Do you sing or play an instrument?  Your musical learning doesn't need to end post-high school. No matter your area of study, you're invited to participate in our music program at Iowa Lakes.

With numerous vocal and instrumental ensembles, recitals and coffee houses, we offer the opportunity and experienced faculty to help you reach your goals.

Small class sizes allow for personal attention from faculty members who are committed to the growth and development of each student. Share your musical talent in extensive solo or group performances and continue sharing your musical talents.

Located on the Estherville Campus of Iowa Lakes Community College.

Interested in participating in music at Iowa Lakes?

opens in a new windowRequest more information

Mission of Music Department

The Iowa Lakes Community College Music Department serves the college in three basic areas: general music education foundation for all students, individual preparation for selected fields within the music area, and cultural enrichment for our campuses and communities.

The music curriculum has been designed to help all participating students in maximizing their individual potential.

The primary objectives of the programs are

  • to further performance ability in at least one musical area; 
  • to provide students with a wide range of educational and musical experiences which will encourage continued personal and professional growth;
  • to allow some "semi-specialization" through courses directed toward instrumental and/or vocal
  • to provide music major transfers with the knowledge and skills necessary to become successful as continue in their music education.
Music Scholarships

The Iowa Lakes Foundation offers the following music scholarships:

Gaarde-Hinsch Scholarships
Bertha and Delbert Hinsch of Estherville established the Gaarde-Hinsch scholarship in 1986 for the benefit of student musicians at Iowa Lakes Community College. Their great love of music inspired the couple to endow a scholarship which awards numerous music scholarships each year. Requirements include full-tie enrollment at Iowa Lakes, music department participation and financial need determined by FAFSA form results. Applicants should contact the music department for audition arrangement at 712-362-8345 or 712-362-7963.
Deadline: April 1
Amount: Varies

Music Department Scholarships
This award is provided to talented and promising young musicians whose academic qualifications and demonstrated musical abilities indicate that they could make a significant contribution to the music program of the college. The amount of these awards is determined by several factors including student ability, financial need and specific needs within each ensemble. One of the two requested references must be from your school music instructor or private teacher.
Deadline: April 1
Amount: Varies

Spirit of Harmony Chorus Scholarship
The Spirit of Harmony Chorus (member of Sweet Adelines International, a worldwide organization committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education and performance) established this scholarship in 2010 with great interest in promoting music in the lives of young people are they are they future of the organization. Requirements include Iowa or Minnesota resident, full-time sophomore status at Iowa Lakes, planning a music career in music teaching or music therapy and maintaining a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA.
Deadline: April 1
Amount: $500 to be used for tuition, books or fees

Tom Spalding Memorial
Family and friends of Tom Spalding established this scholarship in 2008 after he passed away following a short illness. Spalding was the Director of Records and Registration at Iowa Lakes Community College from 1981 to his retirement in 2002. Following his retirement, he continued his commitment to Iowa Lakes by participating in the jazz band and teaching students to appreciate music as much as he did. His love for music and students was an incredible asset to the college, especially the Music Department. Eligible candidates must audition and be accepted into the Iowa Lakes Community College Jazz Band. One recipient will be selected annually and must use the award for tuition, books and/or fees.
Deadline:
Amount: $500

We Believe Music Scholarship
The We Believe Music Scholarship is provided to talented and promising musicians at Iowa Lakes Community College whose academic qualifications and demonstrated musical abilities indicate they could make a significant contribution to the music program at the college. Requirements include full-time enrollment at Iowa Lakes, music department participation and financial need determined by FAFSA form results. Applicants should contact the music department for audition arrangement at 712-362-8345 or 712-362-7963.
Deadline: April 1
Amount: Varies

Music scholarship auditions are held during the first week of each semester.  Students interested in auditioning at another time can also email cayres@iowalakes.educreate new email (for instrumental auditions) or bfuelberth@iowalakes.educreate new email (for vocal auditions).

To apply for a music scholarship (as well as all other Iowa Lakes scholarships) fill out the  opens in a new windowOnline Scholarship Application.

Music Course Offerings

Applied Lessons
Private lessons (called Applied Music) of ½ hour per week are available for any student who wants to develop individual music skills.  No prior musical experience is necessary.  Opportunities on piano, guitar, voice and many other instruments are available.  Lessons are taught by our highly qualified faculty.  Applied lessons are open to all students and community members contingent upon the availability of faculty.

