Julie Fox Henson










Julie Fox Henson is the Assistant Concertmaster of the DesMoines Symphony, in addition to performing as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the area. Ms. Henson enjoys a successful teaching studio in the Ames/Des Moines area, and was voted the 2010 Leopold LaFosse Studio Teacher of the Year by the Iowa String Teachers Association.  Since the summer of 2001, she has been a member of the Belin String Quartet. Ms. Henson performed throughout the U.S. and parts of Europe and South America from 1982 to 1992 as first violinist of the Montclaire String Quartet. The ensemble won first place in the Coleman and Monterey Chamber Music Competitions in California, and a prize at the Evian String Quartet Competition in France.


Tracy Engman Finkelshteyn











Violinist Tracy Engman Finkelshteyn, a Des Moines native, returned to Iowa in June, 2004.  She earned her Bachelor of Music Education and Doctor of Music degrees from Northwestern University and a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music.  Ms. Finkelshteyn was a member of the first violin sections of the Winnipeg Symphony and Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and has served on the faculty of several Universities including Northwestern, St. Olaf College, Carleton College and North Carolina State University.  She was also the first violinist of the Aurora String Quartet, based in Minneapolis and of the North Carolina Symphony Quartet.  Ms. Finkelshteyn was a member of the Des Moines Symphony from 1978 to 1980 and rejoined the Symphony in 2004 upon her return to Iowa.  In 2005, she joined the Belin Quartet.  Ms. Finkelshteyn also maintains a vibrant private violin studio.


George Work











George Work, professor of cello at Iowa State University, holds his bachelor’s and master’s degrees of music and the performer’s certificate from the Eastman School of Music. In 1981, he joined the Ames Piano Quartet, in residence at ISU. The Quartet has performedthroughout North America and has released twelve critically acclaimed recordings. International appearances include engagements in Austria, France, Taiwan, Mexico, Cuba and, RussiaWork has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras in the U.S., as well as in Taiwan, and Russia. He has taught and performed at numerous summer festivals, including the Schlern International Festival, Madeleine Island, the Texas Music Festival, and the Brevard Music Festival, among others. Work’s recording of the Ibert Concerto for Cello and Winds with the Baton Rouge Symphony Chamber Players, was released in September of 2012.   In addition to concertizing with the Ames (now Amara) Piano Quartet, George Work is also a member of the Belin String Quartet and the Des Moines Symphony.


Benjamin Davis

Benjamin Davis is currently serving as the interim violist for the Belin Quartet’s 2017 season. A Twin Cities-based performer, teacher, and administrator, Benjamin received his Bachelor of Music from the University of Minnesota. He is a member of the Quad City Symphony and a substitute violin-violist for Orchestra Iowa, Des Moines Symphony, South Dakota Symphony and principal substitute for the Mankato Symphony. He is also a member of the Lux String Quartet and an improviser in the improvisatory sting ensembles Wormwood and Improvestra.


John Helmich











Violinist John Helmich, a Davenport, Iowa native, received his Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance and his Master of Music degree in Violin Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music. While there, he was awarded the Howard Hanson Scholarship and graduated with High Distinction.

An avid soloist, as well as chamber musician, Mr. Helmich has performed in concerts and recitals throughout the United States. He is currently a member of the Derazey Piano Trio, the Belin Quartet, the Des Moines Metro Opera, and the Des Moines Symphony. He has served as Principal Second Violin of the Des Moines Metro Opera, and is currently Associate Concertmaster. He is currently a member of the first violin section of the Des Moines Symphony. In addition, Mr. Helmich has collaborated with today’s pop and jazz musicians including Josh Groban, Amy Grant, Max Wellman, and Mannheim Steamroller. He has also performed with numerous national touring Broadway shows.


Sherida Josephson











Sherida Josephson holds a Master of Music degree in viola performance and a Doctor of Musical Arts in performance and pedagogy from the University of Iowa, where she studied with William Preucil, Allen Ohmes, and Charles Traeger.  For the past eleven years, she has been the violist in the Belin String Quartet.  Dr. Josephson has taught viola at the University of Iowa and at Drake University.  She is the co-director of the Des Moines Area Suzuki Institute and currently serves on the Des Moines Symphony board of trustees. Sherida is currently on leave of absence from the 2017 Belin Quartet.

On June 30, 1925 a group of dedicated, passionate individuals started a small organization with a big mission. Since that momentous founding 90 years ago, Civic Music Association has grown as an exceptional establishment in central Iowa. We invite you to join in celebrating our 90th season with a week of musical, educational and engaging activities leading up to a prodigious performance by Philip Glass on April 6, 2014.

