ISU Symphony Orchestra: Symphony of Diversity: April 29, 2023

Saturday, April 29, 2023 - 7:30pm
Event Type: 

Symphony of Diversity: Heralds – A symphony of women’s voices auguring change 

The Iowa State University Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director & curator Jonathan Govias announce Symphony of Diversity 2023Heralds – “a symphony of women’s voices auguring change.” The 2023 concert in the critically acclaimed series boldly tackles the societal issue of violence against women through a free public symposium, hosted by the Ames Public Library on Friday April 28th at 4:00, and a free orchestral performance on Saturday April 29th at 7:30 at Simon Estes Music Hall, Iowa State University. 

The public symposium, to begin with a short musical performance, will bring together three influential individuals: world-famous violinist Lara St. John, whose successful campaign to hold the Curtis Institute accountable for her assault when she was a student there made international headlines; Rebecca Stienstra, a senior policy analyst from the Canadian Ministry of Women and Gender Equality; and Assistant Chief Carrie Jacobs of the Iowa State University Police Department.  The panel discussion, to be moderated by Dr. Leana Bouffard, Chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, will take place in the Ames Public Library auditorium, and will focus on the prevention of violence against women and holding institutions accountable.  A professional trauma counselor will be in attendance and available to support any individuals in need. 

Warning: this session may include discussions of sexual, physical and emotional violence against women that some might find upsetting. If you or someone you know is experiencing any form of violence, please call 800.203.3488 (ACCESS Sexual Assault Crisis Line), or 855.983.4641 (Domestic Abuse Crisis Line) 

In a first for the ISU Symphony Orchestra, the concert on the evening of Saturday April 29 will feature music exclusively by living women composers, including Stella Sung, Stephanie Ann Boyd, Milica Paranosic, Shulamit Ran, Joan Tower, and a world première by Christine Donkin. The ISU Symphony will be joined by an intergenerational treble choir including students from the Ames High School choral program, as well as Lara St. John, soprano Amanda Kosi, and cellist Julie Sturm as the literal and figurative voices of women take center stage. 

This concert was in development before the senseless murder of two of our women students in June of 2022, but that tragedy only added impetus to our planning.” said Artistic Director and curator Jonathan Govias. “This is an emotionally and musically challenging series of events to produce, but we believe in the importance and the timeliness of the topic. Adding the symposium at the public library on Friday (April 28) to our regular concert on Saturday is consistent with the orchestra’s efforts to meet the public in new spaces, bring new understanding to difficult topics, and to make a difference beyond the concert hall.” 

Launched in Spring of 2017, Symphony of Diversity celebrates, illuminates, and commemorates a history of human rights encompassing both triumphs and tragedies. From its early days as a small regional production, the orchestral concert series as grown into a major musical initiative of national, if not international impact and renown. Its 2021 program, a commemoration of the Tulsa Race Massacre, has been performed from coast to coast, including a feature presentation at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) in Portland OR in May 2022. It was also broadcast internationally as part of the proceedings of the largest music education conference in the world (ISME) in summer 2022.  Artistic Director and Curator Jonathan Govias was the recipient of the NCORE Social Justice & Equity Award in the category of “Change Maker” for his efforts to build a more diverse, equitable and inclusive society through music. 

Symphony of Diversity 2023Heralds is presented in partnership with ISU Lectures Series, ISU Department of Public Safety, the Office of the President and the Consulate General of Canada, Minneapolis. 

Contact: Jonathan Govias, Artistic Director and Curator – 

This event will not be webcast.