Des Moines Symphony & Academy receives $150,000 Cowles Foundation gift for new program

July 10, 2015

Joseph Giunta, Music Director & Conductor
Richard L. Early, Executive Director
The Temple for Performing Arts ● 1011 Locust Street, Suite 200 ● Des Moines, IA 50309
Date: July 10, 2015

Contact: Sophia S. Ahmad, Director of Marketing & Public Relations ● 515.280.4000, ext. 4011 ●

Des Moines Symphony & Academy receives $150,000 Cowles Foundation gift for new program

DES MOINES, IOWA – The Des Moines Symphony & Academy is pleased to receive a $150,000 gift from The Gardner & Florence Call Cowles Foundation to establish The Cowles Collaborative Artist Program, an initiative that will connect world-class musicians – including the highly-accomplished musicians of the Des Moines Symphony – to Central Iowa youth.

This comprehensive collaborative artist program will further strengthen the Symphony Academy’s ensembles and Youth Orchestras programs by creating new, prestigious performance opportunities that bolster student interaction with these artists.

Through the program, Symphony Academy students will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn from internationally renowned Des Moines Symphony guest artists
  • Collaborate with Des Moines Symphony musicians through increased coaching and mentoring opportunities with the Symphony Academy’s Youth Orchestras and Honors Ensembles
  • Perform in one of four Youth Orchestras, including a newly created Youth Orchestra that accommodates increased ensemble

    Des Moines Symphony Youth Symphony

    participation and mentoring opportunities for our youngest musicians

“We know that learning music transforms the brain in positive and permanent ways, and we actively seek out opportunities that expand and deepen our students’ interaction with high-quality music-making,” said Symphony Academy Managing Director Joshua Barlage.

“Through the generosity of the Cowles Foundation, these unique and necessary hands-on mentorship opportunities will prepare our Symphony Academy students to learn, interact and perform at the highest levels possible.”

For questions or to interview Joshua Barlage, please contact Sophia S. Ahmad at or 515.280.4000, ext. 4011.

The Des Moines Symphony is a not-for-profit, professional orchestra formed in 1937 to enrich, educate and inspire the community by performing great orchestral music. The Symphony Association, governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees and operating on an annual budget of more than $3 million, supports the Symphony Academy and its numerous music education programs including three youth orchestras, and supports the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra which performs seven pairs of Masterworks concerts, Pops concerts including the traditional New Year’s Eve Pops, education, outreach and family concerts,  and other special events in its home at the Des Moines Civic Center. The Des Moines Symphony also produces and performs the annual Yankee Doodle Pops concert in July on the grounds of the Iowa State Capitol, which for the past several years attracted more than 100,000, the largest single day attendance of any concert event in the State.  -DMSO-

The Des Moines Symphony Academy is a year-round institution dedicated to offering outstanding music education to student musicians ages three to adult. Founded in 2003 and located in downtown Des Moines at The Temple for Performing Arts, the Academy serves more than 470 students each week through private and group lessons and ensemble training and performance, including three youth orchestras. The Des Moines Symphony Academy provides enriching, comprehensive and interactive music education experiences where talented and motivated instrumental students become accomplished musicians through musical study and memorable performances taught, directed and mentored by recognized professional musicians and
educators.  -DMSA-