For the chance to win a pair of tickets to a 2014-2015 season concert of choice, post on social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) with the tag #cma90 at all following 90th Anniversary Celebration Week events.

Mark your Calendar 

Founders’ Tea
Monday, March 31, 2014
10:30 a.m.
Hoyt Sherman Place, 1501 Woodland Ave, Des Moines, IA 50314

Converge in the historic venue’s parlor for light refreshments, music by the Belin Quartet and delightful company. Marjorie Spevak and Frances Shloss, daughters of CMA co-founder, Gertrude Shloss, will host the complimentary tea.

Reserve your spot by calling the CMA office at 515.280.4020.

Belin Quartet Pop-UP
Monday, March 31, 2014
12 p.m.
Americana, 1312 Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309

Expert musicians will delight at the delicious Western Gateway restaurant, Americana

Civic Music Association Ribbon Cutting
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
5 p.m.
Civic Music Association, 900 Mulberry St, Suite 2013, Des Moines IA 50309

Join the Des Moines Downtown Chamber of Commerce, CMA board members and supporters in the new CMA office space for refreshments, networking and an official ribbon cutting at 6 p.m.

Koyaanisqatsi Film Screening
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

7:00 p.m. Ambient music by Mickey Davis
7:30 p.m. Film Viewing of Koyaanisqatsi, Dr. Nicholas Roth will perform Philip Glass’ “Mad Rush” on piano immediately following the film.
Kum and Go Theater, Des Moines Social Club, 900 Mulberry St, Des Moines, IA 50309

Watch the best known of the Qatsi trilogy and 1982 cult film, “Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance.” Philip Glass composed the score and Godfrey Reggio directed.

Jazz Happy Hour
Thursday, April 3, 2014
5-7 p.m.
The Continental, 428 E Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309

Drink, eat and be with local jazz musicians and enthusiasts as live music from Max Wellman lights up the background. Full menu and drink specials will be available for purchase.

2013 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist, Vadym Kholodenko
Friday, April 4, 2014
7:30 p.m.
Sheslow Auditorium, Drake University, 2507 University Ave, Des Moines, IA 50311

Celebrate the life and legacy of Van Cliburn. The 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition winner, Vadym Kholodenko, will perform an expert program complete with compositions by Schumann, Brahms and Chopin.

The 2014-2015 season announcement will be made at the concert.

Tickets ($48, $38, $30 and $20) to the concert can be purchased at Midwestix or by calling the Civic Music Association office at 515.280.4020. Discounts are available for students prior to the concert, or a $10 student rush ticket can be purchased the evening of the show (based on availability).


Master Class with 2013 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist, Vadym Kholodenko
Saturday, April 5, 2014
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Patty and Fred Turner Jazz Center, Drake University, 2505 Carpenter Ave, Des Moines, IA 50311

Seize this exceptional opportunity to learn from the talented Vadym Kholodenko as he hosts a free master class open to the public.


Panel Discussion with Philip Glass
Saturday, April 5, 2014 – this event is SOLD OUT.  While this event is free, reservations are required.  To be added to a waiting list, please call the Civic Music Association office at 515.280.4020.
7:00 p.m.
Levitt Auditorium, Des Moines Art Center, 4700 Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312

Don’t miss this must-see summit of local music experts and pianist/composer Philip Glass discussing, “The 21st Century Concert Experience: Engaging New Audiences through Multimedia & Technology.”

The panelists, along with Glass, include Joseph Guinta, Music Director & Conductor at the Des Moines Symphony & Academy; Michael Egel, General Director of Des Moines Metro Opera; Dr. Jacob Harrison, Director of Orchestral Activities at Iowa State University; and Christopher Ford, Program Manager of Des Moines Music Coalition.

Philip Glass performing Works for Solo Piano
Sunday, April 6, 2014
1:00 p.m.
Sheslow Auditorium, Drake University, 2507 University Ave, Des Moines, IA 50311

Pianist, composer and collaborator, the extraordinary Philip Glass will narrate and perform “Works for Solo Piano” to commence the exciting 90th season of Civic Music Association.

Tickets ($50, $40, $35 and $25) to the concert can be purchased at Midwestix or by calling the Civic Music Association office at 515.280.4020. Discounts are available for students prior to the concert, or a $10 student rush ticket can be purchased the evening of the show (based on availability).

Des Moines Arts Festival® Partners with Civic Music Association for the Jazz and Wine Pavilion by Meredith
Music Organization Works to Extend Music Appreciation Throughout the Community

Music continues to be a significant part of the Des Moines Arts Festival® and this year, a new partnership with Civic Music Association will make the event’s offerings even more diverse.

