Des Moines Symphony Academy Campaign 

The Des Moines Symphony Academy was established in 2003 and welcomes approximately 600 students each year. Students range from young children 3 years of age to adults wishing to revisit their musical talent. Students from a variety of backgrounds and experience participate in the Academy’s programs to learn from renowned professional musicians and educators.

Thank you!

On behalf of the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra and Academy, thank you for your support of the Sound of the City campaign. Because of the generosity of so many, we surpassed our $7 million campaign goal. These gifts will allow us to continue to create extraordinary live musical experiences and outstanding educational programs for years to come, ensuring the sound of our city lives on.

As the campaign comes to an end, we continue to ask for your support in helping fund our tuition assistance program. The Des Moines Symphony Academy strives to make music education accessible to all. Your donation will help us fulfill a scholarship fund to cover tuition for Academy students needing financial assistance.

Every child deserves to discover their full capabilities, and studies have shown music programs lead to improved academic performance in kids. Help a student today by donating to our tuition assistance scholarship program. Please join us in supporting the talented individuals who are seeking to produce the sound of our city for the future.

Campaign Leadership Gifts

The Des Moines Symphony Orchestra and Academy are very grateful for the generous donations we’ve received for our programs through the Sound of the City campaign. Our sincerest thanks to the nearly one hundred donors who supported the campaign, including the following individuals, foundations and corporations for their leadership commitments of $25,000 or more.


  • Fred & Charlotte Hubbell
  • Linda & Tom Koehn
  • Dr. Stephen C. Smith


  • Nixon Lauridsen & Virginia Croskery Lauridsen
  • John Ruan Foundation Trust


  • Harry & Pamela Bookey - The Harry & Pamela Bass-Bookey Charitable Foundation
  • Douglas B. Dorner, M.D. & Carole Villeneuve
  • Gail and the late Stanley Richards
  • Marian W. Sharpe Revocable Trust


  • Barbara Beatty
  • Burnett Family Foundation
  • John & Irene Graether
  • Principal Foundation
  • The Rosenberg Family in honor of Audrey and Dr. Harlan Rosenberg
  • Dr. Steven & Keely Rosenberg
  • Eileen & Paul Tyler
  • Fred & Emily Weitz


  • Amy Beattie
  • Patty & Jim Cownie Charitable Trust
  • Selma N. Duvick Estate
  • Easter Family Fund
  • Meredith Corporation Foundation
  • Drs. Robert & Rebecca Shaw
  • Marvin E. Simonsen Trust


  • Harold & Sylvia Ashby
  • Shelley & Martin Brody
  • The Graham Group, Inc.
  • Trudy Holman Hurd
  • The Nelson Foundation
  • James G. Piros & Ruth A. Wright-Piros, in memory of Dr. Nathan Josephson
  • Anastasia Polydoran, in memory of Dr. Paul A. Polydoran
  • Angie & Brian Sanders
  • Cherie & Bob Shreck, in honor of Drs. Robert & Rebecca Shaw
  • Douglas & Deborah West

Ways to Participate

All donations big and small are greatly appreciated and make a difference. Your donation means a child who may not be able to meet tuition for the Academy can get the funds they need through our scholarship program. Here are the ways you can participate to help us get to our $500,000 goal to endow a scholarship fund:

  • Outright gifts as well as multiyear commitments. For multiyear commitments, pledges can be fulfilled over three to five years.
  • Consider making a gift of appreciated stock through an IRA or a donor-advised fund.
  • Planned gifts, including bequests and trusts, give you the opportunity to leave your legacy for the next generation of music lovers.

For more information on ways you can participate, please contact Andrea C. Solomon, Director of Development, at 515-280-4000 x4016 or