ISU Choirs

Ensemble

combined choirs and orchestra at Stephens Auditorium.

Masterworks - All four choirs and orchestra

Welcome to the Iowa State Choirs!

Historically ISU’s choral program has enjoyed recognition as one of the finest in the country and in participating, it can provide experiences you’ll cherish for a lifetime. 

  • Over the years we have seen nearly 400 students singing in the ISU choirs.  Our choirs have a vibrant mix of music majors and non-music majors. About 85% of our choristers are NOT music majors.  
  • All singers earn academic credit.  
  • Every student says that singing in an ISU choir is a great break in the day.  And studies show that those who sing do better in their other academic classes!
  • Our singers are some of the friendliest people on campus.
  • Our singers work to make each choir a “family,” where you’ll be able to make music and develop friendships that will last a lifetime. 

Overview of ensembles:
We have four large ensembles at ISU. Each choir at Iowa State has its own identity and sings several concerts each year.

  • Iowa State Singers – a 72-member select and highly distinguished mixed ensemble. Rehearsal times: MTWRF 12:10 – 1:00 pm.
  • Cantamus – a select treble voice ensemble with a focus on adventurous, contemporary programming. Rehearsal times: MWF 11:00 – 11:50 am.
  • The Iowa Statesmen – one of the largest tenor-bass choirs in the country, renowned for their character and active role in the Iowa State community. Rehearsal times: MWF 1:10 – 2:00.
  • Lyrica – treble-voice ensemble that explores choral musical sounds and practices from many traditions.  Rehearsal times: MWF 2:15 – 3:05.

You can find detailed information for each ensemble on their web page and learn about the smaller a cappella groups that are drawn from the larger choruses. Below, you’ll find links to some introductory videos and an FAQ with participation and audition information.

Audition Sign-Up
2024 Auditions for all ensembles take place August 22-25, 2024.

  • If you are a tenor or bass, visit the bulletin board outside Music Hall Room 111 to sign up for a time with Dr. Rodde. You will also fill out the audition form found there and bring it with you at your time.
  • If you are a soprano or alto, you should sign up for an audition with Dr. Rodgers to be heard for Cantamus and Lyrica and with Dr. Rodde only if you are interested in the Iowa State Singers. If you wish to be considered for all three choirs that involve treble voices, please be sure to do both auditions.
    • To sign up for an audition for the Iowa State Singers with Dr. Rodde, visit the bulletin board outside Music Hall Room 111. You will also fill out the audition form found there and bring it with you at your time.
    • To sign up for an audition for Cantamus and Lyrica with Dr. Rodgers, use the QR code or link below to fill out an online audition form and then choose an audition time (coming soon).

Cantamus and Lyrica Audition Form

If you are unable to sign up for an audition time or if posted times are not possible for you, please contact Dr. Rodde (jrodde@iastate.edu) or Dr. Rodgers (rodgersj@iastate.edu) to make other arrangements. If you wish to audition after classes have begun, please contact faculty directly. 

If you would like to register for an ensemble sooner, sopranos and altos should register for MUS 141, and tenors and basses for MUS 151B, as your class schedule permits.  If you have an interest in auditioning for the Iowa State Singers (mixed ensemble) attempt to keep the 12:00 hour free in your weekly schedule (M-F).  If you are interested in Cantamus, keep the 11:00 hour free on MWF.  Final rosters will be determined during the first week of classes. 

***Spring auditions are by appointment with conductors.

Audition Process
Each audition will be ten minutes or less.  We’ll sing some brief vocalizes and tonal memory exercises.  You are encouraged to bring a prepared solo if you have one, but this is not at all required.  Finally, a short sight-reading or rhythm passage may be a part of your audition depending on your goals.

Introductory Videos:

FAQ: 

Q: Do I have to be a Music Major to participate in choirs?
  A: No.  Over 85% of our choir members are not music students!

Q: If I am not a Music Major, will I have time for a choir?
  A: Yes.  Not only will you be able to make time for choir, but studies show that students who sing in a choir do better academically.

Q: Do I sing well enough to be a member of an ISU choir?
  A: Virtually everyone who wants to sing in a choir may do so.  

Q: Is choir offered for academic credit?
  A: Yes.  Each choir carries one academic credit per semester.

Q: Where is Simon Estes Music Hall, and where can I find information about choirs?
  
A: Simon Estes Music Hall is located on the north side of Lake LaVerne.  Information can be found on our webpage or by emailing musicinfo@iastate.edu.

Q: Are there any tours?
  A:  Tours vary from year to year, ranging from local appearances to singing at major national venues, to international tours.

Q: Do I need to provide my concert attire?
  A:  It depends on the ensemble and the performance. For some performances, tuxes and dresses are loaned to singers from the university. Others may require you to have dress black pants, shoes, and a top.

Q: If I have further questions, whom should I contact?
  
A:  Dr. James Rodde: jrodde@iastate.edu, 515-294-0395, or Dr. Jennifer Rodgers: rodgersj@iastate.edu, 515-294-7447.

 

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