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.

The Ames Quartet
The Amara Quartet performed the world premiere of a new piano quartet by renowned composer George Tsontakis, while also announcing a name change back to the Ames Quartet to reconnect with the rich traditions of its predecessor group.

Tiffany Antone
Tiffany Antone, assistant teaching professor of theatre, will publish the monologue “Vagina of Vengeance” in “The Weirdest Short Plays of 2020,” and her play “The Good Book” is scheduled to be produced in Texas. Antone’s collection of social action plays received readings in multiple cities this past year.

Brad Dell
Brad Dell, director of ISU Theatre, was elected interim national vice-chair of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. He served as a guest artist respondent/presenter at KCACTF regional festivals in Madison, Wisconsin; Spartanburg, South Carolina; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Abilene, Texas.

Sonja Giles
Sonja Giles, associate professor of music, is now the permanent second flutist for the Des Moines Symphony and the new coordinator of the Collegiate Flute Choir competition with the National Flute Association (NFA). Giles held a book signing for the second volume of her method “Marcel Moyse’s The Melody Book,” at the 2019 NFA Convention. This year, Giles coordinated the 2020 Iowa Flute Festival, started the IFF Honors High School Flute Choir and will virtually judge the 2020 NFA’s Young Artist Competition.

Michael Golemo
Michael Golemo, Director of Bands, served as guest conductor for the Kanto Prefecture International Schools Honor Band in Tokyo, Japan. He was made an “Honorary Member” of the Iowa State Alumni Marching Band at Homecoming. His “Beyond the Glass Fanfare” was performed for the re-opening of the Brunnier Art Museum and for the Simon Estes Music Hall dedication. Golemo was elected to the Board of Directors for the John Philip Sousa Foundation.

Gregory Oakes
Gregory Oakes, professor of music, implemented a project he’s been developing for several years. The Quarter-Tone Extended Clarinet is a new instrument that traces its ancestry to now-defunct instruments conceived by composers Alois Haba and Fritz Schüller. It can play quarter tones throughout its entire range, including in the middle of the staff where notes were previously problematic or impossible to play. Oakes has commissioned several composers to write pieces that use its new capacity.

Kelly Marie Schaefer
Kelly Marie Schaefer, associate teaching professor of theatre, performed the roles of First Witch and Porter in Iowa Stage Theatre Company’s production of “Macbeth” at Shakespeare on the Lawn at Salisbury House and Gardens. She also continued her tenure as chair of design, technology and management for KCACTF Region 5.

Jonathan Sturm
Jonathan Sturm, professor of music, performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto as a soloist with the Central Iowa Symphony and the Des Moines Community Orchestra. He also served as concert master with the Des Moines Symphony and as violinist with the Belin String Quartet. This spring, Sturm completed his second term as president of the Iowa State Faculty Senate.

Christina Svec
This June, Christina Svec, assistant professor of music, published a chapter entitled “A Meta-analytic Perspective on the Development of Singing in Children,” as part of “The Routledge Companion to Interdisciplinary Studies in Singing, Volume I: Development.” Svec also mentored three student recipients of an LAS Dean’s High Impact Award for Undergraduate Research this past year: Grant Becker, Sean Lockard and Christian Schnieders. These grants enabled the students to conduct, present and publish around the country.

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, professor of music, and Mei-Husan Huang, associate professor of music, in collaboration with other artists, released “Youthful Passions,” a compilation of the early string sonatas of Barber, Strauss and Dohnanyi. This included the world premiere of a newly rediscovered movement of the lost Barber Violin Sonata. The album’s label plans to forward it for a Grammy Award.