Can you find Waldo in between all of our musicians? As we prepare for our 75th Anniversary Season, we want to celebrate our great musicians and conductor, Joseph Giunta, as they prepare for our biggest season yet. Just like Waldo is always in the thick of things, we hope our friends and patrons in Central Iowa can get involved in the excitement and fun of our next season!
On Tue Jul 17, the Des Moines Symphony held a ribbon cutting to celebrate its 75th Anniversary Season, the 10th Anniversary of the Symphony Academy and its new administrative offices at The Temple for Performing Arts!
L to R: Russ Bitterman, Des Moines Symphony office architect and former Association Board member; Richard L. Early, Des Moines Symphony Executive Director; Casey Port, Hubbell Construction; Steven M. Nadel, Association Board Co-President; Joseph Giunta, Music Director & Conductor; MD Isley, BRAVO Greater Des Moines Executive Director; Jake Christensen, President, Christensen Development; Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership; Pamela Bass-Bookey, Temple Partners; Sophia Ahmad, Des Moines Symphony Director of Marketing & Public Relations.
Last week, the Academy hosted its Rhythm Boom! summer percussion camp. Aaron Williams, the Des Moines Symphony’s principal percussionist, taught the camp which was designed for students in grades 1-5. We had two great students this year, Roger Phillips and Jesse Floyd, and they had a lot of fun with activities that incorporated hands-on performance with a wide variety of percussion instruments, from African hand drums to household objects. We especially enjoyed hearing them practice their bass drum technique - you could hear it throughout the whole building!
Having a hard time get your kid to practice his or her instrument? Self-motivated discipline isn’t exactly first nature for most kids, so it’s up to families to help create positive, engaging and fun ways to practice as a path towards self-motivation.
Help us welcome our Des Moines Symphony Academy summer intern Neil Erbes! Neil is a Des Moines native and a senior at Drake University, pursuing a degree in music business with a minor in marketing. He’s a percussionist with the Drake University Wind Ensemble and his other interests include boating, biking, film (movies), reading and sports.
Congratulations to this year’s winner of the Oh Say, Can You Sing? Competition, Leah McIntire-Barnett! Here’s a little more detailed information on who exactly will be singing in front of over 100,000 people with the Des Moines Symphony this year.
Leah McIntire-Barnett has won accolades as both a cellist and soprano, and has been awarded state, regional, and national titles in various vocal competitions; she has also appeared in numerous masterclasses with various artists, including Cheryl Studer and Simon Estes. McIntire-Barnett earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Voice and Cello from Drake University in the spring of 2012. She is a six-time winner of the National Association of Teachers of Singing state and regional competitions, and in 2008 won the Music Teachers’ National Association state, regional, and national competitions in the Senior Division; in addition, she has soloed on both voice and cello with the Drake Symphony Orchestra and the Ft. Dodge Area Symphony. In the summer of 2010, McIntire-Barnett was asked to travel to Italy to perform the lead role of Violetta Valery in La Traviata with La Musica Lirica, a prominent summer program held in Novafeltria, Italy. McIntire-Barnett is the youngest singer ever to be accepted into the Opera Division, and the youngest soprano to sing a lead role with La Musica Lirica. McIntire-Barnett has also been featured in concerts with the world-renowned bass-baritone and Iowa native, Simon Estes. McIntire-Barnett maintains a private studio for both cello and voice students at her home in Des Moines, where she resides with her husband, Dave Barnett.