Musicians Honored by ISU Choir

Musicians Honored by ISU Choir

Madelyn Hix, Reporter

As the City High choir students entered the practice room, they saw a man in a suit and a woman at a piano. The man gestures for them to start, accompanied by the pianist as they sing the solos they had been preparing. This was a similar experience for the 7 students that auditioned and were accepted into ISU Honor Choir. Those students include Amelia Morrow ‘18, Jacob Roggy ‘18, Dylan Davenport ‘19, Emilia Thedens ‘18, Erika Zierke ‘18, and Bridget Brown ‘18.   

Three months later, the selected students prepared to go to Ames on Sunday, February 11th for two days of practice before the final concert.

“I was very excited. It’s a huge honor,” Thedens said.

The students left Iowa City on Sunday, around 9:30, and arrived in Ames at 12:00. This gave students the chance to check in, get a feel of the place, and meet fellow students that were picked for the honor choir, aiming to create a fellowship between schools, cities, and counties in Iowa.

“I think it’s very cool that ISU brings people from around the state,” Thedens explained. “It’s nice that we have two universities who really value their music departments and try to cater to strong musicians.”

Students chosen for the choir attended a concert on Saturday night by the college Iowa State Choir ensembles for free.

James Rodde is the Moen Professor of Music, director of Choral Activities at Iowa State, and the director of the Iowa State Singers. His choir has been honored at distinguished choral events, and performed five times at the American Choir Directors Association (ACDA), twice at the National Collegiate Choral Association (NCCA), and once at the Music Educator National Conference (MENC).

“It’s nice that we have two universities who really value their music departments and try to cater to strong musicians.””

— Emilia Thedens ‘18

“There are amazing singers in this room. If you weren’t good, you wouldn’t be here,” said Rodde. “Two full days of rehearsal seems like a lot but I know you can do it.”

Rodde taught the group for two days. Through sectionals and group rehearsals, he soon shaped the songs into a performance.

The concert went by in a blur of sounds and lights. After the concert was over, there was a reception in the lobby of the music building, providing cookies for the students.

“You guys are doing the most challenging music I’ve ever given an honor choir,” said Rodde. “You’re probably one of the best, if not the best, honor choir I’ve had in my 25 years of doing this. Thank you.”