Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


Spotlight Iowa City: Love for music meets love for aviation


SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Click here to view an exclusive photo slideshow.

(opens in new window)

In between treble and base clefts and wading through historical information on the Baroque to put together his dissertation (a yearlong process), Francesco Vecchia finds solace in an intriguing form.

He makes planes. All different kinds of planes out of paper or cardboard. He has more than 200 hanging from his kitchen ceiling (most of them are palm-sized), documenting everything from the Wright Brothers era to modern-day fighter jets and commercial airliners.

“I have always been fascinated by planes and the history of aviation,” said Vecchia, who started constructing them after breaking up with a girlfriend last spring. “It is quite relaxing to see them floating in the air.”

Building the miniature models is just another form of artistic expression for Vecchia, who is seeking a Ph.D. in musicology at the University of Iowa. He said he loves all forms of art, even dabbling a bit in photography.

“I hate thinking artists are limited to one medium,” he said as he gazed at the planes’ shadows on the wall. “At one point, I started taking photos of the shadows because I’ve always liked photography.”

Vecchia continued making the aircraft until he met current girlfriend Amy Dubinsky, a UI student working for a Ph.D. in molecular biology.

Dubinsky said she appreciates the art form.

“My first impression of the planes was that it was very interesting and creative,” Dubinsky said. “It is a very artistic way to express, yourself and when they move with the wind, it’s just beautiful.”

Originally from Padua, Italy, Vecchia grew up in a family of musicians, and he began playing the clarinet at a young age. He found he had a love for writing but was torn between that passion and the demands of playing an instrument.

So Vecchia decided to combine the two. He discovered musicology.

“It is great because you do not have to invent a story, just write about the music,” he said with a wide smile and bright eyes. “I am able to write about something I love, and that really is the best.”

Vecchia graduated from the University of Padua with a degree in Italian literature in 2001 and wrote a thesis on early string quartets. Since then, he has worked for orchestras in Padua, catalogued 18th-century music manuscripts, and published an edition of Joseph Schuster’s string quartets formerly attributed to Mozart.

Vecchia moved to Iowa City in 2002, where he began teaching music appreciation and music history at the UI. He also taught at Cornell College in Mount Vernon.

Since moving, Vecchia has won a number of awards for his presentations of musicology papers, which he describes as “unorthodox.” For instance, he won Best Paper at the 2005 College Music Society Chapter Meeting for discussing, dressed in drag, French composer Francis Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias (a show in the opéra bouffe genre, which are generally satirical and comedic).

“He has a lot to offer as a scholar and a teacher,” said Marian Kimber, a UI associate professor of music whom Vecchia formerly assisted. “Francesco also has many interesting ideas about how technological advances that can be applied to the creation of scholarly music editions.”

Eventually, Vecchia said his “ultimate dream” is to establish a musicology writing workshop at the UI.

> Share your thoughts! Click here to write a Letter to the Editor.

comments powered by Disqus
Daily Iowan Advertising
Today's Display Ads | Today's Classifieds | Advertising Info

Follow the DI through:


Sponsored Links  
T-Shirt Design  
Insurance Leads Charlotte Web Design
Health Insurance Leads Home Equity Loans
Life Insurance  
Custom Magnets DMI Furniture
Solar Products Custom USB
Chris Powell Buy a text ad


Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.