held in Grace Lutheran Church in downtown Eau Claire.  A pre-concert interview for broadcast over Wisconsin Public Radio featured Dr. Owen, Maestro/composer Lunde, and composers Cheryl Leah and Edward Willett.  The concert took place on April 16, 2016.

Trumpeter Alan Naylor, instructor of trumpet and jazz studies at Coe College and Kirkwood Community College, both in Cedar Rapids, IA, has commissioned Dr. Owen to compose a work for trumpet and concert band.  The piece, entitled Soaring On Air, was completed in March of 2016 to be premiered before the end of the year in Cedar Rapids.

A new work for Horn quartet, Horns Fore!, was completed in time for the students of  David Law to perform the work at the Iowa State Solo and Ensemble Contest in April of this year.

The Music Teachers’ National Association (NMTA)  has announced that Dr. Owen won Honorable Mention in the 2015 national composition competition.  The Iowa Music Teachers' Association (IMTA) had selected ,via a State-wide competition, and commissioned a new piano work to be premiered at the State convention in June of 2015.  The SONATINA (2015) was performed by pianist Miko Kominami.

Dr. David Vayo invited Dr. Owen to be guest composer at Illinois Weselyan University in Bloomington, IL, in early November 2015.  In addition to addressing students in the composition seminar, several works were presented in concert including selections from the Five Songs on Poems of Ann Struthers, the piano suite Grant Wood Gallery, and the cello/piano work Mr. Raggity’s Sublime Dance.

Dr. Owen’s Four Songs on Poems by William Blake (1986) were performed in a pair of concerts in late October 2015.  Dr. Ann Cravero, mezzo soprano, and pianist Jessica Anderson, both of Drake University, Des Moines, IA, presented two full recitals of songs composed by members of the Iowa Composers Forum.  The first concert was  performed at the Opus Concert Café under the auspices of Orchestra Iowa and Arts Iowa on Saturday, October 24th The second program was at the Des Moines Social Club, on Sunday, October 25th .  Dr. Cravero has been a featured soloist in Dr. Owen’s work on several occasions, most recently in the Five Songs on Poems by Ann Struthers at the 70th Birthday Year Concert of Dr. Owen’s music in March, 2015, at Coe College’s Sinclair Auditorium in Cedar Rapids, IA.

The Iowa Music Teachers’ Association (IMTA, a State chapter of the Music Teachers’ National Association) has announced that Dr. Owen won the 2015 composition competition and commission for a new piano work to be premiered at the State convention in June of 2015.  The SONATINA (2015) was performed by pianist Miko Kominami.

THE MAROON SPITTOON AT THE TYCOON SALOON (a ragtime fantasy) (2009) was performed by the University of Northern Iowa Brass Quintet at the annual Iowa Composers Forum Festival of New Music at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, on March 28, 2015.

Dr. Owen's "70th Birthday Year Concert," a celebration of the composer's works completed in the last decade, included MR. RAGGITY'S SUBLIME DANCE.  Other works on the program were FIVE SONGS ON POEMS BY ANN STRUTHERS (2007 - - mezzo soprano Ann Cravero, Miko Kominami, piano; the poet reading her poetry before each song); SWING FUGUE AND FANTASY VARIATIONS ON A JAZZ TUNE (2005 - - Harvey Sollberger, flute; Todd Seelye, guitar; Volkan Orhon, double bass); DANCE MOMENTS (2004 - - Tarn Travers, violin; Miko Kominami, piano); SUITE FOR A LITTLE ANGEL (2006 - - Jan Boland, flute; Gretchen Brumwell, harp); THE ANGEL'S LITTLE BROTHER (2014 - - Jan Boland, flute; Christine Bellomy, clarinet; Gretchen Brumwell, harp); and SAMBA A TROIS (2014 - - Tarn Travers, violin; Eric Kutz, cello; Miko Kominami, piano).  The concert was held in Sinclair Auditorium on the campus of Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on March 8, 2015.

The three-movement suite THE ANGEL’S LITTLE BROTHER, for flute, clarinet, and harp received its premier performance at Dr. Owen’s “70th Birthday Year Concert” celebration at Coe College on March 8, 2015, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Performing were Jan Boland, flute; Christine Bellomy, clarinet; Gretchen Brumwell, harp.

The six-movement piano suite, GRANT WOOD GALLERY (2011), had its professional premier by pianist Miko Kominami on February 19, 2015, at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, as one of two large piano works based on paintings by famous artists.  The other was Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.  Youtube video of GRANT WOOD GALLERY available HERE

GLEE, A CONCERT OVERTURE (1983) opened the fall concert of the Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Carey Bostian II, on October 11, 2014, at the Indian Hills Community College St. John Auditorium in Ottumwa, Iowa.

