Giving Back Through Music in Iowa – Part I

For the past two years, From the Top and Orchestra Iowa have collaborated on a project called Iowa Makes Music. One component of this residency is our Arts Leadership program, which provides high school age classical musicians with intensive arts leadership training and one-on-one mentoring to help them develop and lead their own music-inspired service projects in their home communities.  We are so impressed with the hard work that our participants have put into their projects. Here’s just one example:

Thomas Burrill, Freshman

When you hear the words “Alzheimer’s Benefit Concert,” you wouldn’t normally think of two high schoolers.  But this year Thomas Burrill (who’s father died over a year ago of the disease) and his friend Linda Xiong have been toiling over an intense project – producing a classical music concert and raising $5,000 for the University of Iowa’s Alzheimer’s research.

This dynamic duo teamed up a couple of months ago and charged full speed ahead with creating an exciting concert and raising $$$.  First order of business? They got the Englert Theater (where From the Top taped a show!) to donate space for the concert.  With one win in the bag, Thomas and Linda set out to create marketing materials, find sponsors, and raise money.

Linda Xiong, Sophomore

The final results? Over 130 concert attendees, 16 sponsors, and $5300 in donations – they surpassed their goal!  One concert-goer came up to Thomas after the show and thanked him for setting an example for “all the folks, young and old, in Iowa”

Linda posted some great clips from the concert and you can read more about how they made this project a success on the Iowa Makes Music blog.

Check back later to hear about some more projects from Iowa youth musicians!