Des Moines Symphony to perform at the Iowa State Fair

July 20, 2016


DES MOINES – For the first time in more than twenty years, the Des Moines Symphony will perform on opening night of the Iowa State Fair.

At the invitation of the State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation, Music Director & Conductor Joseph Giunta and the musicians of the Des Moines Symphony are pleased to announce a special family-friendly, patriotic performance on August 11 to kick off this year’s Iowa State Fair.  The Symphony’s performance takes place at the FREE MidAmerican Energy Stage on Thursday, August 11 at 6:30pm.

Fresh off his much-lauded appearance at the Des Moines Symphony’s 23rd Yankee Doodle Pops, Broadway star Hugh Panaro (The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables) returns to sing classics of the American songbook and patriotic favorites with the Des Moines Symphony. Barbershop quartet Vintage Sound will perform a special tribute to Meredith Willson’s Iowa classic, The Music Man. Along with these esteemed guest performances, the Des Moines Symphony will play patriotic favorites including The Stars & Stripes Forever and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

The Symphony’s Iowa State Fair Concert also features a very special composition inspired by the Iowa State Fair itself. Peter Hamlin’s musical celebration of the sights and sounds of the Iowa State Fair, Symphony on a Stick, was commissioned by the Des Moines Symphony on opening night of its 2015-2016 Season, and the Orchestra is honored to share this larger-than-life tribute – including accompanying cinematography on a giant screen suspended above the Orchestra – at the very event which inspired its composition.

Download high-resolution photos here.

Please visit for full program details or for more information on the Des Moines Symphony’s 2016-2017 season. For questions about this concert or to interview Joseph Giunta, please contact Megan Helmers 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 $3.2 million, supports the Symphony Academy and its numerous music education programs including four youth orchestras, and supports the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra which performs seven pairs of Masterworks concerts, a Pops series 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.