“This is Civic Music’s 89th season of bringing jazz and classical music to the metro area,” said Carrie Clogg, Civic Music Association Executive Director. “Our leadership had been exploring ways to grow our reach and the Des Moines Arts Festival presented the perfect opportunity for us to partner and brand what we do year around.”

“The Jazz and Wine Pavilion presented by Meredith allows us to bring local and Iowa musicians to the stage as well as regional talent from Chicago and Minneapolis,” added Clogg. “We’ve put together a lineup that has something for everybody. Jazz is so diverse so there will be Latin, New Orleans, crossover, traditional and Belin Quartet’s jazz interpretation.”

“We really wanted to focus on the Jazz and Wine Pavilion this year and get strong partners that could bring a top of the line experience in both jazz and wine,” said Stephen King, the event’s Executive Director. “Civic Music Association has really helped us achieve this goal with the best and most diverse jazz music we have ever hosted. The music in combination with the great wine selection provided by Gateway Market will definitely make the pavilion a ‘don’t miss’ at the festival.”

The Civic Music Association is sponsoring a student jazz jam session to kick off Des Moines Arts Festival on Friday at 11 a.m.

About Civic Music Association The Civic Music Association exists to engage, enrich and educate the central Iowa community through provocative, world-class musical performances by legends and rising stars.

In its 89th year, Civic Music continues to be a unique and significant arts organization in Des Moines. The mission has not varied from its inception – to both present artistic excellent performances and foster education. By bringing world-renowned artists to central Iowa, Civic Music not only offers audiences unforgettable fine arts experiences, but also builds awareness, understanding and respect for classical, world and jazz artistry.

Jazz and Wine Pavilion by Meredith
Civic Music Association Stage Schedule

Friday, June 28  
11:00 am – Noon     Civic Music Association Student Jam Session
12:30 – 2:00              Belin Quartet
2:30 – 4:00 pm          Steve Charlson Trio
4:30 – 6:00 pm         Hot Club of Des Moines
6:30-8:00 pm            Mutiny in the Parlor
8:30-10:00 pm          Watercolours

Saturday, June 29 
10:00 -11:30 am       John Krantz Trio
Noon – 2:00 pm         Rose Colella Trio
2:30 – 4:00                 Damani Phillips Quartet
4:30 – 6:00 pm         Boteco – Bossa, Samba & R&B
6:30 – 8:30 pm          Bella Soul Jazz Trio featuring Tina Findlay
9:00 – 10:00 pm        Savannah Smith

Sunday, June 30 
10:00 am – Noon       Dave Rezek Trio
1:00 – 2:00 pm          NOLA Jazz Band
3:00-5:00 pm            Max Wellman

For additional information about each performer/performance, please visit http://desmoinesartsfestival.org/news.php

Civic Music Association Announces 88th Season

Civic Music Association is proud to announce its 2012/13 season featuring exciting and diverse musical talents and styles.  Now in our 88th year, Civic Music Association continues to be a Central Iowa leader in presenting music that spans classical and jazz genres, in addition to providing free educational opportunities through its Partners in Music Education programs for the community.  All concerts are presented on the Jordan Stage, Sheslow Auditorium at Drake University and include a pre-concert talk or activity.

Click here for Season Tickets!

Shuffle. Play. Listen featuring Christopher O’Riley and Matt Haimovitz

September 21, 2012

Pianist Christopher O’Riley and cellist Matt Haimovitz join together to explore the lyrical and virtuosic properties of their instruments in a collaboration that crosses in and out of the classical and pop music genres. The program showcases their talents as collaborators and soloists, defining what it means to be an artist in the 21st Century. Audiences will hear works of Bach and Gabrielli, Radiohead and Arcade Fire, Piazzolla and Stravinsky. A double CD recording, on Oxingale, was released in the fall of 2011 to rave reviews.

Christian McBride & Inside Straight

October 12, 2012

Christian McBride is the premier bassist on the today’s jazz and pop scene.  He is simply without peer on his instrument and the first choice as collaborator for everyone from Sting and Billy Joel to Sonny Rollins and Pat Metheny.  With his latest ensemble, Inside Straight, McBride has created “Kind of Brown,” a masterwork of upbeat, straight ahead jazz with a strong bebop feel and swing, a tribute to Ray Brown and the very significant musical legacy that is in danger of being forgotten.  This concert is sponsored by EMC Insurance Companies.

90 Miles featuring Stefon Harris, David Sanchez and Nicholas Payton

December 8, 2012

The Cuban American jazz band Ninety Miles is a three-piece group consisting of Stefon Harris (vibes), David Sanchez (saxophone), and Nicholas Payton (trumpet). The collaboration of these three outstanding musicians has created a unique collection of songs, blending traditional bebop with Latin and afro-Caribbean influence. Their highly anticipated 9-track album was recorded in Havana, Cuba over the course of a week and features the talents of the Cuban pianists Rember Duharte and Harold- Lopez Nussa, adding to the authentic Cuban flavor in the band’s music.

