Past Music Director & Conductor
Rod Sharpe graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London as a cello major, where he studied with Muriel Taylor, and subsequently also took lessons from Anna Shuttleworth. As a teacher and freelance musician, Rod was director of ensembles for the City of Sheffield Instrumental Music Service, and a founder member of the Cavendish Ensemble.
During the 1980s he collaborated extensively with the eminent Anglo-Hungarian violinist, Kato Havas, and her "New Approach" to string playing. Havas introduced Sharpe to John Ehrlich, professor of cello at Drake University. On a Fulbright Exchange, Rod came to Iowa in 1982-3 to study with Erhlich.
From 1983 to1987, Sharpe was music director of the Oxford Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra, and conductor of the International Festival Orchestra of Oxford. He returned to Des Moines in 1987 to obtain his MM degree in orchestral conducting, studying with John Canarina at Drake, during which time he was also Conductor of the Des Moines Community Orchestra, as well as guest conductor of the Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra.
A back injury led Rod to a decision to embark on a new career path, and an MLS from the University of Iowa. Since 1995, Sharpe has worked as Access Services Librarian at Western Illinois University. Currently Rod is writing a book about conductors in America, and maintains a website devoted to the Austrian tenor, Julius Patzak. In June, 2006, Rod will become Music Librarian at WIU.