Members of the Luther College Piano Quartet premiered the SAMBA A TROIS (2015) for piano trio at the Iowa Composers Forum Festival concert at the Opus Concert Café in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on October 4, 2014.  The trio consisted of violinist Tarn Travers, cellist Eric Kutz, and pianist Miko Kominami.

The VARIATIONS FOR TWO TUBAS AND PIANO (1965) and the tuba/piano arrangement of I SHALL BUY A BLACK HORSE (from TRIO CONCERTANT OVER CZECH FOLK SONGS [2002], see below) were recorded by John Manning, professor of tuba at the University of Iowa, for release in the summer of 2014. The recording was made at the Champagne/Urbana campus of the University of Illinois.

MR. RAGGITY'S SUBLIME DANCE (2012) was commissioned by the Murasaki Duo (Eric Kutz, cello; Miko Kominami, piano) to complement their touring program for a tour of colleges and universities in the eastern United States in the spring of 2013. The cello/piano duo premiered the work at Luther College in March, 2013, and performed it in five succeeding concerts, concluding the tour with a performance at the Malibu, CA, Music Festival in August, 2013. A recording of the work is forthcoming.

GRANT WOOD GALLERY (August, 2011) was presented at the 2014 Iowa Composers Concert festival of New Music at the University of Iowa School of Music on February 15. The six movement piano suite based on famous paintings by Iowa's most famous artist was performed by Elise Duvall.

The concert overture GLEE (1983) was the first work performed by Orchestra Iowa in a concert to celebrate the newly renovated and re-opened Paramount Theater for the Performing Arts in Cedar Rapids, in September 2012. The 1928 Victorian-style performance space had been closed for four years by damage incurred during the devastating flood of June, 2008, which inundated the entire center of the city in 12 feet of water. Maestro Timothy Hankewich conducted the gala performance which was aired on Iowa Public Television.

The premier of several movements from the piano suite, GRANT WOOD GALLERY (August, 2011), was presented at the Spring Festival of Music by members of the Iowa Composers Forum at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, on February 4th, 2012. The pianist was Jessica Paul.

Conductor Carey Bostian of the Iowa City Community Chamber Orchestra premiered the string orchestra version of Scherzo on Bagpipes in the Village from the TRIO CONCERTANT OVER CZECH FOLK SONGS on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011, at theEnglert Theater in Iowa City. This appearance of an Iowa work marks the continuation of a long and admirable (6-year) string of concerts that have featured a work by living composer (mostly Iowa composers), conducted by Maestro Bostian.

Red Cedar Chamber Music with cellist Carey Bostian performed the newly penned arrangements of Serenade on I Shall Buy and Black Horse and Scherzo on Bagpipes in the Village from the TRIO CONCERTANT OVER CZECH FOLK SONGS at the First Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The October 8, 2012, concert was recorded in both audio and video and uploaded to YouTube.

The CHILDHOOD SONGS for soprano, flute, cello, and piano were performed at the New Brunswick Competitive Festival of Music, May 5, 2011, in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. The Samulnori Quartet had the honor of presenting the Canadian premier of the humorous set.

The Red Cedar Chamber Music recording (Fleur de Son FDS 57974) of GYPSY INSPIRATIONS was featured on the nationally syndicated NPR show Classical Guitar Alive (based in Texas) on September 22, 2011. The broadcast has drawn attention to the pieces from far ranging parts of North America.

The new ragtime fantasy for brass quintet, THE MAROON SPITTOON IN THE TYCOON SALOON was performed by the members of the Orchestra Iowa Brass Quintet on the evening concert of the Iowa Composers Forum Spring Festival, Saturday, May 22nd, 2010, in Cedar Rapids. Concert location: Lovely Lane United Methodist Church, 42nd Street N.E., Cedar Rapids.

The suite of pieces, GYPSY INSPIRATIONS, was performed by Bret and Annette Heim, the marvelous Heim Duo of guitar and flute, in these locations at these times: March 14, 2010 Creagan Concert Series at the Eichold Gallery, Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL and April 24, 2010 Christ Church Concert Series, Christ Church, Pensacola, FL.

The String Ensemble of Cornell College, conducted by James Ellis, performed I SHALL BUY A BLACK HORSE in the string orchestra version, in the Recital Hall on the Cornell campus in Mount Vernon, IA, Monday, April 19, 2010.

April 18 & 22, 2010, Orchestra Iowa at the Englert Theater in Iowa City and Coe College in Cedar Rapids performed Owen's TANGO FOR STRING ORCHESTRA as a part of their "an Iowa composer on every Masterworks concert" season. This "Signature Sounds" program also presented works by Bach, Mozart, and Delius. This version of the TANGO was also performed on two March 20th youth concerts.

April 17, 8:00 p.m., at Coe College's Sinclair Auditorium, Dr. William Carson conducted the newly revised AMERICAN CELEBRATION OVERTURE for symphonic band on the annual Festival of Bands Grand Finale Concert, featuring the Coe College Concert Band.

Robert Thurston, euphonium soloist, and the Bonita Springs Concert Band, the official concert band of Bonita Springs, Florida, performed VARIATIONS FOR EUPHONIUM AND BAND on Sunday, March 7, 2010, at the Municipal Park Band Shell, in downtown Bonita Springs. This fine band is under the direction of Dr. Dennis Hill, retired Director of Music and Bands, for Edison State College, Ft. Myers, Florida. Robert Thurston, euphonium soloist, is principal euphonium, for a number of bands including the professional Sarasota Concert Band; the National Community Band, conducted by the former conductor of the U. S. Marine Band, Col. John Bourgois, under the sponsorship of the John Phillip Sousa Foundation; and the Naples Florida Concert Band.

January 25, 2010, John Mueller, trombone and euphonium professor at the University of Memphis, in Memphis Tennessee, performed I SHALL BUY A BLACK HORSE on euphonium in a faculty recital with the clever title of "The Hunting of theSnark and other programmatic works." ...BLACK HORSE was commissioned by University of Northern Iowa tuba professor Jeffrey Funderburk in 2005 in memory of beloved trombonist Bill Behrens. It is an adaptation of the 2nd movement of the TRIO CONCERTANT OVER CZECH FOLK SONGS written in 2003 for Red Cedar Chamber Music, an ensemble of flute, viola, and guitar.

October, 2009: The Maia String Quartet, in residence at the University of Iowa School of Music, performed the TANGO AND WATUSI at the composers' festival which combined performances of works by composers from Region V of the Society of Composers Inc. and the Iowa Composers Forum at Clarke College in Dubuque, IA. During the same period the Maia Quartet performed the TANGO alone at their concert on the Old Capitol Pentacrest.

September through November, 2009, mezzo-soprano Dr. Ann Cravero, Drake University, and pianist Miko Kominami toured Iowa colleges with a program of song cycles by Iowa composers featuring Dr. Owen's FIVE SONGS ON POEMS BY ANN STRUTHERS. September 21, Iowa State University; September 27, Luther College; November 1, Coe College.

April 18, 2009 - C.R. Concert Chorale Premieres CANTICLE CHORALE
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of their founding, the Cedar Rapids Concert Chorale commissioned Dr. Owen to write "Canticle Chorale" for their large mixed chorus and chamber orchestra. Utilizing 17 haiku poems about nature in Iowa, the 17-minute work is divided into three movements of five, seven, and five haiku respectively, mirroring on the large scale the miniature form of the haiku stanza. Written by Dr. Owen, the poetry holds true to the Japanese poetical style by basing the poems on the seasons of the year. In this case, Spring, The Sun Seasons (summer and autumn) and Winter. For more information about the work and to inquire about performance opportunities and materials please use the contact menu item above.

January 1, 2009 - Coe College, Cedar Rapids IA, Stewart Memorial Library announces via its supporter newsletter the "Bibliophile" that an archive of the music of Jerry Owen has been established. This article and partial list of works to be archived appeared in the spring volume of Coe's "Bibliophile."

Owen Compositions Among Works
Added to College Archives

The following books and other creative works by Coe alumni and faculty have been added in the past year to the George T. Henry College Archives. Among the entries is a large number of works composed by Alma A. Turechek Emeritus Professor of Music Jerry Owen, who retired in 2006. Owen composed nearly 70 works during his years at Coe, including many written for Coe occasions or people. Prominent among them are "Music a Coensis: Music for a Gleeful Rite," which has been performed at every commencement since 1976, as well as works written for the inaugurations of Presidents John Brown and James Phifer and a major composition written in celebration of Coe's Sesquicentennial in 2001.

Owen says he is pleased with the addition of his works to Coe's permanent archives for several reasons. "I spent 37 years at Coe -- effectively my teaching career -- and I feel very close to it. Coe has always supported me in my non-teaching career as well as in my teaching. It's a great honor to have my work archived and preserved for future generations -- and it's important to have all the work centralized and available for researchers if it becomes important to anyone in the future. The physical preservation of the work rests my soul." 

The remainder of Owen's works will be added to the collection as they are converted to the engraved software format, called "Sibelius," that has become the industry standard since the 1990s. "We anticipate doubling the Owen additions when we complete the acquisition of all his works," says Archives Assistant Sara Pitcher.

Accolade: In Memoriam Steve Colton. (piano with string orchestra score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 2007. Jerry Owen, Professor of Music, 1969 -2006)

Canticle Chorale. (chorus/chamber orchestra with harp, score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 2008.

Cedar Rapids Dedication. (orchestra and SATB chorus score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 2008.

Childhood Songs. (soprano, flute, cello, piano) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 1978.

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. (two pianos reduced score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 2009.

Dance Moments. (violin and piano score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, 2004.

Dances of the Mind. (Orchestral score) Indian Hill Road Music, IHRM 8501-3. Cedar Rapids, IA, 1983.

Dialog. (a.k.a. Dialog 1 or I)(viola score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 1973.

Dialog III. (Piano/Oboe score) Pembroke Publications (Carl Fischer, New York). 1973.

Dialog IV. (a.k.a. Dialog 4) Indian Hill Road Music, IHRM 8001. 1980-rev. 2010.

Dialog V. (Bassoon/piano score). Indian Hill Road Music. 1980.

Dialog VI. (“Smoker”). Trumpet score. Indian Hill Road Music. 1981.

Dialog VII. (a.k.a. Dialog VIII, The Wick Dialog). Indian Hill Road Music. 1981.

Duo Concertant. (flute, guitar, chamber orchestra score). Indian Hill Road Music. 1998.

Encounters: Eight Character Pieces for Piano. (piano score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 1986. 

Five Songs on Poems by Ann Struthers. (vocal/piano score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 2007.

Flight of the Hawk (a.k.a. Flight of the J-Hawk) (orchestral score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 2006.

Four Dances for Two Pianos. (2010 rev. version) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 1966.

Four Songs on Poems of William Blake. (vocal/piano score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 1985.

Glisten! A Seasonal Overture for Full Orchestra. (string orchestra score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 2006.

Gypsy Inspirations: For flute, viola and guitar. (score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 2003.

Haiku Set. (vocal/piano score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 1968.

I Shall Buy a Black Horse. (string orchestra music) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 2008.

Licorice Brittle. (clarinet and piano score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 1994.

The Maroon Spittoon in the Tycoon Saloon. (brass quintet score) Indian Hill Road Music, Cedar Rapids, IA, 2009.

Music for Friends. (clarinet/viola/piano score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 1982.

Music for String Orchestra. Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 1968.

Mystic Trumpeter. (SATB soloists, SATB chorus, string orchestra, off-stage trumpet [rev. version]) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 1988.

One By One. (SATB/soprano/bass/orchestra score). Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 2001.

Out of America. (vocal/piano score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 1994.

Pas de deux (a.k.a. Diversion)(2 saxophone/concert band score) Indian Hill Road Music, IHRM 7101. 1971-rev. 2010.

Piano Sonata No. 1. (piano score) Indian Hill Road Music IHRM 6401. 1964.

Piano Sonata No. 2. (piano score) Indian Hill Road Music IHRM 6802-5. 1968. 

Piano Sonata No. 3. (piano score) Indian Hill Road Music IHRM 6801-5. 1969.

Sing to the Lord a New Song. (SATB/chamber orchestra score). Indian Hill Road Music, IHRM 8901. 1989-rev. 2010.

Soundscapes of the Heartland (sound recording) Fleur de Son: Buffalo, NY, 2007.

Spillville Variations: On Scherzo Theme from Dvorak's American QuartetS. (flute/guitar/viola score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 2003.

String Quartet No. 1 (string quartet score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 1967.

String Quartet No. 2 (string quartet score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 1994.

String Quartet No. 3 (a.k.a. Tango and Watusi)(string quartet score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 1994

Suite for a Little Angel. (flute and harp score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, lA, 2006.

Suite from Grant Wood Country. (string orchestra with optional harp score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, lA, 2003.

Suite of Colors. (violoncello and piano score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, lA, 1993.

Swing Fugue and Fantasy Variations on a Jazz Tune. (flute, guitar and double bass score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, lA, 2004.

Tango. (string orchestra score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, lA, 1994.

Tango and Watusi. (string score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 1994.

Terrains. (Saxophone quartet score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 1969.

Trio Concertant Over Czech Folk Songs: based on the collected songs of Alma Turechek. (flute, guitar and viola score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, lA, 2002.

Variations for Two Tubas and Piano. Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA, 1965.

Watusi. (string orchestra score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, IA,1994.

Wet Dish Rag and Humoresque. (piano score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, lA, 1995.

Wild Garden. (oboe, English horn and bassoon score) Indian Hill Road Music: Cedar Rapids, lA, 2001.

 

 

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