The 60 + members of the Ankeny Community Chorus, under the direction of Everett Reed and accompanied by Terry Waltersdorf, serve the Ankeny community in many ways. Program activities include two major concerts per year (free to the public), the Ankeny Area Chamber of Commerce Christmas Social, performances for Ankeny's Summer Sounds programs in the Ankeny Band Shell, and representing Ankeny in a performance at the Iowa State Fair.
The Chorus is grateful for the ongoing support of Ankeny area residents, as well as its many business sponsors and patrons.
Our Beginnings. . .
In June of 2001 Ankeny resident Bill Konnath, who at the time was a member of the Pride of Iowa Barbershop Chorus in Des Moines, approached Steve Carstenson, Ankeny High School Choral Music Department Director, about starting a community chorus. Bill explained that while he enjoyed singing with the barbershop chorus, he missed singing in a full four-part chorus with women’s voices. Although somewhat skeptical and very busy at the time, Steve agreed that if Bill could organize a credible chorus, he would direct it.
Bill went right to work by starting an e-mail group for interested residents. By word of mouth and a blurb in the Ankeny Press Citizen, the e-mail group grew very quickly to 127 subscribers. Bill then contacted Community State Bank to see if they would provide some seed money for copyright sheet music. Recognizing the potential, CSB offered $2,000 to get things started. Then on Thursday, June 14, 2001, 127 Ankeny residents gathered in the high school choral music room to learn about what was to become the Ankeny Community Chorus. A board of directors was elected, nominal dues was established ($20 per year) and ACC was off and running. ACC’s first “official” performance was at a memorial service for victims of 9/11.
With Bill as president, Steve as director, and Diane Rauser as accompanist, many came to recognize that the Ankeny Community Chorus was a very credible and exciting addition to Ankeny’s arts and music community. In the years that followed, ACC incorporated, sought out 501(c)(3) status, secured liability insurance, and maintained a solid membership of around 75-80 singers of all ages. More corporate sponsors came on board, and funding from BRAVO and Polk County Community Development Grants insured ongoing success of this incredibly talented chorus. Annual donations from prominent Ankeny residents have also insured financial stability.
Today, ACC performs three major concerts in Ankeny, an annual appearance at the Iowa State Fair, a joint concert with the Ankeny Community Band at the band shell for Ankeny’s “Summer Sounds” series, and annual holiday concert in November. In 2008, ACC also initiated and hosted “An Ankeny Evening with the Arts”, now an annual collaboration with the Ankeny Art Center, Ankeny Community Theater and Ankeny City Band. In August 2018 Steve retired and Riley Anderson, a Wartburg College grad and vocal music teacher at Prairie Ridge Middle School assumed the role of director. In August of 2022, Everett Reed was hired as the current director of the Chorus.
Thanks to the strong support of sponsors, community grants, and free will donations, ACC boasts assets that include tuxedos and gowns for all members, a very significant copyright music library, keyboard and sound equipment, a set of choral risers, and a utility trailer to haul and store risers.
Everett grew up in Des Moines, graduated from Lincoln High School and Grand View University and earned his BA in music in 2022. He works at Carver Community School in Des Moines with the Boys and Girls Club and is a Choral Scholar at Westminster Presbyterian Church.