Lyrica Fall 20223

Welcome to Lyrica!

This treble-voice ensemble has embraced an exciting new mission to explore musical sounds and practices from many traditions. Our repertoire draws from a wide range of cultures and genres and we seek to experience the authentic vocal sounds and stylings of each musical origin. In rehearsals, woven in with familiar practices, we learn and experience music through movement, improvisation, call and response, and communal direction.  Voice development is a key component and the ensemble provides an opportunity for sopranos and altos who wish to continue their high school singing. 

Lyrica seeks out cultural clinicians from around the world for in-person, immersive experiences with authentic sound, style, and technique. Recent partnerships have included the featured projects below plus workshops with Moira Smiley (Irish folk and body percussion), Tony Stevens (South African music and drumming), Afshin Sepehri (Iranian and Persian music), Val Williams (tango and samba), and Tina Haase Findlay (jazz and blues).

  • Michael Londra – Ireland with Michael National Tour. Here is a pre-show rehearsal moment.
  • Debut of “One Spirit,” a new folk-rock fusion video with Persian-Israeli artists, Hadar Maoz.
  • Live concert performance with Brazilian artist Paula Padilha and his band. Here is “O Sol e a Saudade.
  • Opera, Art Song, and Gospel with internationally-renowned baritones Simon Estes and Chad Sonka.
  • In addition to our musical aspirations, Lyrica is also an ISU student organization. We have a panel of student leaders and consciously create a vibrant and engaged choral community with several social events during the year.

Lyrica (MUS 141) rehearses on MWF from 2:10 – 3:00 p.m 

Count Me In! is an SSAA a cappella group that draws from Cantamus and Lyrica. Learn more here!


Audition Process

Auditions for all ensembles take place in the four days before classes begin. Visit the ISU Choirs Main Page and scroll down for audition details. We look forward to meeting you!

“I am consistently impressed with the style and energy of the Lyrica ensemble. The way they throw themselves, body and voice, into the music they create is a beautiful thing to. witness. There’s a real sense of unity within the group that’s evident when they perform. I walk into their concerts with curiosity, and I always leave with a yearning to explore something new in music and share it with others. Based on their performance, I feel like there’s this beautiful trust between all the singers. Not only do they trust each other to all sing, but the trust reassures them that they’re all in this together. They are completely united in music and art, and it’s such a powerful aspect of their performance… I feel like I say this after every Lyrica concert, but I absolutely love how connected they are with the audience. Not only through audience participation, but all of their music feels more intimate and personal in a lovely and refreshing way.” -  quote from a concert review (2023)


Then Sings My Soul/How Great Thou Art – Stuart Hine, choral setting by Mary McDonald. Professor Chad Sonka, baritone

Proč bychom se netěšili from the Bartered Bride - Bedřich Smetana, arr. Emily Ellsworth

Music Down in My Soul – Moses Hogan (combined Cantamus, Lyrica and Waukee HS Cantate choirs, Spring 2024)

Hope Lingers On - Andrea Ramsey (combined Cantamus and Lyrica choirs, Fall 2023)

Níl Sé’n Lá (arr. David Downes)

Jerusalem & Jubilanten: Lyrica’s Soundscape concert in November 2021 opened with Michael McGlynn’s atmospheric setting of “Jerusalem” and Jan Magne Førde’s “Jubilanten.”

Feeling Good: Our cultural clinician for the Fall of 2021 was Tina Haase Findlay – award-winning jazz and blues hall of famer! She joined us on Dorothy Horn’s arrangement of Bricusse & Newley’s “Feeling Good” along with students from our jazz bands and jazz faculty, Mike Giles.

Stephen Hatfield: Las Amarilla

Mendelssohn: Surrexit Pastor Bonus

Villa Lobos: O Trenzinho

Traditional American Gospel: Precious Lord

Lyrica in Ames' Bandshell Park
Lyrica in Ames' Bandshell Park
Singing with the marching band and Simon Estes!
Singing with the marching band and Simon Estes!
Singing with the ISU Orchestra in Stephens Auditorium.
Singing with the ISU Orchestra in Stephens Auditorium.
ISU group with ARTS Midwest presenter on screen