Anonymous 4

February 8, 2013

Renowned for their unearthly vocal blend and virtuosic ensemble singing, the four women of Anonymous 4 combine historical scholarship with contemporary performance intuition to create their magical sound. The ensemble has performed on major concert series and at festivals throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, including appearances at Tanglewood, Wolftrap, BBC Proms, Edinburgh Festival and the Brisbane Biennial.


Jim Hall Trio

March 2, 2013

In a career spanning nearly seven decades, Jim Hall’s musical style has been in a state of continuous development throughout. With each new concert tour and recording Jim reveals yet another facet of himself, not just as a player and composer, but also as a collaborator and explorer.  “Jim Hall is the reigning master of the jazz guitar. This poetic player says more with fewer notes than any living improviser.”
— The New Yorker

Miro Quartet with Colin Currie

April 6, 2013

Percussionist Colin Currie has established a unique reputation for his charismatic and
virtuosic performances. Regularly commissioning and recording new works, he has made an inspirational contribution to the percussion repertoire and has emerged as one of today’s most innovative and compelling artists.  Joining Currie will be the colorful
and dynamic Miró Quartet, one of America’s highest-profile chamber groups enjoying its place at the top of the international chamber music scene. The quartet captivates audiences and critics around the world with its startling intensity and fresh perspective.

Max Wellman with the Belin Quartet – Subscription Add-On Concert

July 20 & 21, 2012

Join jazz vocalist Max Wellman and the Belin Quartet for an all new, innovative show debuting the work of composer Sam Wells. Wellman has been working with Sam Wells for over a year on this concert, drawing on his classical training to create a new kind of American music… a true hybrid between the classical world and the Great American Songbook. Featuring the talents of the superb Belin Quartet, this concert is sure to be one-of-a-kind.


Philip Glass is one of the most influential composers of the late 20th Century.  In celebration of Glass’ 75th birthday this month, some of central Iowa’s finest musicians are coming together to perform an evening of Glass’ compositions.

The Belin Quartet, Jonathan Sturm, Nicholas Roth, and others will perform works from Einstein on the Beach, Akhnaten, Orphee, String Quartet No.5, as well as a variety of solo pieces.

The concert will held on Friday, February 17, at 7:30 PM in Sheslow Auditorium, on the campus of Drake University.  Admission is free.


May 21, 2011

Civic Music Association       A Rich Tradition of Musical Excellence

The Civic Music Association exists to engage, enrich and educate the central Iowa community through provocative, world-class musical performances by legends and rising stars.

In its 92nd season Civic Music has a long and prestigious history as a significant arts organization in Des Moines. The mission has not varied from its inception – to both present world class performances and foster music education. By bringing world-renowned artists to central Iowa, Civic Music not only offers audiences unforgettable musical experiences, but also builds awareness, understanding and respect for classical, world and jazz music.

The organization was founded on June 30, 1925, by Mrs. Elsa Neumann, Mrs. Gertrude Shloss and Mrs. Arthur Cowles with the following mission statement:

“The object of this association shall be the advancement of Des Moines as a music center; to merge varied musical interests of the city into one coordinating agency to serve as a clearing house for civic music activities; to develop our own musical resources; to promote a series of artist concerts at popular prices; to create a fund to be used to provide for our city permanent advantages and facilities such as a municipal organ, a municipal band, community singing, a chorus, music scholarships, etc.”

To that end, many accomplishments were realized including providing a municipal organ for the Veterans Memorial Auditorium, donations to the Municipal Band with its ‘Music Under the Stars’ concerts and the Drake-Des Moines Symphony Orchestra, concerts featuring many of the country’s leading symphony orchestras, education programs for Des Moines school pupils, and the funding of numerous music scholarships.

Since that time, Civic Music has presented a continuous concert series to include such notable performances as Sergei Rachmaninoff, Artur Rubinstein, Esperanza Spalding, Beverly Sills, Isaac Stern, Vienna Boys Choir, Joshua Bell, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble, and Frederica von Stade. In 1990, Civic Music added jazz to its series and among the high caliber artists featured include Wynton Marsalis, Arturo Sandoval, John Pizzarelli, Joe Lovano Kurt Elling and the Mignus Big Band.

Additionally, Civic Music presents a free summer concert series featuring the Belin String Quartet, Fridays at 12:15pm in Downtown Des Moines and hosts music education events to learn from some of the great international touring musicians of our time.

Civic Music shares a passion for the performing arts and is committed to making every experience inspiring and memorable.