Only 40 people in the entire country can right now say they’re members of the American Academy of Teachers of Singing. And one of them just so happens to be our very own Donald Simonson, Iowa State Morrill Professor of Music and Theatre.

Founded in 1922, the American Academy of Teachers of Singing is regarded as one of the nation’s most esteemed vocal organizations. Membership is for life, by invitation only, and limited to just 40 individuals at any one time. So, needless to say, being inducted into this academy is a huge honor. Said Simonson, “I’m honored to be recognized by my peers for what’s become my life’s passion – helping students develop and refine their understanding of how the voice works and using that knowledge to reach others through the art of singing and song.”

It’s easy to see why Simonson was invited to be a member of this prestigious academy. After all, he regularly performed leading roles with opera companies, symphony orchestras, and chamber ensembles throughout Europe, America, Australia, and the Far East. In addition, his research has been published in journals and periodicals both here and abroad. Know what else is easy to see? That students in his classes have a wonderful opportunity to learn from someone who doesn’t just teach music – but from someone who lives and breathes it.

That’s what’s so amazing about learning at Iowa State. Students can be confident that while they’re here developing their passions, they’ll get to learn from professors who are passionate, too. Not just about the subjects they teach, but about helping make sure their students’ adventures hit all the right notes.

Learn about other Cyclones and their adventures and nominate a Cyclone whose adventure story needs to be shared.