Grinnell College to host concert celebrating American composers

Soprano Randye Jones and pianist Marlys Grimm will perform on Sept. 17

Soprano Randye Jones and pianist Marlys Grimm will present a program of arias and songs by American composers on Sunday, Sept. 17. "Celebrating American Composers Concert," which is free and open to the public, will begin at 2 p.m. in Herrick Chapel, 1128 Park St., Grinnell.

The program includes works by American composers Scott Joplin, George Gershwin, Samuel Barber, Robert MacGimsey, Hall Johnson, Florence Price, Betty Jackson King, Hale Smith, Moses Hogan, Margaret Bonds, Mitch Leigh, Charlie Smalls and Richard Rodgers. ​

"This program was put together to honor the contributions of American composers to opera, art song, and musical theater," Jones said. "The music ranges from a rarely performed opera by Ragtime king Scott Joplin to Negro Spirituals to musicals that have withstood the test of time."

Jones is a skilled vocalist and scholar, earning recognition for her research of and published writings on African American vocalists and composers and as a performer and lecturer through her projects, "The Art of the Negro Spiritual, Afrocentric Voices in 'Classical' Music," and "The Spirituals Database." She is a doctoral student in vocal literature at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and she coordinates the media collections for the libraries at Grinnell College.

Iowa native Grimm has accompanied high school, college, community, and professional singers, instrumentalists and choruses throughout Iowa and at National Association of Teachers of Singing competitions. She has played for numerous conference, district and regional choral festivals. Grimm is the accompanist for the Grinnell Oratorio Society, Grinnell Singers and the Central College Community Chorus.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Herrick Chapel is equipped with an induction hearing loop system, which enables individuals with hearing aids set to T-Coil to hear the program. Information about parking and accessibility is available on the college's website: Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 or calendar[at]grinnell[dot]edu.

The college also welcomes the presence of minors at all age-appropriate public events and for informal visits, with the understanding that a parent, legal guardian, or other responsible adult assumes full responsibility for their child’s safety and behavior during such visits or events. In these cases, the college expects that an adult responsible for the visiting child takes measures to ensure the child’s safety and sees that the child complies with directions of college personnel. Grinnell College is not responsible for supervision of minors on campus.

About Grinnell College

Since its founding in 1846, Grinnell has become one of the nation's premier liberal arts colleges, enrolling 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many countries. Grinnell's rigorous academic program emphasizes excellence in education for students in the liberal arts; the college offers the B.A. degree in a range of departments across the humanities, arts and sciences. Grinnell has a strong tradition of social responsibility and action, and self-governance and personal responsibility are key components of campus life. More information about Grinnell College is available at