“Iowa Gold” features music by Jane Roman Pitt and photography by Ken West
MUM faculty member
Jane Roman Pitt
MUM faculty member Ken West
Ms. Pitt and Mr. West being interviewed on Iowa Public Radio
Faculty Members Present Artistic Collaboration to Iowa Governor
MUM faculty members Jane Roman Pitt and Ken West recently collaborated on a music video which they presented to Iowa Governor Terry Branstad in the State Capitol Building in Des Moines. The video, titled “Iowa Gold,” features a song composed and performed by Ms. Pitt and Iowa landscape photos taken by Mr. West.
Ms. Pitt wrote “Iowa Gold” about 20 years ago when she first moved to Iowa and was inspired by the beautiful landscapes. Then last year she saw Mr. West’s photographs in the MUM dining hall. “I was so struck by Ken’s photos, because they were expressing in such depth of richness and color just what I was trying to say in the song.”
A tribute to the richness of Iowa’s farm culture, people, and rural landscapes, “Iowa Gold” was produced solely for noncommercial use to promote appreciation of the beauty of Iowa and the state’s scenic byways.
“A lot of the time prospective students or people who come to the community don’t realize how interesting a state Iowa is,” said Mr. West. “There is a lot of natural beauty.”
One of Ms. Pitt’s goals was to write a song that children could relate to and would enjoy singing. The choral version of her song was performed by the Heartland Youth Choir at the Iowa State Fair in August and is being performed by other school choirs around the state. She has had feedback that a contemporary song like “Iowa Gold” should replace the state song of Iowa, which was written in 1897. “We wanted to promote the feeling of pride, especially with young people, so that they will appreciate the resources they have and take care of them for the long term,” said Ms. Pitt.
Jane Roman Pitt is a recording artist, songwriter, and composer. She is co-director of the Creative Musical Arts Program at MUM. Ken West is a fourth generation photographer who teaches photography and business classes at MUM.
Watch the Iowa Gold video here
Listen to an interview with Ms. Pitt and Mr. West on Iowa Public Radio’s Talk of Iowa