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Welcome to IPR's Choral Iowa!  This page will make it easy for you to keep up with our state’s flourishing choral scene. You'll find event calendars, music videos, and ideas from the many Iowans who make our choral scene happen. Please let us know of events or ideas you’d like to share! After all, choral music is the most inclusive of genres. America has about 1,200 orchestras but 270,000 choirs. One household out of five includes a choral member, ranging from children to retirees. Their conductors are just as likely to be maestras as maestros, and their audiences love new works as much as classics. Our state is a national presence in choral music, and Choral Iowa will help you find out why.  

Three Iowa Choirs Singing Of Reassurance, Love and Listening

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David Beale
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Unsplash
While we're in a time marked by social distancing, IPR is sharing videos of choirs across Iowa.

With concert-giving on hiatus, here's another sampling of the rich variety of choral music in our state.

This week's batch of videos includes a motet from Shakespeare's day that offers reassurance, a new work by a Des Moines composer that affirms simple love, and a song by a Des Moines gospel choir that reminds us to listen for the voices of those in need.

Got a video you want to share with us? Email us. 

The Iowa State Singers - 'I Will Not Leave You Comfortless' by William Byrd

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RarSkNNSzc

In just two minutes, this motet by the great English composer William Byrd conveys sorrow, comfort, and a hint of joy. Its gentle depths come through beautifully in this performance by the Iowa State Singers led by James Rodde. 

The Luther College Nordic Choir - 'When We Love' by Elaine Hagenberg

Des Moines composer Elaine Hagenberg and Nebraska poet Charles Silvestri collaborated on this piece for the 2019 farewell concert of Drake choral director Aimee Beckmann-Collier. What a collaboration it turned out to be! In setting Silvestri's text, Hagenberg responds not only to its affirmation of the power of love but also to the sounds of its words.

Since the work's premiere at the farewell concert (and a beautiful first recording by Beckmann-Collier), the piece has been taken up by other groups, including this 2020 performance by another renowned Iowa choir, the Luther College Nordic Choir conducted by Andrew Last.

Bridges 2 Harmony - 'Can You Hear?' by Victor Alexeeff

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW-dTMLoBCs

The gospel choir from Theodore Roosevelt High School in Des Moines performs a song written to benefit World of Children, an international charity dedicated to the needs of “the world’s most vulnerable children.”

The soloists are (in order) Brent Crumpton, Janessa Coleman, and Adrienne Brown, who wrote the words for her solo. James McNear is the director.