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

Faculty honors and creative activities

Read about the Department of Music and Theatre's award-winning faculty and their latest creative and scholarly endeavors, from publishing original works to performing across Iowa and around the world.

The Amara Piano Quartet
The Amara Piano Quartet released its latest CD recording on the Fleur de Son label, featuring both Piano Quartets by Gabriel Faure. Fanfare Magazine praised the recording saying, “Technical execution, intonation and ensemble coordination and balance by the newly chaired Amara Piano Quartet are exemplary.”

Christian Carichner
Christian Carichner, bands, led the 350-member Iowa State University Cyclone Football ‘Varsity’ Marching Band to San Antonio, Texas, for the 2018 Alamo Bowl.

Michael Golemo
Michael Golemo, bands, led the ISU Wind Ensemble on a concert tour of England, Scotland and Ireland in 2018. He also conducted the Wind Ensemble in the premiere performance of “To Serve,” which he wrote for the installation of Iowa State’s 16th president, Wendy Wintersteen.

Mei-Hsuan Huang and Borivoj Martinic-Jercic
Mei-Hsuan Huang, piano, and Borivoj Martinic-Jercic, violin, performed at the National Concert Hall and the National Taichung Theater in January 2018 in Taiwan. While there, Huang also gave master classes at several high schools and universities.

Cason Murphy
Cason Murphy, assistant professor of theatre, took first prize in Cinema Scandinavia’s 2018 Ingmar Bergman Writing Competition for his article, “Flirting with the ‘Loyal Wife’: Bergman’s Theatrical Affair with ‘Nora.’” Murphy also presented at the 2018 Association for Theatre Higher Education Conference and the 2018 American Society for Theatre Research. His review of the Rude Mechs’ “Fixing Troilus and Cressida” recently was published in the Shakespeare Bulletin.

Amanda Petefish-Schrag
Amanda Petefish-Schrag, assistant professor of theatre, workshopped her original play “The Endurance of Light” at the Athena Arts Festival in Colorado. It will be performed in Wisconsin with the Acacia Theatre Company. In July, Petefish-Schrag will present at the National Puppetry Festival in Minneapolis. In 2018, Petefish-Schrag’s “Finding Amelia” was selected for London’s Tiny Shorts Festival, and her plays “The Birds” and “Supergirls! Tales of Life, Love and Captain Nebraska” were performed in California and Ames, respectively. “Supergirls!” was also selected for “Best Monologues of 2019,” a forthcoming publication from Smith and Kraus Publishers Inc.

Kathleen Rodde
Kathleen Rodde, choral music, and her Cantamus ensemble recently performed for the inauguration of Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and gave a 2018 performance at New York City’s Carnegie Hall.

James Rodde
James Rodde, choral music, had three choral arrangements published in 2019 and was featured in a new book titled “Rehearsing the Choir.” Rodde also guest conducted the Wesleyan Honors Choir in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Kelly Schaefer
Kelly Schaefer, senior lecture in theatre, received a Distinguished Costume Design Award from the National Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

Jonathan Sturm
Jonathan Sturm, musicology, was violin soloist with the Central Iowa Symphony and the Des Moines Community Orchestra in May for two performances of Beethoven’s violin concerto for which he composed new cadenzas. In 2018, Sturm received the Leopold LaFosse Outstanding Private Studio Teacher award from the Iowa String Teacher Association, published an article in the Journal of Performing Arts Leadership in Higher Education and celebrated his 28th season as concertmaster of the Des Moines Symphony.

Julie Sturm
Julie Sturm, music theory, was the invited guest artist of cello at the Musikfestival Windberg in Germany in July 2018. She has been asked to return for a second season in 2019. As principal cellist of the Des Moines Symphony and the Des Moines Choral Society, Sturm performed nearly 30 concerts during the past year.

Rob Sunderman
Rob Sunderman, associate professor of theatre, recently published his scenic design for the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s production of “Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci” in the United States Institute of Theatre Technology’s Theatre Design and Technology periodical. Sunderman’s fine art pieces were also recently exhibited in regional and national exhibitions.

Christina Svec
Christina Svec, music education, completed two refereed journal articles, one book chapter, six invited poster presentations at national and international conferences and seven refereed research presentations at major conferences in 2019.

Jim Trenberth
Jim Trenberth, lighting designer, retired this May from Iowa State University. In 2018, Jim received the Cloris Award for Excellence in Lighting Design for “A View from the Bridge” at Iowa Stage Theatre Company. He also received the 2018 Kennedy Center Gold Medallion from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

George Work
George Work, cello, performed the Villa-Lobos First Piano Trio in Brazil with colleagues from Texas Tech University and the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Puerto Allegre in 2018. Concerts and classes were given in both Puerto Allegre and Uberlandia.

Miriam Zach
Miriam Zach, organ, performed a May recital at the University of Florida.