On August 29, two of Iowa's most respected early music groups will travel to Dyersville for a public concert at the Basilica of St. Francis Xavier. Musica Antiqua and The Music Men will perform together in the twin-spired gothic landmark that was raised to the rank of Minor Basilica in 1956. The church features a 1905 mural on the ceiling above the 52-foot main altar, a rose window, and spectacular acoustics. It seats 1200.
Musica Antiqua is an ensemble featuring replicas of Middle Ages and Renaissance instruments and is directed by ISU music professor Carl Bleyle. The Music Men, a vocal quintet, was started in 1975 by members of the ISU Chamber Singers. The current group has been together since 1989.
The concert of early music is open to the public and will also include 19th century folk music selections from the American South. It begins at 7:30 p.m. The performance will be recorded for broadcast on WOI-FM the following Sunday, Sep. 1, at 1:00 p.m. as part of Iowa Week. Locally, it will also be broadcast by KDST-FM in Dyersville.
"Sacred for its works of religion and renowned for the nobility of its structure is the Church of St. Francis Xavier in the Archdiocese of Dubuque...by virtue of these letters we elevate in perpetuity the Church...situated in Dyersville, Iowa...to the dignity and honor of a Minor Basilica..."
Pope Pius XII
May 11, 1956
(The Basilica really did have tremendous acoustics.)
This performance of Musica Antiqua was attended by people from all over Iowa.