Simon Estes performs Friday; biggest jazz ensemble yet performs Monday

To finish off “dead” week before finals, the Ankeny Campus Concert Choir and the Ankeny Campus Chamber Ensemble will perform with Simon Estes on Friday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. in the Building 6 Auditorium on the Ankeny Campus. Along with Estes and the two groups, will be a number of student soloist.

The concert is free.

Estes, a renowned opera singer and DMACC music faculty member, will be performing “Joy to the World” by Traditional Carol and “Cantique de Noël (Oh, Holy Night)” by Adolphe Adam.

The Concert Choir of four sopranos, four altos, two tenors and three basses students will sing “Clap Your Hands and Sing!” by Mary Lynn Lightfoot, “Who Knows (Where the Wind Blows?)” by Joseph M. Martin, “Sigh No More, Ladies, Sign No More” by Emma L. Diemer, “Dindirin” by Ruth Morris Gray and “Comin’ Thru the Rye” arranged by Harry Simeone and the Camber Ensemble of 11 students will sing “Oh, Mistress Mine!” by György Orbán, “Three Songs” by Randall Reese, “Je le vous dirai (Do not dare I say it) by Pierre Certon and “How Long?” by Kirby Shaw.

Together, at the end of the concert, both the choir and ensemble will sing “For We Wish Your Music” by Douglas E. Wagner.

The student soloist are members of both the Concert Choir and Chamber Ensemble and will introduce themselves during the Potpourri part of the concert.

After the concert, there will be a free reception with refreshments hosted by the DMACC Music Program in Building 7. Everyone is invited to attend where they can meet performers and Estes.

The choral groups are offering CDs by Estes for $15 at the reception. They will have 20 songs on them with sacred lyrics and secular lyrics. Estes gives $5 from each CD sale to the Simon Estes DMACC Music Program Scholarship Fund.

The recently-established fund provides two scholarships each semester covering tuition costs for the students’ voice lessons.

One scholarship covers the tuition for Applied Voice, MUS 101, for one semester. The other covers tuition for Concert Choir, MUS 143, or Chamber Ensemble, MUS 275, for one semester.

“It is hoped that applicants are planning to major in music at a four-year school after they leave DMACC,” Choir and Ensemble Conductor Jim Loos said.

The Simon Estes Foundation is sponsoring another fund-raising event for the Fund on Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Des Moines Civic Center. There, Estes will perform Christmas music along with performances by choral ensembles from DMACC and Ankeny High School and Ankeny Centennial High School.

General admission is $25 for adults, $10 for students and children 12 and under. Tickets are available on, the Des Moines Civic Center’s website.

As a conductor, Loos does a lot of planning before a concert, but what gets him most excited for them in the end is, “Leading singers in sharing the emotions in the music with the audience.”

If you’re into a variety of jazz styles and are wanting a stress reliever during finals week, you might want to head over to the Building 6 Auditorium on the Ankeny Campus on Monday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. for the free DMACC Jazz Ensemble Concert.

Along with jazz music, there will also be guest vocalist, Maggie Voy, an Ankeny resident and former teacher.

Scott Davis is the director for the ensemble. Rehearsing once a week, it’s Davis’s job to put the group, which he believes is the largest, together.

On Monday, the four trumpets, four saxes, three trombones, two bass players, two drummers, piano and a trombone that doubles on guitar will perform jazz classics from the 60s: Horace Silver’s “Song For My Father” and Oliver Nelson’s “Moment’s Notice” which were both small group recordings but work with small bands like Davis’s.

Voy, who worked with Davis in Des Moines as teacher’s for a couple years, will be singing two American Songbook classics: “Orange Colored Sky” and “How High The Moon.”

“This is an ensemble of students and adults dedicated to performing this great art form and continuing their love for music. The jazz band is now in its sixth season so still relatively young but we’ve seen improvement and growth every year,” Davis said.

If you’re unable to make it to this concert, on April 30, 2018, the jazz band will perform again.

If you’re interested in joining the ensemble which is a Continuing Education course where musicians register at the beginning of each semester, you can speak with Davis at

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