MMU music program booming, two new staff hired

Students studying music at Mount Mercy University found new friendly faces on campus this fall, as two staff members were hired over the summer to accommodate for the program’s growth: Kent Keating and Steve Stickney.

Previously director of vocal music for Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids, Keating joined Mount Mercy University as its first-ever director of show choir. As part of the music staff at Jefferson, Keating directed and assisted with numerous vocal ensembles, including the Jefferson High School Westside Delegation and Meistersingers which amassed 12 Grand Championships out of the 20 contests it competed in.

Stickney previously served as director of bands for Linn-Mar High School in Marion, Iowa, for 13 years. As Mount Mercy’s new band director, Stickney brings a diverse background of experience and knowledge. He has served as an adjudicator and clinician at several elementary and secondary concert and jazz band festivals in the Midwest, as an advisor for seven European tours for the Iowa Ambassadors of Music, and as a guest conductor for the Cedar Rapids Municipal Band, the University of Iowa All State Music camp, and several district, conference, and college honor band festivals.

We asked our new musicians for their hottest hits of summer! Here's Steve Stickney's road trippin' playlist.

In addition to the university’s original University Choir, Jazz Connection and Liturgical Singers, University Band and Madrigal Singers have been added in recent years. With Stickney and Keating joining the university, the department will add Jazz Band, Pep Band and Show Choir.

“One of the signs of a healthy, well-rounded university is the strength of its fine and performing arts,” said Dr. Gerry Kreitzer, director of music activities. “Mount Mercy University now has a well-rounded faculty offering vocal, choral, instrumental and piano opportunities, and the size and quality of all the ensembles is growing. With that, the excitement and expectations for musical excellence is rising and will certainly reach new heights under this leadership team.”

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