Monday Monologue to feature Iowa State music ensembles


Photo Courtesy of Susan Gent

The April 4 Monday Monologue event is changing venues by taking music to the steps of Parks Library. The event starts at 12:15 p.m.

Payne Blazevich

The Monday Monologue weekly series will move outdoors to the Parks Library steps. The performance will feature the Cantamus, Lyrica and Count Me In ensembles, according to the library’s website.

Conducted by Jennifer Rodgers, an assistant teaching professor in the department of music and theater, the choral ensembles will feature music from a variety of cultures. A Finnish wedding celebration, a Brazilian samba and an acapella arrangement of “Dancing Queen” are among the various components of the upcoming performance.

“[There’s] a lot of different kinds of vocal sounds and a lot of different tempos too,” Rodgers said.

One of the main focuses for the performance is to create an authentic feel and energy to the music. The Lyrica ensemble has been working with various cultural clinicians to learn the feel and details of musical performances.

“We’re trying to make those authentic sounds, make them exactly like where they come from, and we’re trying to learn music in a different way,” Rodgers said.

Monday Monologue is a semester-long series of events designed to feature the voices of Iowa State faculty and students, according to Susan Gent, a community engagement specialist with the Parks and Ames Public Library.

Gent created Monday Monologues in the fall of 2018 to try and do something different.

“The idea was to just think of Parks Library as a place for more than a book or getting lunch, but also a place to celebrate words through song, through poetry, through different activities that are what you might see at a coffee shop sometimes,” Gent said.

Rodgers said moving the performance to the steps of Parks Library allows the music to create a positive and engaging atmosphere for students. According to Rodgers, it is an experience for students to hear music that may not be familiar to them but that could impact their mood and outlook, whether they are in the audience or just passing by.

“I think that outdoor music goes into the airwaves in a different way,” Rodgers said. “It’s an atmosphere that kind of, not just gets people’s attention, but it usually is for your soul. It’s usually something that makes people happy.”

The upcoming Monday Monologue performance will be held on the front steps of Parks Library, April 4, at 12:15 p.m.