Keys to Ensemble Success with James Rodde

Alan and Steve talk with Iowa State University Director of Choral Activities James Rodde about ways any ensemble can set themselves apart.

Dr. James Rodde is the Endowed Chair and Director of Choral Activities at Iowa State University, where he oversees an active program of 400 undergraduate choristers.  He conducts the Iowa State Singers, the 150-voice Iowa Statesmen, and teaches courses in choral conducting and literature.  Choirs under his direction have toured internationally and been honored with performances at the national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association in 1993, 1997, 2005, 2009, 2015, and 2019, and the National Collegiate Choral Organization in 2008 and 2011. 

Under his leadership the Iowa State Singers were named the 2013 national winners of The American Prize, College/University Division.  As a conducting mentor, one of his students won the 2005 ACDA National Undergraduate Conducting Competition in Los Angeles.  An active clinician, Dr. Rodde has led numerous festival ensembles, including divisional ACDA honor choirs and more than a dozen All-State choirs.  

Dr. Rodde continues to serve as Artistic Director of the Des Moines Choral Society, a post he has held since 2003.  He served ACDA as the North Central Repertoire and Standards Chair for Male Choirs for over a decade.  Alliance, AMSI, Hal Leonard, Lawson-Gould, Mark Foster, Musica Russica, Walton, and Santa Barbara have published his editions and arrangements of choral music. 

A native of Minneapolis, his early mentors were Leland Sateren, Dale Warland, and Don Moses.  From 1985 to 2000 he served at the University of North Dakota, where he was honored with the Fine Arts Faculty Award for Teaching.