Masterworks concert to feature Iowa State choirs and orchestra

CATEGORIES: News, Students

Iowa State University’s Department of Music and Theatre will present Masterworks on Saturday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m. in Stephens Auditorium. The Masterworks concert will be the ISU choirs’ and ISU Symphony Orchestra’s final performance of the year as they present Italian-Baroque composer Francesco Durante’s setting of the “Magnificat.” This beloved and time-honored text will be cushioned by two movements from two grand oratorios, “Elijah” and “The Creation.”

Two notable works by Minneapolis composer Jake Runestad will also be performed. “A Silence Haunts Me” will be sung by guest artists from the Des Moines Choral Society. The piece is based on Beethoven’s “Heiligenstadt Testament,” a letter Beethoven wrote, but never sent, in which he confessed his struggles with deafness.

Runestad’s “Come to the Woods” uses texts by naturalist and author John Muir. Upon his first visit to Yosemite at about age 30, Muir was captured by the beauty of the redwoods and sequoias of central California and wrote extensively about his experiences there. The performance will feature pianist Amanda Jennings.

Madison Mayfield (’24 music), a member of the Cantamus ensemble, said the nature-focused piece is meaningful to her personally.

“‘Come to the Woods’ takes this lovely poem by John Muir about the beauty and grandeur of nature and creates a beautiful soundscape of voices and piano,” Mayfield said. “I think I connect well with this piece since I’ve been to Muir Woods, and I’ve been able to experience the very same landscape that John Muir wrote about. Runestad excellently captures the beauty, peace, and character of the woods in this song.”

The ISU Symphony Orchestra, led by Borivoj Martinić-Jerčić, associate professor of music, will round out the program, playing the final movement of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. The ISU choirs, featuring Lyrica, Cantamus, the Iowa Statesmen, and Iowa State Singers, will sing with the ISU Symphony Orchestra under the direction of James Rodde, professor of music, and Jennifer Rodgers, assistant teaching professor of music.

General admission is $10 and $5 for children 18 and under, Iowa State students, and seniors ages 65 and older. Tickets can be purchased at the door prior to the performance or ahead of time through the Stephens Auditorium ticket office.

For more information about Iowa State University Department of Music and Theatre events and programs, visit