Julia McCormick is in her third year serving on the CMA board of directors. Julia brings valuable skillsets to the board with both her strong musical background and her aptitude for business. She has been involved in the programming committee, which helps decide what artists to feature in CMA’s programs, and she currently serves on the donor engagement committee, where she assists with donor communication and events.
Julia recently stepped into the role of Board Chair, where she will be serving on the executive committee in addition to her other roles on the board. She acknowledges that this new role, while challenging, is very exciting.
As a member of the board, Julia has learned a lot about the inner workings of a non-profit. Julia notes, “it has been interesting as a musician to see the administrative side of it and what it takes to bring the arts to a community.” Being on the inside has given her a new appreciation for each event and performance.
Julia also remarks that it has been enjoyable and a learning experience to be on a large team with a lot of different skill sets, and says, “it is fun getting to know everyone – I feel really rooted to the community now.”
Julia prides CMA on its ability to bring in high quality chamber music to the Des Moines community. She has experience with listening to top level chamber music, and attended the Aspen Musical Festival every summer while she was in college. She notes that without CMA, Des Moines would not be getting these top performers. One of Julia’s favorite CMA performances was the Sphinx Virtuosi, a professional chamber orchestra comprised of 18 of the nation’s top Black and Latinx classical soloists. She remembers the high level of playing and the energy of the musicians. This upcoming season, Julia is looking forward to hearing internationally recognized pianist, Yenfim Bronfman, perform on October 20 at Hoyt Sherman Place.
As a member of the donor engagement committee, Julia has heard from donors that CMA has a lot of “bang for their buck.” Julia agrees and notes that, “we are a small organization, but we deliver a lot of value to our community and donors.” In addition to bringing in top-level musicians, CMA has had many opportunities to engage with young musicians in the area through educational programming. Julia is excited about growing relationships with more music teachers in the area and getting more kids exposed to top musicians. The people that CMA brings in are constantly striving to do better and better, which puts them at the top of the game – being exposed to that level of musicianship is inspirational, especially to young musicians.
Looking ahead, Julia is excited about the future of CMA. With the current strategic plan, Julia believes CMA will be able to spread awareness of the organization to different communities in Des Moines and help reach people that have never been exposed or allowed to appreciate the kind of music CMA brings in. Julia states, “I’m really excited for our future – we have grown a lot as an organization. We have had a lot of challenges, as all arts organizations have during COVID, but I think we pivoted really well to virtual which shows operationally how we are prepared for challenges.”
Outside of the serving on the board, Julia loves spending time with her husband, Kyle, and their three boys. She works as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, helping people who want to become independent consultants. Although she recently stepped down from playing viola in the Des Moines Symphony, she still plays with them as needed and as her schedule allows. Julia keeps grounded in her busy life by practicing yoga for 45 minutes every day.