Vision, Mission & History

The Iowa Youth Chorus is a nonprofit organization that develops fresh voices, fosters a life-long love of music, encourages children to follow their passions and motivates them to set high goals and work hard to achieve them. The result is a group of exceptional young people who come together to delight audiences with a musical repertoire drawing from various time periods and worldwide destinations.

On this site, you can enjoy audio and video recordings of our latest performances, learn about our history and mission, find out how to join the choir, follow our blog and discover all the ways you can support this remarkable group of children who think globally and act vocally!

Our Vision

The individuals we serve will flourish as part of an internationally acclaimed organization that inspires personal development, celebrates diversity and fosters international goodwill. As advocates for the performing arts, we are partners with our community and with the world.

Our Mission

We will nurture the human spirit by enriching the lives of youth through musical excellence, helping them reach their fullest potential and live enriched lives through vocal music.

Our History

We’ve been making beautiful music since 1981. Eugene Wilson and Millie Haynie founded the Des Moines Children’s Choruses in 1981 with the vision of creating a community organization that would cultivate musical greatness in children. The first choir formed was Youth Chorale for singers aged 14 to 19, and in the following two years a Children’s Chorus and Preparatory Choir were added.

During the 1980’s and 90’s the choirs continued to grow and the organization expanded its geographical scope by adding satellite choirs in other central Iowa communities. In 2000, we changed the name to Iowa Youth Chorus to better reflect our broader scope and role as Iowa’s premier youth choral organization.

The Des Moines Children’s Chorus and Iowa Youth Chorus have participated in many national and international festivals and tours. What began as Sunday afternoon rehearsals in a downtown auditorium has touched the lives of thousands of children, youth and adults – not just in Central Iowa but around the world.

We are proud to be embarking on 35 years of raising Iowa’s finest voices!