Our past Season was one of special significance due to the investment of nearly 800 individuals, corporations and foundations totaling $1.6 million in Annual Fund gifts. Their support made it possible for more than 140,305 Central Iowans to enjoy great symphonic music at the Des Moines Civic Center, on the Iowa State Capitol grounds during Yankee Doodle Pops and through Water Works Pops – our brand new summer concert series. Thank you!
2018-2019 Season Highlights
Growing Our Artistic Excellence
- Through the generosity of longtime supporters, Eileen and Paul Tyler, we recognized Des Moines Symphony musician Kevin Judge with a prestigious named chair – the Eileen and Paul Tyler Principal Bassoon Chair.
- The Symphony continues to attract musicians from across the country for auditions, which is a testament to its artistic excellence. Three new talented musicians won auditions to join the Symphony – Madeline Capistran and Bethany Washington, 2nd violin and Andrew Bishop, Principal Trumpet. In addition, current Orchestra musician, Matthew Halbert, won the audition for Bass Trombone.
Expanding & Broadening Our Audiences
- The Des Moines Symphony held its first Sensory-Friendly Concert held at the Temple for Performing Arts featuring Des Moines Symphony musicians. We welcomed over 83 families into an inviting concert experience including storytelling, music and imagery. Read more about this concert here!
- Over 8,982 fans attended Harry Potter and Star Wars film concerts at the Civic Center featuring the Des Moines Symphony. You can read the raving review of the Star Wars concert here!
Expanding Access to Music Education
- More than 5,000 4th and 5th grade elementary students joined us at the Civic Center for our annual school-day Youth Concerts in March. For many, this was the first time they experienced live symphonic music in concert. As one attendee exclaimed, it’s their “favorite field trip of the year.”
- Building upon the success of the Symphony Academy Youth Orchestras program, we introduced the Youth Wind Ensemble this spring. Over 30 middle and high school students participated in this brand new ensemble in its first year. Learn more about the ensemble here!
- Each year, select members of the Youth Symphony are invited to participate in a number of Youth Orchestras Honors Ensembles. Last season, the Youth Orchestras Honors String Quartet was awarded First Place in the Finals of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Youth Chamber Music Competition. Read about the Youth Orchestras Honors Ensembles program and learn about the quartet's First Place Award.
Serving Our Community
- In January, the Des Moines Symphony offered free tickets to furloughed federal employees for Masterworks concerts in the 2018-19 Season and over 50 individuals and their families attended concerts as our guests.
- Through generous lead support from Linda and Tom Koehn, the Des Moines Symphony launched a brand new summer concert series at Water Works Park. More than 5,000 families and friends joined the Symphony two Sunday evenings in July for free concerts set against the city skyline. Read more about the Water Works Pops Concert series here!
- The Des Moines Symphony chose its first-ever Mini Maestro at the second Water Works Pops concert on July 28. Click here to see four-year-old Elliot make his debut conducting the Superman Theme at Water Works Park!