The Des Moines Symphony launched a campaign to support the organization’s Academy at its Masterworks 2 concerts this past weekend. The Academy is designed as a musical community where motivated instrumental students of all ages and backgrounds can learn from renowned professional musicians and educators. This effort to support the Academy is part of the Symphony’s ongoing Sound of the City campaign, which began in 2019 to increase support of the Des Moines Symphony Foundation.  

With unprecedented closures and postponements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Symphony has relied on the support of its donors now more than ever to sustain normal operations so that the organization can continue making music for years to come, including the talented youth who aspire via the Academy to be the next generation of musical artists.

“Students come from all over central Iowa to participate in the Academy, some even as far away as 60 miles, or an hour’s drive. Unfortunately, since the pandemic, the Symphony and its Academy have realized an even greater need for financial strength and sustainability to not only maintain operations but to achieve an even higher level of artistic and educational excellence.”

Joshua Barlage, Symphony Academy Managing Director

The Academy was established in 2003 and welcomes students ranging from 3 years of age to adults. Students come from a variety of backgrounds and experience, from beginners to adult students who have played instruments earlier in life and are looking to revisit their talent. In a typical year, approximately 600 students participate in the Academy.

Like the Symphony, the Academy is dependent upon the generosity of donors to continue to offer excellent teaching, innovative programming and performances of great symphonic music. Gifts from individuals and foundations help the Symphony fund scholarships for Academy students, which the students can then use toward their tuition. Scholarships are awarded for any Academy program, including private lessons, ensembles, camps and special programs. The Symphony is seeking to raise $500,000 that will endow a scholarship fund for the Academy. 

At the Symphony’s Masterworks 2 concerts, the organization officially launched the Academy campaign through a video announcement, which highlighted the Academy students, instructors and orchestral talent. Individuals interested in learning more about the Academy and how they can support the next generation of musical artists can visit the Symphony’s website. All donations big and small are welcome and appreciated.