Tag Archives: Wes Habley

Brigadoon Orchestra May Be “One of the Best Ever.”

SONY DSCEd Kottick, Music Director for ICCT’s Brigadoon invited me to lunch one day and we had a lively and informative discussion about Orchestras, Music Direction, and life within Iowa City Community Theatre. We talked about a great many things that day but the thing that stuck out for me the most was how passionately Ed felt about the role an orchestra plays in a musical and how excited he was about the group of people he had assembled for Brigadoon.

In a previous email he expressed to me that he had an orchestra that was “one of the best ever.”  Obviously, I couldn’t wait to hear about the team he had put together and Ed was eager to share.  Brigadoon takes place in the highlands of Scotland, and therefore Ed lead the discussion with a real, honest to goodness, bagpipe player in Craig Hazelbaker. To me, this set the tone for the entire orchestra; it was clear that the man in charge wanted authenticity and he was ready to present it.

SONY DSCEd, a Professor Emeritus of Musicology for the University of Iowa, has a long and respected career in Iowa City, with credentials, published books and an entire google-search of expertise. A valued member of our community, it should come as no surprise that he keeps things familial and close to home.  Violinists Don Gentzsch and William Gentzsch are father and son and cellist Christina Craig Gentzsch is William’s wife.  Two other husband and wife teams fill out the orchestra pit, Paul and Valerie McNally play trombone and clarinet, respectively, and Jim and Barb Reck on the Cello and Oboe.

There’s a recognizable reverence when he speaks of violinist Candice Wiebener, a recently retired conductor of the City High orchestra with a long and distinguished career.  “She is a legend,” says Ed.  He would know.

SONY DSCThe talent does not stop there.  The orchestra, conducted by Ed himself, is rounded out with Ronda Marshall (violin), Jennifer Hexom (violin), Michael Kimber (Viola), Gae Ellyn Gentzsch (Viola), Dan Berkowitz (Bass), Ron Mirr (Flute), Wes Habley (Clarinet), Pete Trotter (Bassoon), Paul Waech (Trumpet), Melissa Brobston (Trumpet), Jessica Palmer (Trumpet), Randall Aitchison (Horn), Lynn Conway (Piano), and Christine Augspurger (Percussion).

Brigadoon opens Friday, September 19 and runs through Sunday, September 28.  Tickets are available now at the box office or in advance right here.

Article by Jaret Morlan and All photos taken by Emily McKnight.

Announcing ICCT’s 59th Season!

September 19-21 and 26-28
Directed by Josh Sazon with Musical Direction by Ed Kottick
Brigadoon — Lerner and Loewe’s classic Broadway musical is a Scottish fantasy that involves a love story in a town that disappears into the Highland mist and returns for only one day every 100 years.

October 31-November 2 and November 7-9
Directed by Brett Borden
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof — Tennessee Williams’ play about the conflict between truth and illusion. Winner of the 1955 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

December 5-7 and 12-14
Directed by Krista Neumann and a director from CET
A musical collaboration with Combined Efforts Theatre (CET). CET is Iowa’s only theatre company whose mission is to purposefully include performers with disabilities. CET is dedicated to excellence where disability drops from consideration. CET enriches the artistic community of Iowa City by presenting compelling and entertaining performances.

January 16-18 and 23-25
Supervising Director: Rich Riggleman
Love & Marriage — A collection of four one-act plays showing the funnier sides of love and marriage.

The Proposal (directed by Christina Patramanis) — A Chekhov play about a hypochondriac who tries to propose to his neighbor’s daughter and ends up with all of them getting into arguments.

Bridal Terrorism (directed by Nate Sullivan) — A woman shows up in a park in a wedding dress looking for a groom.

Laundry & Bourbon (directed by Jen Brown) — Three women share gossip and their disappointment with their marriages .

I’m Herbert (directed by Katherine Boothroyd) — A conversation between an elderly couple with memory problems who tries to remember their former relationships.

February 27-March 1 and March 6-8
Directed by Ken Van Egdon with Musical Direction by Wes Habley
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee — A musical about six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grown-ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser. A 2005 Broadway hit and winner of 2 Tony Awards.

April 17-19 and 24-26
Directed by Joe Wise
The Man Who Came to Dinner — A Kaufman and Hart comedy about a pompous man who breaks his hip leaving dinner at a friend’s home and terrorizes the friend’s family and house staff during his recovery.