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.

Tiffany Antone, assistant teaching professor of theatre, is thrilled to share that her play “TWIGS AND BONE” enjoyed a three-month run with Nu Sass Productions in Washington, D.C., this spring. Antone also presented her research into the American theatre industrial complex at the Mid-America Theatre Conference in March.

Janci Bronson, teaching professor of music, received a Miller Open Education Mini-Grant to create the Dr. Janci Bronson Piano Education YouTube channel. The channel, which enhances the learning experience for Iowa State class piano and pedagogy students, as well as the general public, has received 70,000 views in six months. Bronson also presented this new resource to students at the University of Oklahoma, University of Iowa and University of Northern Iowa. Find it online at

In addition to becoming chair of the Department of Music and Theatre in July 2021, Brad Dell was honored by BroadwayWorld Des Moines as the Arts Educator of the Decade. “Songs for a New World,” an ISU Theatre production he directed last fall, was showcased at the Kennedy Center for American College Theatre Festival’s Region 5 event, where it earned Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Director awards.

Michael Golemo, director of bands, was recently awarded the distinguished title of University Professor. This award recognizes faculty members whose professional work has focused on effecting positive, significant institutional change at Iowa State. Golemo also composed “The Hampton March,” commissioned and performed by the Hampton Municipal Band, located in Hampton, Iowa, to celebrate their 100th anniversary.

Associate Professor of Piano Mei-Hsuan Huang was inducted into the Steinway and Sons Teacher Hall of Fame in 2021. She traveled to New York to accept this prestigious honor at an award ceremony in September 2021.

Cason Murphy, assistant professor of theatre, received the 2021 ISU Early Achievement in Teaching Award and the LAS Cassling Family Faculty Award for Early Achievement in Teaching. His first-edition textbook, “The World at Play: Performance from the Audience Perspective,” was published in fall 2021. Professionally, Murphy directed a virtual monologue for the CyberTank Festival in New York City, presented research at multiple conferences and completed a two-year term as co-chair of the Practice/Production Symposium for the Mid-America Theatre Conference.

Natalie Steele Royston, associate professor of music education, is serving as social media coordinator for the Iowa Bandmaster’s Association. She presented at the 2022 Illinois Music Education Association and the Texas Music Educators Association conferences. She also published “An Examination of Student and Faculty Perceptions Regarding Music Education Transfer Student Preparedness and Experiences” in Research and Issues in Music Education, and “Dispositional and Trait Perceptions and Beliefs of Three Stakeholders” in Visions of Research in Music Education. In summer 2022, she will present at the virtual International Society of Music Education World Conference.

Jonathan Sturm, recently promoted to Morrill Professor for his outstanding success in teaching and learning, performed alongside teaching professor Julie Sturm as soloist in Beethoven’s “Triple Concerto” with the Des Moines Symphony in 2021, and recently performed the viola solo in Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante” with the Des Moines Community Orchestra this May. Sturm also served as concertmaster for the Des Moines Metro Opera’s recent staging of Mozart’s “Magic Flute.” His book chapter on the arts’ presence in international peacebuilding has been accepted for publication, and he published an article on arts and diversity in the Journal for Performing Arts Leadership in Higher Education. In 2021, Sturm served as an invited guest curator at the Reiman Gallery on Iowa State’s campus for his art exhibit “Color Matters,” which focuses on art, music and expressions of inclusion.