Music Appreciation
Music Appreciation is exactly what it sounds like, an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of music and the basic understanding of music principles so we can learn to appreciate the variety of musical styles.  The purpose of this course is to increase your understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of music.  With this in mind, upon successful completion of the course, you should be able to do the following:

  • Identify and understand the elements of music.
  • Listen critically and comment intelligently on all styles of music.
  • Attend and appreciate concerts of all kinds, feeling comfortable in many musical situations.
  • Identify representative compositions of different musical eras. 
  • Develop perceptive listening skills.
  • Encourage and appreciate all music.

There are no prerequisites for music appreciation.  You do not need to have any prior knowledge of music.  Even though there is musical notation in the textbook, you do not need to know nor will you learn how to read music.

Jazz Appreciation
The purpose of this course is to increase your understanding, appreciation, enjoyment, and hopefully a love of jazz music.  This course will help you become acquainted with musical elements, forms and historical stylistic periods (early jazz, swing, bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, avant-garde and fusion); to develop perceptive listening; and to encourage and appreciate jazz music.  The more you know about music, the more you understand it, and the more you can learn to love it. 

With this in mind, upon successful completion of the course, you should be able to do the following:

  • Identify and understand the elements of music.
  • Listen critically and comment intelligently on all styles of jazz music.
  • Attend and appreciate jazz concerts of all kinds, feeling comfortable in many musical situations.
  • Identify representative compositions of different jazz eras. 
  • Develop perceptive listening skills.
  • Encourage and appreciate all jazz music.

There are no prerequisites for this course.  You do not need to have any prior knowledge of music. 

Concert Choir
Concert Choir is the largest ensemble and performs a wide variety of a cappella and accompanied music from all periods of music In the past few years, they have performed in SOLD OUT performances of the “Annual Elizabethan Christmasse Feaste.” This past year, they joined forces with over 300 singers from other colleges to sing a major work with the Sioux City Symphony. As with all of the performing groups, the Concert Choir tours every year. Past trips have been to New Orleans, Chicago, San Antonio, St. Louis, and Kansas City. No auditions are required for this group.

Jazz Band
The Iowa Lakes Jazz Band performs a wide selection of styles ranging from standard swing era to contemporary styles. This group is open to all interested students and membership is determined by auditions. The Jazz Band performs several times throughout the school year and hosts an annual High School Jazz Band Contest. One of the highlights of the year is our annual spring tour. Past destinations have included St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, New Orleans, San Antonio, and Colorado.

Jazz Singers
Jazz Singers is a select group of four to eight singers that perform a wide variety of jazz, from the standards to current popular a capella hits. One of the highlights of the year for this group is the annual Jazz Festival at Iowa Lakes, in which the singers get the chance to work with nationally-known jazz musicians. The group is accompanied by keyboard, bass, and percussion, and learns the techniques of creating a jazz style and improvisation. Auditions for the group can be done in the spring or during the first week of classes in the fall.

Handbells
Handbells is the collegiate handbell choir. This group provides an opportunity for talented musicians (no handbell experience necessary) to rehearse and perform a wide variety of handbell music. Auditions are held at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters.  

Men’s Choir
Contemporary music such as pop music, show tunes, novelty numbers and ballads are performed by the Men’s and Women’s Ensembles. They sing separately and may also combine to perform music. These groups are in demand and are often asked to perform at a variety of public performances. Auditions for the group can be done in the spring or during the first week of classes in the fall.

Woodwind Ensemble
The woodwind ensemble provides an opportunity for woodwind players to play their traditional instruments as well as Renaissance instruments. Auditions for this ensemble are held during the first week of each semester. This group performs at the annual Renaissance Madrigal Feaste and other concerts as well.

Women’s Choir
Contemporary music such as pop music, show tunes, novelty numbers and ballads are performed by the Men’s and Women’s Ensembles. They sing separately and may also combine to perform music. These groups are in demand and are often asked to perform at a variety of public performances. Auditions for the group can be done in the spring or during the first week of classes in the fall.

Brass Ensemble
The Brass Ensemble is an ensemble within the Department of Music. Auditions for this ensemble are held during the first week of each semester. The Brass Ensemble performs a variety of traditional and contemporary literature for brass. Concerts are performed on and off campus.

