What you need to know about the music department

Vincent Geerts

The ISU Music Department is full of activities for music and non-music majors alike to take part in. In fact, the marching band is composed of about one-third engineering majors. No matter their skill level, the music department has opportunities for every student interested in musical performance.

Within the department there are six bands, four choirs and an orchestra. Participation in any of these groups provides academic credit with an accompanying class number. For example, Music 141 is the women’s choir Lyrica, which meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2:10 p.m. to 3 p.m. for rehearsal. 

All auditions take place in the music department’s central building, Music Hall. Located just north of Lake LaVerne, Music Hall serves as a hub for most of the university’s music organizations.

Any student without their own instrument may rent from the university for $25 a semester, which is charged to the student’s U-bill.

To prepare for an audition with the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band or Jazz Ensemble, select a solo or etude that demonstrates an ability to play technically or fast and lyrically or slow. The ability to sight-read for these auditions is required.

In order to participate in the Marching or Pep Band, you must complete an application available at Music Hall 149, or online at http://www.music.iastate.edu/ensembles/bandapp.php, and audition.

The Concert Band has no required auditions, and an interested student need only show up to the first rehearsal at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday of the first week of classes. However, there are optional auditions for chair placement at the beginning of each semester.

Students wishing to sing in a choir can meet the conductors on Day 1 of summer orientation, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Music Hall. Auditioning for all choirs will be take place Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 18-21, beginning at noon. Signup sheets for audition times will be posted.

For those not interested in performing themselves, the ISU Music Department offers a full schedule of concerts to enjoy. The Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall in Music Hall hosts a variety of musical performances available to the public year-round, many of which are free. Student and faculty recitals are common, and often touring artists and groups make a stop to play to a lively crowd in Ames. For a full schedule of events, check http://www.music.iastate.edu/events/.