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Meet Brian Coyle: The New Executive Director of CMA

By January 10, 2022 One Comment

CMA is excited to introduce our new executive director, Brian Coyle! Brian’s extensive background in leadership, education, and the arts make him a perfect fit for the organization. As a jazz musician, trumpet player, and composer, Brian has extensive knowledge of a wide variety of musical genres and vast experience in arts education and advocacy. Brian is looking forward to utilizing his robust background in the non-profit arts sector to further the mission of CMA. After learning more about CMA, Brian says he “fell in love with the mission.” After meeting some of CMA’s current members, he realized they were “amazing, passionate human beings” that he could not wait to work alongside. 

Brian received his Doctorate of Musical Arts from Michigan State University and served as a professor and chairperson at Hope College for 26 years. There, among other things, he oversaw the development of their new $35 million concert and learning facility, founded and greatly enhanced the Jazz Studies program through strategic planning, fundraising, and recruiting, and managed a world class guest artist series that brought in over 100 internationally and nationally recognized artists. Diving more into arts non-profit, Brian co-founded the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers (ISJAC) in 2016. The non-profit serves a constituency of over 1500 members that span 45 countries. Brian serves as the Vice President and assists in the planning and execution of the International Jazz Composers Symposium and an international online conference, Un[Charted] Territory. 

As a music educator, Brian is passionate about CMA’s mission to engage, enrich, and educate the central Iowa community through provocative, world-class musical performances by legends and rising stars. He is proud of the work CMA has already done to work with local schools and connect them with top tier musicians, and is excited to grow that even further in the coming years. Brian states, “I think the education program can really expand. One of the things I am going to do right away is reach out to educators in the area and find out what they need. I’m really excited to see how we can create programs and opportunities not only for students, but for teachers as well.”

After Brian’s work managing a world-class guest artist series, he is looking forward to continuing to program a variety of world-renowned artists. Brian’s interest in music started very early on as he was introduced to various styles of music growing up, particularly taking an interest in classical music after listening to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and going on to study classical music in college. He continued to immerse himself in jazz, rock, salsa, opera, and more as he started off his career, developing a robust taste for a multitude of musical styles. Brian comments on this by saying, “I love music in all of its manifestations,” and plans to use that love to introduce even more musical variety to the CMA stage. He notes, “In regard to programming, the idea of being really intentional is important. It’s really important now that we think about inclusivity, equity, and diversity.”

Brian is just getting settled in Des Moines, and can’t wait to delve deeper into the community, personally and professionally. One of his goals for CMA is to continue to further community engagement, both in reaching more diverse audiences and bringing them new, unique experiences, and also in partnering with other local organizations. Brian notes, “I’m eager to get plugged into the scene and all the amazing things happening in Des Moines! I want to find opportunities to bring music to people that maybe haven’t experienced it before. We have amazing core supporters that are incredible, but there is still a vast array of people that don’t know our organization yet and need to be brought in to all the amazing things happening here.”

Arts organizations have faced many challenges during the pandemic, but Brian comments, “I think we are in an amazing time for music right now” when discussing the large shifts in the music industry that will occur, and have already started, due to this global event. Looking forward, Brian notes that CMA has an amazing foundation being almost 100 years old. He says, “What’s so incredible about this organization is that the roots go very deep, which allows branches to stretch out in different directions to experiment and try different things. Education can expand, musical offerings can expand, and how we intersect with the community can change and expand.” 

CMA could not be more thrilled to welcome someone with such positive passion and enthusiasm for the arts. Under Brian’s leadership the future of CMA is in great hands, and we can’t wait to see how the organization grows in the coming years!

One Comment

  • John K Erskine says:

    Choosing Brian Coyle as ED of CMA is brilliant! His vision, demeanor, and experience will provide an opportunity for deeply resonant community engagement. Standards of excellence will be surpassed. Congratulations!

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