News and Current Events

Dr. Heather Peyton hired as Assistant Professor of Oboe and Music Theory

Dr. Heather Peyton has accepted the School of Music's Assistant Professor of Oboe and Music Theory position. Dr. Peyton has a DMA degree from Michigan State University, an Artist Diploma and MM degree from McGill (Montreal) University, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. She is currently serving as a Lecturer at Iowa State University where she maintains an oboe studio, and teaches reed making and liberal arts courses. Previously, Heather taught at Michigan State University (as a University Distinguished Fellow), Interlochen Summer Arts Academy, Larchmount Music Academy, Mount Kisco School of Music, and more. Peyton has performed and served as a soloist, chamber musician, symphony player, lecturer, clinician and adjudicator in the United States and abroad.

Dr. Ann Bradfield hired as Assistant Professor of Saxophone

Dr. Ann Bradfield has accepted the School of Music's Assistant Professor of Saxophone position. Dr. Bradfield has a DMA degree in Saxophone Performance (with a related field in Wind Conducting), MM degree in Saxophone Performance, and BM in Jazz Studies Performance degree -- all from the University of North Texas. She is currently serving as Assistant Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at Eastern New Mexico University where she maintains a saxophone studio, coaches quartets, directs a jazz ensemble and teaches other jazz courses. Previously, Ann taught at Cameron University, Oklahoma State University, University of Oregon and Oklahoma Christian University in adjunct, guest or leave replacement positions. Dr. Bradfield has more than nine years of public school teaching experience in Texas school districts. She has performed and served as a soloist, chamber musician, director and clinician throughout the United States.

Sean Botkin performs with Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Sean Botkin, University of Northern Iowa School of Music faculty artist and associate professor of piano, was invited to perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Aug. 2. The concert was held at the Ravinia Festival Pavilion in Highland Park, Ill., during the Ravinia Festival, the oldest outdoor music festival in the U.S. held every summer from June to September.

Botkin performed Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Minor, Op. 40. The concerto is rarely performed and will receive its first Ravinia performance in a decBotkin performs with CSOade. The performance at Ravinia was a highlight for Botkin's already impressive career. "It is like a dream come true for me to perform at Ravinia and especially with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, one of the best orchestras in the world," said Botkin. "It is certainly a milestone in my career." Botkin also received invitations to perform in Italy and Russia this year.

Botkin began studying piano at the age of five, making his first orchestral performance four years later with the Honolulu Symphony. He later graduated from Stanford University and the Julliard School in New York.

"Botkin's performance at Ravinia was an amazing concert that kicked off the 120th anniversary of our school's founding as a department," said John Vallentine, director of UNI's School of Music. "The concert was a wonderful way to begin our celebration by highlighting the virtuoso playing of Sean Botkin with the incredible musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. For a faculty member to receive such an invitation is truly an incredible lifetime achievement."

Wind Symphony receives standing ovations in Italy

The University of Northern Iowa School of Music’s Wind Symphony traveled to northern Italy from March 8 through March 17. The group was invited to perform a series of six concerts throughout the region with concert sites in San Paolo d’Argon, Alzano Lombardo (Bergamo), Pontevico, Brescia, Costa Volpino and Arese (Milano). Concert venues included the PalaBrescia in Brescia, the Teatro Parrocchiale in Arese and the Basilica di San Martino in Alzano Lombardo. Faculty artists John Hines, bass, and Amanda McCandless, clarinet, joined the group on tour and performed on all six concerts.

The group, currently under the direction of UNI School of Music professor and conductor Ronald Johnson, toured Italy in 2004 and has taken three tours in Hungary. Reflecting on the trip Johnson noted, “It was quite an experience for the students to perform for full houses and enthusiastic audiences. To be received with so much applause, asking for encores. This was a great testament to the talent and abilities of our students. Most of our students are from Iowa, and few have had an opportunity for international travel. This journey served to make the world a little less scary for them and to empower the students for future ventures. I know that many will return to Italy at s2012 Wind Symphonyome time in the future.”

The Wind Symphony served as the ensemble for a two-day intensive conducting workshop with several of northern Italy’s most esteemed band conductors. The ensemble was also presented with an honorary diploma by the President of the Luca Marenzio Conservatory of Music in Brescia, one of the most prestigious of Italy’s music institutions.

For more information on this tour or other School of Music events and activities, contact Caroline Boehmer (319) 273-2028,