The Ellis & Nelle Levitt Distinguished Professor of Conducting,
Director of Choral Studies
Office Location: FAC 428
Aimee Beckmann-Collier is Director of Choral Studies at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, where she has taught since 1989. She is a frequent clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor for high school and college choral festivals and contests throughout the country. She has conducted numerous All-State choruses, as well as the New England Music Festival, and the Iowa Collegiate Honor Choir and the Iowa Community Chorus Honor Choir. She has also conducted choirs and orchestras from throughout the United States in performances at both Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York.
Drake ensembles under her leadership have performed on the programs of the North Central Division of the American Choral Directors Association and in England, Austria, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, and the Czech Republic. She has served on the adjudication panel for the American Choral Directors Association national conducting competition.
Dr. Beckmann-Collier has served in a number of leadership capacities for the American Choral Directors Association, including president of the ACDA's North Central Division. She was chair of the 2012 NC ACDA conference in Madison, WI and assistant chair of the 2015 ACDA national conference in Salt Lake City. She has served ACDA as president of the Iowa Choral Directors Association and chairperson of the 1992 ACDA North Central Division Convention, the 1995 ICDA Summer Symposium, and Immersion Day of the 2002 North Central Division Convention. She is a former editor of Melisma, the North Central Division’s publication, and Sounding Board, Iowa ACDA’s quarterly. Her articles on Renaissance performance practices, music of the Classical period, and teaching critical thinking skills in the choral rehearsal, and the role of school music ensembles in a global economy have been published in the Choral Journal and the Music Educators Journal.
A graduate of Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana, which recently presented her with its Distinguished Alumna Award, Dr. Beckmann-Collier received master's and doctoral degrees in choral conducting from The University of Iowa where she studied with Don V Moses. She is the recipient of ACDA's Weston H. Noble Award in recognition of lifetime achievement in the choral art as well as ICDA's Robert McCowen Award for outstanding contributions to choral music in Iowa. In addition, she has received Drake University's Madelyn Levitt Award for Distinguished Community Service, the Iowa Music Educators Association Distinguished Service Award, the National Federation Interscholastic Music Association Outstanding Music Educator Award, the Metro Women's Network Woman of the Year Award, and designation as Drake's 2010 Stalnaker Lecturer. In May 2017 she received the Madelyn Levitt Teacher of the Year Award.