Interview: ICPL welcomes UI School of Music with new programming

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Musical Revue

Englert Theatre — Sunday, Sept. 20 at 2 p.m.

The Iowa City Public Library recently announced a new nine month long program, Music is the Word, which kicks off this Sunday with a Musical Revue hosted at the Englert Theatre. We were able to ask Senior Librarian, Jason Paulios, and Adult Services Coordinator, Maeve Clark, a few questions regarding this new and rather extensive series.

What Inspired Music is the Word?

JP: We had a variety of audacious musical programming ideas which morphed into a longer curated series of events that would serve as a community-wide welcome and introduction to the University of Iowa School of Music to downtown Iowa City. Their new Voxman Music Building is scheduled to open in the fall of 2016 and will be a fantastic addition to the already amazing music scene happening in Iowa City and Johnson County.

How long will the program last?

JP: The series is split into two seasons, the first runs from September through December 2015 and the second will be January through May 2016.  Our first season’s schedule of events is available now at and we’re in the midst of planning season two now.

Will any of the events take place within the ICPL?

JP: We regularly use the meeting rooms (A, B, C, E) as venues for library programs, this series has allowed us to get outside of the immediate building to host some events too, hosting events at Englert Theatre, The Mill, etc. We’ve done some “pop-up” performances in the [ICPL] lobby before and had a great response, the regular Music On Wednesday shows will be a fun, informal showcase for local musicians to play in a nontraditional setting.

What are the events that you are most excited for?

JP: Of the early events I’ve been involved in curating I’m looking forward to the reading on Saturday, Sep. 26, which is a collaboration with University of Iowa Press. We’ll host Bob Dylan scholar David Gaines reading from his new book, In Dylan Town, with Douglas Kramer Nye performing some Dylan songs as an opening.

Then on the following Saturday, Oct. 3 we’ll host Stephen Witt reading from How Music Got Free as part of the Iowa City Book Festival, a collaboration with the City of Literature.

MITW has been one of the largest programming efforts we’ve attempted and it’s been such a terrific vehicle for discovering new community members and groups to collaborate with; that’s everyone from local musicians, scholars, University staff, nonprofits and businesses, the list goes on! People are excited to act as partners and share their talent and energy to help welcome the School to downtown.


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How did you decide who will be featured at the Musical Revue?

MC: They all represent different kinds of music and various types of performers, from seasoned amateurs to high school musical performers, to girls just learning to rock. We think they represent the Iowa City community of music makers. There are, of course, many more artists, but the ten acts, bookended with the University of Iowa School of Music groups, tubas for the prelude and the I-Club Marching Band for the finale, capture the spirit of Iowa City music.

And on deciding where to host the first event?

MC: The Englert is our neighbor across the alley and we think a good friend. We wanted a venue where we could have different acts on a stage and the Englert was the first location and the best location that came to mind. The staff at the Englert has been terrific to work with from Andre Perry to the front of house and back of house staff; all of them have been instrumental in helping us bring this idea to fruition.


Schedule for Sunday’s Musical Revue


Collegium Tubum

Act I:

Beggarmen with the Champagne Irish Dancers

Kol Shira

Combined Effort Theatre’s Men’s Choir

Extra Credit Project

Girls Rock

Act II:


The City, Too

Cedar County Cobras

Andy Parrott Trio

Chase Garrett


Hawkeye Marching I-Club Band

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