The magazine for the Department of Music & Theatre at
Iowa State University

A note from the department chair

What an exciting time for the Department of Music and Theatre! This past year we welcomed Brad Dell, associate professor of theatre, as our new director of ISU Theatre. I hope you enjoy reading the new vision Brad and his team have for our program.

I am still inspired after 42 years as a faculty member and now three years as department chair by the accomplishments of our students, alumni, faculty and staff. Our faculty are mentoring the next generation of artists and educators, publishing research and creative works, leading students to literal mountaintop experiences abroad and impacting their fields through professional leadership.

Our alumni are gracing performance venues from Barcelona to Boston and Leipzig to Los Angeles. Our students perform in places as familiar as Carnegie Hall and as far away as the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei.

As you know, our student ensembles are recognized among the nation’s finest. In 2017, the Iowa State University Cyclone Football ‘Varsity’ Marching Band won the prestigious Sudler Trophy. This is the highest award for collegiate marching bands. We hold this honor for two years, so we are still celebrating!

This year, Iowa State Singers made another appearance at the prestigious ACDA National Conference in Kansas City, and the ISU Symphony and more than 200 members of our choral program performed in Carnegie Hall on Easter. Our students are recruited to teach at top-notch secondary programs and invited to study at the nation’s best conservatories and graduate programs.

This excellence is sustained by the generosity of university administration, friends and alumni who continue to support critical needs — from a new Steinway piano, to student scholarships, to new band uniforms.

Great excitement awaits this year, and we hope you can visit campus sometime soon. In fact, visit during Homecoming weekend for the unveiling of Iowa State’s carillon, a one-fifth scale playable model of Iowa State's iconic campanile and carillon, with a special concert of ISU choirs, bands and orchestras. We would love to save you a seat! Wishing you the sweet sounds of Cyclone spirit, wherever you are!

Donald Simonson
Chair of the Department of Music and Theatre