Elliott Stern serves as conductor of the Ankeny Community Chorus, succeededing Steve Carstenson who retired after 18 years of making music in Ankeny. Stern also leads the 6th and 7th grade choirs and 8th grade show choir at Prairie Ridge Middle School in Ankeny. 

Stern’s musical roots go all the way back to his early years in Eagan, Minnesota, where in high school he played the trumpet and baritone and later participated in choral music. Later, he enrolled at Wartburg College where he was a choir section leader and student conductor.

Among many choral music adventures and recognitions, Stern had the honor of being one of eight in the country to perform in the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National Conducting Masterclass when Minneapolis hosted the 2017 national convention.


Ankeny Community Chorus accompanist Cathy Brause has sung with the chorus since 2015.

During high school in Britt, Iowa, Brause accompanied and sang in various groups at school and church. She attended Morningside College, earning a minor in voice and piano. She continued her education at the University of Northern Iowa receiving a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education/special education and later her master of arts degree in learning disabilities at Northwest Missouri State University.

Brause and her husband, Howard, are both retired educators and currently reside in Granger. She has also taught piano, directed choirs, and currently is a church pianist for Polk City United Methodist Church.

Throughout her life, Brause has been involved with many community music activities and loves to see people from all walks of life join together to share their gift of music.