Skip to main content

News

Music professor conducts Iowa All-State Band

  • Prof. James Ripley conducts the Iowa All-State Band in rehearsal on Nov. 17, 2017.
    Prof. James Ripley conducts the Iowa All-State Band in rehearsal on Nov. 17, 2017.
    Chris J. Ewan
November 20, 2017

Professor James Ripley, Director of Instrumental Music Activities, returned “home” Nov. 17-18 to lead the 275-member band at the Iowa High School Music Association All-State Festival at the Hilton Coliseum in Ames. The Iowa All-State is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious ensembles of its type in the country.

The concert was recorded by Iowa Public Television and will be broadcast on Thanksgiving evening as part of a holiday tradition in the state. The concert will also be available via YouTube after Thanksgiving. 

A native Iowan, Prof. Ripley attended Luther College in Decorah and was a high school music teacher in the state for seven years. He used those experiences to select a distinctively “Iowan” program for the concert. John Carnahan’s “Morning Sun Upon the Wild Prairie Rose” (commissioned by Luther College) and Ripley’s own transcription of “Kitten on the Keys” (dedicated to his high school band director, Tom Haugen) were selected to recognize educational excellence in the state. Iowan composers Karl L. King and Andrew Boysen Jr. were also included on the program.