2019 – 2020

the 70th SEASON – Global Connections Through Music

Ames Town & Gown proudly presents five concerts of the highest quality, featuring internationally renowned artists from around the world, in intimate spaces ideally suited for chamber music: Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall at Iowa State University and the First United Methodist Church. Additionally, our artists often interact with the larger community through various outreach events for school children, university students, senior citizens, and others.

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Students K-12 are free at door, University students free with ID as room permits.

Friday, September 27, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
First United Methodist Church, 516 Kellogg Avenue

Four master Russian musicians have captured the world’s attention performing “world music with a Russian soul” on balalaika, domra, button accordion, and balalaika contrabasso. Competing in Ann Arbor, Michigan with ensembles of every type, Russian Renaissance won the $100,000 M-Prize for chamber music for their remarkable virtuosic performance of many different genres.

Sunday, November 2, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.
Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall, Music Hall, Iowa State University Campus

Characterized by the Philadelphia Inquirer as “a poet … [with] an expressive edge to his playing that charms, questions, and coaxes,” Daniel Hsu won the Bronze Medal at the 15th Cliburn Competition while still a 19-year-old student at the Curtis Institute. He was also awarded prices for Best Performance of a New Work and Best Performance of Chamber Music. In addition to his musical prowess, Hsu enjoys computer programming and contributed to the creation of the app Workflow, which won the coveted 2015 Apple Design Award.


Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.

Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall, Music Hall, Iowa State University Campus

Michelle Johnson, soprano ~ Brian Major, baritone ~ Jodi Goble, piano

Michelle Johnson is a former Grand Prize Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions whose performance repertoire ranges from the operatic heroines of Mozart, Puccini, and Strauss to solist in Verdi’s Requiem and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Ms. Johnson will share the recital stage with her husband, Brian Major, whose career similarly ranges from operatic leads to oratorio and solo recitalist. They will be joined by ISU’s Jodi Goble, known to Town & Gown audiences as exemplary pianist, vocal coach, and award-winning composer.

Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.
St. John’s Episcopal Church, 2338 Lincoln Way, Ames

The 31st Annual Town & Gown Musicale

This is a fundraising event, not included in the season subscription.

Celebrating great music and musicians, fine food and friendship. Never the same from year to year, this sparkling collage of remarkable local talent is followed by our beautiful and sumptuous buffet, renowned in its own right.

Note different starting time. Not included in season ticket package. Tickets to the Musicale may be purchased on-line or at the door ($50 for adults, $15 for students).

Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall, Music Hall, Iowa State University Campus

Brothers Anthony and Demarre McGill, each a classical music star in his own right, have joined with Irish pianist Michael McHale to form this unique ensemble. Anthony McGill, principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic and formerly principal of the Metropolitan Opera, is also remembered for his performance at the inauguration of Barack Obama with Itzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma. Demarre McGill, recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, currently serves as principal flute of the Seattle Symphony and has been described as today’s “it” flutist. Belfast-born Michael McHale has a very busy international career as soloist and chamber musician. He has been a featured performer with the Minnesota Orchestra, and in such major American venues as Lincoln Center and Tanglewood.


Friday, May 1, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall, Music Hall, Iowa State University Campus


The Telegraph Quartet and Su Chang, guzheng (Chinese zither)

World premiere of newly commissioned work by Michael Gordon Shapiro

Celebrating the culmination of our 70th season, the Telegraph Quartet and Su Chang will together give the premiere performance of a new work by Los Angeles-based composer Michael Gordon Shapiro. Commissioned by Ames Town & Gown and made possible by a gift from the Durbin-Zheng family of Ames, Shapiro’s new work brings together the musical traditions of East and West, the iconic ancient Chinese guzheng in combination with a classical string quartet. The Telegraph, winners of the Naumburg Award and resident quartet at the San Francisco Conservatory will perform with Su Chang, one of China’s “New Top Ten Guzheng Performers” and instructor at Bejing’s Central Conservatory of Music. The program will also include works for solo guzheng and for traditional string quartet.