Orchestra director brings diversity concert to campus

Director of orchestral activities Jonathan Govias, who joined the ISU faculty last summer, brought his "Symphony of Diversity" concept with him and is preparing for two Stephens Auditorium concerts in early March.

The annual concert, which he started in spring 2017 at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, will feature the ISU Symphony Orchestra, one or two guest artists and music by underrepresented composers -- this year, African American, Mexican and female composers.

Symphony of Diversity concerts

Thursday, March 5, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 6, 10 a.m.

Confirmed for this spring's concert is Adrian Anantawan, a Canadian violinist of Chinese and Thai descent born without a right hand. In addition to performing professionally throughout Canada and the United States, Anantawan serves as music department chair at the K-12 Milton Academy in suburban Boston.

Govias said the concerts are "an effort to model positive racial and ethnic inclusion through a traditionally white art form."

The Symphony of Diversity, he said, "celebrates, without confronting; advocates through example, not speech; and creates a bridge to a broader public that is both welcoming and inspiring."

Govias invites faculty and staff to:

  • Attend one of the free concerts.
  • Submit proposals/requests now for how the guest artist(s) might interact with and impact a campus audience, including classes and student organizations.
  • If you play an orchestral instrument other than piano, join the symphony for the first and last pieces in the approximately 70-minute concert (one or both dates, as your schedule allows). Weekly rehearsals begin Jan. 21 (Tuesdays 4:10-5 p.m., Music Hall).

To act on item 2 or 3, email Govias at jgovias@iastate.edu.