Des Moines Vocal Arts Ensemble 2017 – 2018 Season

This season is dedicated in part to celebrating and presenting the choral music of American composers. The Ensemble’s opening concert, “American Voices,” will feature works by contemporary American composers setting brilliant poetry from around the world. Both our December and April concerts offer the exciting opportunity to present world-premiere performances of brand new works commissioned by and for the Des Moines Vocal Arts Ensemble. Each of these concerts will include a “meet-the-composer” session prior to the performance to allow audience members to interact with the composers and hear their musical insights. We look forward to meeting two of today’s sought-after choral composers – Andrea Ramsey and Timothy C. Takach. The season will close with our annual Cabaret Fundraiser Event, featuring members of the Des Moines Vocal Arts Ensemble in solo performances from American Musical Theater performed in the elegant surroundings of the World Food Prize building. We hope to see you all season long!

DMVAE: Christmas With Vocal Arts

A Celebration of Dr. McMillin’s 10th Anniversary Season with DMVAE
Sunday, December 17. 2017 – 4:00 PM
Meet the Composer pre-concert talk at 3:15: Andrea Ramsey

St. Augustin Catholic Church, 545 42nd St, Des Moines, Iowa
Purchase tickets now: Adult $18, Student $5
At the Door: $20 Adult, $5 Student
The Christmas season is filled with tradition. Make “Christmas with Vocal Arts” part of yours! The program will feature inspiring works, stunning masterpieces celebrating the season, and much-loved arrangements of traditional carols. This program promises to present the most beautiful collection of Christmas music you’ll hear during the holiday season. As a special treat, audience members will be the first to hear the world-premiere performance of a commissioned work utilizing the text “O magnum mysterium” by American composer, Andrea Ramsey. Dr. Ramsey has been commissioned to compose this original choral piece in honor of Dr. Tim McMillin’s 10th anniversary with the Des Moines Vocal Arts Ensemble. The world-premiere performance of her work will be a highlight of this holiday concert. The audience is invited to attend Dr. Ramsey’s pre-concert talk describing the method and approach she takes when composing her award-winning pieces. Be sure to give yourself the gift of experiencing this year’s “Christmas with Vocal Arts!”

Andrea RamseyDr. Andrea Ramsey is a composer, conductor, and music educator. Her teaching experiences range from work with adolescent and children’s voices to frequent guest conducting of all-state and honor choirs, to her current position as the Associate Director of Choral Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. An ASCAPlus award-winning composer, Andrea has over 70 published choral works in print. A native of Arkansas, she is an active member of ACDA, ASCAP, and NAfMe, and believes strongly in the positive impact created through the performance of meaningful choral music.


DMVAE: At Our Waking and Our Sleeping

Sunday, April 15, 2018 – 4:00 PM
Meet the Composer pre-concert talk at 3:15: Timothy C. Takach

Westminster Presbyterian Church, 4114 Allison Ave, Des Moines, Iowa
Purchase tickets now: Adult $18, Student $5
At the Door: $20 Adult, $5 Student
Be sure to catch this program of exceptional choral literature exploring the seemingly dichotomous themes of waking and sleeping. To wake is to reject the embrace of sleep. Sometimes we long for the solace of the sleeping state while at others, we gladly forgo sleep to linger in the waking plane for as long as possible. The program will feature works spanning musical styles and eras from J.S. Bach to works that are brand new! The Ensemble is thrilled to present the world-premiere performance of a commissioned work on a text from Compline as it is found in The Book of Common Prayer. Audience members will have the opportunity to meet the composer of our new work, Timothy C. Takach.

Timothy C. TakachReviewed as “gorgeous” (Washington Post) and “stunning” (Lawrence Journal-World), the music of Timothy C. Takach has risen fast in the concert world. Applauded for his melodic lines and rich, intriguing harmonies, his compositions have been performed on A Prairie Home Companion, The Boston Pops holiday tour, multiple All-State and festival programs and at venues including the Library of Congress, Kennedy Center and Royal Opera House Muscat. He is a co-creator of the theatrical production of All is Calm: the Christmas Truce of 1914. Takach studied music composition at St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, where he graduated with honors. He has frequent national work as a composer-in-residence, presenter, clinician and lecturer. He is a full-time composer and lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two sons.


DMVAE: Cabaret and Fundraiser

Saturday, April 28, 2018 – 7:30 PM

World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, 100 Locust Street, Des Moines, Iowa
Purchase Tables and Tickets
Join us for a grand party to celebrate DMVAE! Now in its 9th year, our cabaret performance always entertains and delights audiences. Be a part of the energy, excitement, and brilliance of the evening as members of the Des Moines Vocal Arts Ensemble perform pieces on the lighter side! In addition to the outstanding musical entertainment during the evening, our guests enjoy libations, snacks, desserts, and a silent auction! Help us celebrate; join the party!


DMVAE’s 25th Anniversary Silver Collection CD is here! Buy it when you place a ticket order, pick it up at the event.

Get it now!
Download the CD from CD Baby.