DMSO and DMPA unveil new acoustic shell

September 29, 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: September 24, 2015

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


DES MOINES – The Des Moines Symphony and Des Moines Performing Arts are pleased to share details about the completion of phase one of a collaborative acoustic project – a new state-of-the-art orchestra shell – which will be publicly unveiled September 26 & 27 at the Des Moines Symphony’s Season Debut concerts at the Des Moines Civic Center. Designed by Joseph Myers of Kirkegaard Associates, the acoustic shell creates a greater sense of spaciousness, envelopment, warmth and liveliness of sound, ensuring our audiences a balanced and exciting acoustical Des Moines Symphony experience for years to come.

The acoustic shell is made possible with support from Principal Financial Group, W.T. & Edna M. Dahl Trust and Prairie Meadows.

This phase of the project includes three primary enhancements:

  1. A new maple veneer shell – made by Wenger Corporation – with a curved shape that projects sound more effectively to both Orchestra musicians onstage and to our audience.
  2. Cloth-covered felt and hardboard panels that cover the side walls in the hall and absorb higher frequencies, creating clearer sound for the audience.
  3. Textured, reinforced gypsum board along the back wall to make the sound from stage more resonant.

Subsequent phases of the project include raising the proscenium arch above the stage to better carry sound waves to the front and middle parts of the hall.

The Des Moines Symphony welcomes media to take non-flash photos and up to two minutes of video b-roll of the Orchestra in the new shell at 8:30 pm on Saturday, September 26 at the Civic Center. If you are interested, please contact Sophia S. Ahmad, Director of Marketing & Public Relations at 515.280.4000, ext. 4011 or
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 organization also produces and performs the Des Moines Symphony’s annual Yankee Doodle Pops concert in July on the grounds of the Iowa State Capitol, which attracts more than 100,000, the largest single day attendance of any concert event in the State.


Des Moines Performing Arts is a private not-for-profit organization celebrating 36 years of presenting the performing arts to Iowa and the surrounding states on four stages in Des Moines – the Civic Center, the Stoner Theater, the Temple Theater and the newly renovated outdoor space, Cowles Commons. Des Moines Performing Arts is a presenter of major Broadway and educational touring companies, performers and groups, and is home to many local and regional groups, including the Des Moines Symphony. All performances of the Broadway Series are supported by Willis Auto Campus. All performances at the Temple Theater are supported by Prairie Meadows. All performances of the Family Series are supported by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield. For more information, visit