UI music faculty ready to go back to campus, but say experience off-campus memorable - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UI music faculty ready to go back to campus, but say experience off-campus memorable

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - The University of Iowa will hold a media briefing Monday, with updates of on-campus flood recovery.

Members of the UI music faculty hope the University will make some improvements to their buildings, but say the experience of being away from their normal spaces has struck a chord with them.

The master musicians of the UI Jazz Faculty have been making the best of it.

"This particular group of musicians has done everything from elementary schools to churches, to opera houses, to gymnasiums," said director John Rapson.

He says the group has gotten used to being out of their normal buildings, playing venues like the United Church of Christ.

It's made him and other members of this ensemble feel a stronger connection with the rest of the community.

"I should probably read you a tale of woe, but the truth is, I love being downtown. I love being in spaces like this. It's a very human space with lots of wood and light."

Saxophonist and student Joel Vanderheyden agrees.

"It almost feels more inviting and more of a family-type atmosphere, than when we were sort of sequestered in our music building."

There have been some sound-related challenges on stages like this, according to faculty drummer Jim Dreier.

"It was a little tough judging how loud to be," said Dreier, "but you learn how to deal with all different kinds of environments."

As rebuilding on campus continues, he hopes places like Clapp Recital Hall will see some acoustical updates.

"The space we had before was not all that fantastic for jazz."

In the meantime, Vanderheyden will remember the past several months as a time that helped him not only spread his music to others, but grow closer to his colleages.

"It's been really a lot of fun, and a great way for me to go out with my last year of study," he said. "And to experience something like this, all of these people coming together."

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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