The Des Moines Symphony today announced the cancellation of its January 8 & 9 performances of Carmina Burana. All ticketholders have been notified directly by the Symphony; those who have not received direct communication should contact the Civic Center Ticket Office at 515.246.2300 to discuss their ticketing options.

Carmina Burana, originally scheduled in March 2020, was to be performed by the Symphony in collaboration with the Des Moines Vocal Arts Ensemble (Timothy A. McMillin, Director), the Des Moines Choral Society (James Rodde, Director), the Drake University/Community Chorus (Eric Barnum, Director), and the Heartland Youth Choir (Sandy Miller, Director).

“This is the program we were rehearsing when COVID-19 first emerged and forced a postponement.  We were all looking forward very much to performing Carmina Burana this season now that we are back in the Civic Center performing live once again,” said Richard Early, the Symphony’s Executive Director. “Unfortunately, after much consideration by our COVID-19 Response Team due to the continuing  pandemic, and the added challenge of safely fitting onstage - beyond the 95 member Orchestra employed for our regular concerts - an additional 180 singers plus soloists, we do not feel we can guarantee a healthy performing environment for our Orchestra musicians or our four partner choruses. The Civic Center stage simply will not accommodate nearly 300 performers and still provide for the safe distancing guidelines recommended by the CDC plus adhere to current performing arts industry safety standards.  Rather than delay the concert once again and hope for a better outcome a few months down the road, we’ve made the difficult decision to cancel the performances entirely.”

"While I am committed to performing this piece in a future season, I think this is the only safe decision we can make at this time. I’ve spoken with all the choral directors we’d planned to work with on this concert, and everyone’s top priority is ensuring the health and safety of all involved. We’ve certainly been looking forward to this piece for a long time, and I hope we’ll be able to program it on a future season very soon."

Joseph Giunta, Music Director & Conductor

Ticketholders for these concerts can choose from a variety of ticketing options including donating the value of their tickets back to the Symphony, exchanging into another Masterworks concert, or requesting a refund. Ticketholders can contact the Civic Center Ticket Office at 515.246.2300, via email at, or in person at 221 Walnut St, Des Moines, from 10am-5pm Monday through Friday. Requests for refunds or exchanges should be submitted by Friday, December 10.

Carmina Burana was not part of the Symphony’s regular 2021-2022 Masterworks Season package; it was an add-on concert. The remainder of the Symphony’s current season at the Civic Center, which began on September 24, will continue as scheduled.