Nix and Virginia Lauridsen had their first CMA experience just a few years ago. They happened onto a concert featuring Bria Skonberg, a young jazz singer and trumpet player who swooned the audience with standards and self-penned originals.
Although they weren’t big fans of jazz at the time, the couple purchased one of Bria’s CDs. Shortly thereafter, they began supporting CMA, impressed by the superb and varied talent Civic Music brings to Des Moines. They’ve also become Season Ticket holders. Most recently, they attended a concert featuring Cyrille Aimée. Virginia, a singer herself, loved Cyrille, exclaiming “she was so genuine and fun! Not only was her vocal technique impressive, but she was superb onstage. She really interacted with the audience.” That audience interaction is one of the things that keeps the Lauridsens involved with CMA. “I love watching the audience become energized by the magic of music.”
“CMA is the only arts organization in the city which brings world class chamber musicians to our community. Chamber music is intimate; you are so “close” to the artists. Next season we will get the chance to hear Emanuel Ax in recital! Plus, the educational interaction of the artists with young musicians in the area is priceless. Our children get to work side by side with working musicians – how inspirational!”
The Lauridsens are also attracted to CMA’s Partners in Music Education programs and aim to support it in any way they can. Virginia, who is now a member of the CMA Board of Directors, also sits on the education committee. “All of the CMA artists engage in educating our area young musicians. It provides such a unique and meaningful experience for students, and it is a wonderful mission.”
The Lauridsens can be found at events around Des Moines, but if you really want to get to know them, you’ll have to step outside. Both Nix and Virginia love being outdoors. Hiking, biking and horseback riding (especially Icelandic Horses – check out Harmony Icelandics to meet the most amazing little horses!) are just a few of the couple’s hobbies. And they love Iowa and always want it to be the best it can be.
“We are so fortunate to have vibrant artistic opportunities in central Iowa. Arts and culture are the heartbeat of a community, and ours have made Des Moines a destination city. CMA plays a unique role in the musical life of the city by bringing high quality classical chamber music and jazz to the area.”
Thank you to Nix and Virginia for their fantastic support of CMA and other organizations in Iowa!