Percussion Ensemble
Iowa Lakes’ students have the opportunity to participate in several percussion experiences. Participation in the various ensembles is by audition during the first weeks of classes in the fall and spring semesters.

  • Conductor
  • Performance Schedule

College-Community Concert Band
The Northwest Iowa Community Concert Band is open to all students, faculty and community members without audition.  They perform one major concert each semester.

Musical Theatre
In alternating years, Iowa Lakes Music joins with area community members to produce a musical.  Recent productions have included “The Music Man,” “The Fantasticks,” “The Melody Lingers On,” "Damn Yankees" and "Once Upon a Mattress." Typically, over 100 students and community members are involved in the cast, crew and orchestra. 

Pep Band
The Laker Pep Band brings music and excitement to our Laker Basketball teams.  The band performs at various home basketball games, playing rock and roll favorites and other entertaining music.  Membership is open to the general student body with rehearsals starting in November. 

Music Theory
Music Theory provides students with knowledge about the fundamentals of music.  The students will learn:

  • Note names on all clefs
  • Note names on the piano
  • Major and minor key signatures
  • Major and minor scales
  • Intervals
  • Chords (Triads and 7th Chords)
  • Chord Progressions and Part-writing
  • Chord inversions
  • Non-chord tones
  • Modulations
  • Musical forms
  • And much more

The first semester of Music Theory is also offered as an online course.  More information about the Music Theory online course can be found at www.iowacconline.org.

There are four semesters of Theory classes (Music Theory I – IV) for music students who want to transfer to a four-year college.

Music Theory Lab
The Music Theory Lab courses will train students to:

  • Sight sing in Major and minor keys using solfege
  • Sight sing chromatic exercises
  • Read and notate rhythms
  • Read and notate melodies
  • Read and notate chords and progressions
  • Become a better overall musician

The first semester of Music Theory Lab is also offered with Music Theory as an online course.  More information can be found at www.iowacconline.org

Just like Music Theory, there are four semesters of this course (Music Theory Lab I – IV) for music students who want to transfer to a four-year college.

Music Ensembles

Concert Choir
Concert Choir is the largest ensemble and performs a wide variety of a cappella and accompanied music from all periods of music.  In the past few years, they have performed in SOLD OUT performances of the “Annual Elizabethan Christmasse Feaste,”  and have joined forces with over 300 singers from other colleges to sing a major work with the Sioux City Symphony.  As with all of the performing groups, the Concert Choir tours every year.  Past trips have been to New Orleans, Chicago, San Antonio, St. Louis, and Kansas City.  No auditions are required for this group.

Jazz Band
The Iowa Lakes Jazz Band performs a wide selection of styles ranging from standard swing era to contemporary styles.  This group is open to all interested students and membership is determined by auditions. The Jazz Band performs several times throughout the school year and hosts an annual High School Jazz Band Contest. One of the highlights of the year is our annual spring tour. Past destinations have included St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, New Orleans, and Colorado.

Jazz Singers
Jazz Singers is a select group of four to eight singers that perform a wide variety of jazz, from the standards to current popular a cappella hits.  One of the highlights of the year for this group is the annual Jazz Festival at Iowa Lakes, in which the singers get the chance to work with nationally-known jazz musicians.  The group is accompanied by keyboard, bass, and percussion, and learns the techniques of creating a jazz style and improvisation. Auditions for the group can be done in the spring or during the first week of classes in the fall.

Handbells
Handbells is the collegiate handbell choir.  This group provides an opportunity for talented musicians (no handbell experience necessary) to rehearse and perform a wide variety of handbell music. Auditions are held at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters.  

Men’s Chorus
Contemporary music such as pop music, show tunes, novelty numbers and ballads are performed by the Men’s Choir.  The Men’s Choir and Women’s Choir sing separately and may also combine to perform music.  Auditions for the group will be done during the first week of classes in the fall and in the spring.

Woodwind Ensemble
The woodwind ensemble provides an opportunity for woodwind players to play their traditional instruments as well as Renaissance instruments. Auditions for this ensemble are held during the first week of each semester. This group performs at the annual Renaissance Madrigal Feaste and other concerts as well.   

Women’s Choir
Contemporary music such as pop music, show tunes, novelty numbers and ballads are performed by the Men’s Choir.  The Men’s Choir and Women’s Choir sing separately and may also combine to perform music.  Auditions for the group will be done during the first week of classes in the fall and in the spring.

