Youth Concerts

Youth Concerts

Central Iowa fourth and fifth graders will experience the power and beauty of a full symphony orchestra at these specially designed youth concerts. For most students, this is their first exposure to live, orchestral music. Thousands of students attend this concert each year. Reservations are required. To inquire about attending, please contact Joshua Barlage, Symphony Academy Managing Director, at 515.280.3332 or

2019 Concert Dates:
Wed Mar 13 at 10:30 a.m. (SOLD OUT)
Wed Mar 13 at 12:00 p.m. (Limited Availability)
Des Moines Civic Center

Cost: $3.50/person (1 complimentary teacher/chaperone ticket per 20 students)

Youth Concerts School Credit Card Authorization Form

Teachers, please visit the Connecting Kids and Culture website for information on securing transportation funding as well as curriculum connections.


– Our Teacher’s Resource Guide has been prepared to provide helpful information about your student’s upcoming concert experience.
2019 Teacher’s Resource Guide

SUGGESTED LESSON PLANS – The following lessons plans have been prepared by Kendra Leisinger.  Ms. Leisinger is an Elementary General Music Teacher in the Ankeny School District.
A Note to Music Educators 2019

Peter Boyer – Ellis Island: The Dream of America for Actors & Orchestra
Learn more about the stories included in Peter Boyer’s Ellis Island
Ellis Island – Going to America-My Bonnie Games
Ellis Island – Peter Boyer Interactive Tour
Ellis Island Questions and Reflection
Going to America Game Directions
Pack a Suitcase

Dvorak Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, “From the New World”
New World Symphony – Active Listening

Bernstein Overture to Candide
Overture to Candide – Bernstein
Orchestra Instrument Family Shout-Out Game

Ives Variations on “America”
Variations on America Theme and Variations 3-part plan
Variations Chart
Variations on America – Movement
Variations on America Movement Directions

Audience Participation 
Also, students (and teachers!!) will the have the opportunity to participate in a sing along of My, Country ‘Tis of Thee with the Des Moines Symphony at our Youth Concerts. Music for this patriotic tune can be found in the Teacher’s Resource Guide.

Active Listening For Your Information
Vocabulary for Musical Elements

 – The following video clips will provide listening examples of pieces you and your student will hear performed live at  our Youth Concerts.  These video clips have been carefully chosen as historic and famous performances by leading conductors and orchestras.

Bernstein Overture to Candide
London Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Bernstein, conducting

Ives Variations on “America”
The Philadelphia Orchestra

Eugene Ormandy, conducting

Peter Boyer  Ellis Island: The Dream of America for Actors and Orchestra
Philharmonia Orchestra

Peter Boyer, conducting 

Words of Helen Cohen

Words of James Aponomith

Words of Katherine Beychok

Epilogue “The New Colossus”

Dvorak Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, “From the New World”
Vienna Philharmonic 

Herbert von Karajan, conducting

The 2019 Youth Concerts are made possible in part through the generous support of: