Our Mission

World-class chamber and jazz music is what defines the Civic Music Association of Des Moines. Established in 1925 by three visionary women – Mrs. Elsa Neumann, Mrs. Gertrude Shloss and Mrs. Elizabeth Cowles – CMA is a foundational piece of Des Moines history.

These visionary women believed that Des Moines should be a place where the world’s greatest musicians should come to perform, and they made it happen. Our mission has remained consistent for over 90 years:

To engage, enrich and educate the central Iowa community through provocative, world-class musical performances by legends and rising stars.

— The CMA Mission

Each year, we continue to present world-renowned artists to central Iowa. Nearly all of these artists have delivered engaging programs at no cost to students in area schools, helping them achieve their goals.

Every summer, CMA presents a free summer concert series featuring the Belin String Quartet. That same quartet regularly provides music education events in area schools during the school year.

Civic Music Association

Our Season History 1925-2024

CMA is proud to provide over 90 years of unforgettable musical experiences while building awareness, understanding and respect for classical, world and jazz music.

CMA Through The Years