Brass Ensemble
The Brass Ensemble is an ensemble within the Department of Music. Auditions for this ensemble are held during the first week of each semester.  The Brass Ensemble perform a variety of traditional and contemporary literature for brass.  Concerts are performed on and off campus.

Percussion Ensemble
Iowa Lakes’ students have the opportunity to participate in several percussion experiences. Participation in the various ensembles is by audition during the first weeks of classes in the fall and spring semesters.

Concert Band                                    
Iowa Lake’s students join forces with the Northwest Iowa Concert Band, an area community band, to provide our college with a concert band organization. The NWICB will perform a fall concert, the Estherville Winter Games Concert, and a spring concert. The opportunity to participate in this group is open to all full or part-time students without audition.

Instrumental Lessons (Guitar, Piano, etc.)
Take advantage of the instrumental lessons that are available to all students.  Students receive training at weekly lessons from experienced faculty.  These lessons are available to an experienced performer or someone who has never before played an instrument.

Voice Lessons
Many students take advantage of the vocal lessons that are available to all students to improve themselves as singers. The singers perform the selections they have worked on during the lessons at recitals that are presented at the end of the semester.

Pep Band
The Iowa Lakes Pep Band is open to all full and part-time students who are interested in cheering on the Lakers with music. The opportunity to participate in this exciting and fun-filled organization is available to all students without auditions. Good music and great fun are what we are all about!

Other Opportunities
Other opportunities include solos and small groups that perform at the ever-popular Coffee House Nights at Iowa Lakes.  Students also may perform for a variety of community events, present singing valentines, and travel for music festivals.

Performances

Coffee House

If you can hear it on the radio, you can perform it at the Iowa Lakes Coffee House! 

From Shania Twain to Chopin to Frank Sinatra, it’s all on the program!  The coffee house is an opportunity to perform solo voice, piano, instruments, poetry or anything else you would like to perform. 

Coffee Houses are held each month on the Estherville campus. This popular event is a great place to relax and unwind, enjoy a cup of coffee and listen to great live music.

There is no admission charge to attend and the public is invited to attend.

The coffee house is open to all students and community members.  Call the music department if you’d like to participate!

Madrigal Feaste

Music students from Iowa Lakes Community College will host their Annual Elizabethan Madrigal Feaste in December. While dining in high Renaissance style, attendees will marvel and enjoy the audience-oriented performances of the Royal Iowa Lakes Chamber Singers, Her Majesty’s Recorder Consort, The King’s Brass Ensemble, Ye Olde Percussion Ensemble and My Lady of the Lakers Hand Bell Ringers.

Individuals attending will be treated like Royalty by indulging in a delicious five course meal fit for a King (or Queen!). Along with many English customs such as the procession of the Boar’s Head, a Jester, flaming pudding, and the strolling carolers, the evening also includes wassail, and a special Royal Dessert.

The college’s madrigal feast is a true to form re-enactment of a Renaissance English dinner, with one small exception: guests will have access to silverware!  This dinner is based on what a person might have encountered in the 16th Century. During that time, a Lord and Lady would host a party for area Royalty.  The guests, in this case, are the audience.

Musical Productions

In alternating years, Iowa Lakes’ Music Department joins with area community members to produce a musical.

Recent productions have included: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Music Man, The Fantasticks, The Melody Lingers On, Damn Yankees, Once Upon a Mattress, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, Les Misérables and The 1940's Radio Hour.

Stay tuned for the next musical production given by the Iowa Lakes Music Department to be held in Spring 2022!

Webcasting Events

Iowa Lakes Community College webcasts various student events throughout the academic year.

Events include:

  • Selected athletic and music events
  • Commencement ceremonies
  • Other activities as announced

Upcoming Broadcasts: 

opens in a new windowClick here for audio and streaming video.  A separate window will open.

Questions? 

Carol Ayres
Carol Ayres
Professor, Instrumental Music/Jazz Band
712-362-7962 Ext: 7962 | cayres@iowalakes.educreate new email
Estherville Campus
Brett Fuelberth
Brett Fuelberth
Professor, Vocal Music/Choir
712-362-7963 Ext: 7963 | bfuelberth@iowalakes.educreate new email
Estherville Campus