Des Moines Symphony announces 75th Anniversary Campaign & Leadership Gifts

May 15, 2012

Joseph Giunta, Music Director & Conductor
Richard L. Early, Executive Director
The Temple For Performing Arts ● 1011 Locust St.
Des Moines, IA 50309

Date: May 15, 2012

Contact: Sophia Ahmad, Director of Marketing & Public Relations ● 515.280.4011 ●



Des Moines, IA – At its May 12 & 13 Season Finale concerts, The Des Moines Symphony Orchestra announced the launch of its 75th Anniversary Endowment Campaign – Orchestrating the Future. The campaign is poised to raise $7.5 million on behalf of the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra and Academy in celebration of the Orchestra’s 75th season.

This comprehensive campaign expands the current endowment to more than $10 million and raises funds for two capital projects, including the design and construction of a new state-of-the-art acoustical shell for the Orchestra’s performances at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines and renovations to the Symphony Academy’s performance and rehearsal spaces at The Temple for Performing Arts.

The campaign is led by a group of nineteen community leaders and is co-chaired by Dr. Rebecca Shaw, local obstetrician and gynecologist and Paul Schickler, President of Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont Business.

Schickler announced to the concert audiences that $5.3 million has been raised to date. Leadership gifts have been received from Honorary Campaign Chairs Linda and Tom Koehn, from Dr. Stephen C. Smith and from Pioneer Hi-Bred.

The Koehns have been long and loyal supporters of the Des Moines Symphony and stepped forward with the first gift to the campaign, which endows the Music Director & Conductor position.

“We believe that under the direction of Maestro Giunta the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra has achieved phenomenal artistic success, both in its sound and it is repertory,” the Koehns said.

“We feel privileged to be a supporting part of this and believe an Orchestra is an essential part of the cultural fabric of a vibrant community. This campaign can assure the continuation of that vibrancy for Des Moines. While it is true that the economic climate and the shift in popular cultural commitments make this a difficult time for many orchestras in America, the Des Moines Symphony has remained sound. And with the success of this campaign, our Orchestra will continue to be robust, both artistically and financially.”

Paul Schickler expressed the positive impact on businesses.

“In the next few years Pioneer will recruit more than 500 new professionals, scientists and skilled technicians to our Des Moines area headquarters for jobs in the plant genetics industry,” he said.

“We need the Des Moines Symphony as a work force development tool and a quality of life incentive to bring professionals of this level to Des Moines.  A great symphony must be a part of our city!”

For questions about the 75th Anniversary Campaign: Orchestrating the Future, please contact Sophia Ahmad at or 515.280.4004. Visit us at and
The Des Moines Symphony is a not-for-profit, full-service professional orchestra formed in 1937 to enrich, educate and entertain 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 $2.4 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, the traditional pops performance on New Year’s Eve, education, outreach and family concerts,  and other special events in its home at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines. 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 last year attracted more than 100,000, the largest single day attendance of any concert event in the State.  -DMSO-