UNI School of Music students will perform in Costa Rica

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- For the fifth time in the program's history, a group of University of Northern Iowa School of Music students have been invited to Costa Rica as part of the Promising Young Artists of the 21st Century program. Rodrigo Duran, director of the Costa Rican-North American Cultural Center, extended the invitation. The group will travel to Costa Rica Sept. 26 through Oct. 6 and will perform throughout the region in two concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, as well as three concerts in San Jose and Guanacaste.

UNI students Aaron DeSantiago of Council Bluffs, Aaron Brown of Urbandale, Kayla Kjeldseth of Sioux City, Megan Grey of Cedar Falls and Michael Gookin of Fairfield will travel with associate professor of opera and tour director Mitra Sadeghpour. The group spent one week in August rehearsing with the assistance of student assistant director Alexandra Saulsbury.

"In preparation for our tour, in addition to learning the music, staging and dancing, the students have presented on the history, culture and ecology of Costa Rica and met with Costa Ricans living in Cedar Falls," said Sadeghpour. "We also learned the Costa Rican national anthem and are looking forward to sharing American Musical Theatre with our audiences in Costa Rica."

"I am excited about the rehearsals and performance with the National Symphony Orchestra," said student musician Megan Grey. "Rehearsals of that magnitude are so exciting, and I can't wait to see how our group can feed off of the energy that Costa Rican musicians will bring to the music and the collaborative experience."

John Vallentine, director of the UNI School of Music, said, "This is an extremely prestigious invitation for the UNI School of Music to send talented singers and a pianist to Costa Rica as promising young artists of the 21st century."

For more information on the tour to Costa Rica or the UNI School of Music, contact Caroline Boehmer, UNI School of Music communications and operations coordinator, at 319-273-2028 or caroline.boehmer@uni.edu.



Caroline Boehmer, UNI School of Music, 319-273-2028, caroline.boehmer@uni.edu

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-2761, lindsay.cunningham@uni.edu