University of Iowa Orchestra performs for Fourth graders in Iowa City Schools

For the first time in three years, the tradition of having local elementary schoolers watch a UI Orchestra performance continues.
Friday, November 4, 2022

By Charlotte Brookins  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many longstanding traditions at the University of Iowa were forced into hiatus, including the School of Music’s annual performance for all fourth graders in the Iowa City Community School District. But in October, Voxmann Music Building opened its doors to these young students for the first time in two years.  

Professor Mélisse Brunet, Director of Orchestral Studies at the School of Music, says she and her students have been looking forward to the return of this opportunity for local youth as they benefit from coming and hearing the music.  

“Learning about the arts really helps kids with their development and for helping them to be happier later in life,” she explains.  

4th grade students from Iowa City Schools enjoying an orchestra performance.
Photo credit: Iowa City Schools

Brunet led the UI Orchestra during their performance for a crowd of eager young students, and for some, providing a reminder to the performers just how far they have come in their journey with the arts. 

These annual performances assert that the college’s orchestra is not only important to the university, but also holds great significance to the surrounding area.  

“A university needs to be relevant in their community,” says Brunet. “We are performers; we perform not only for the students but for the community. One of the main goals for me is to share classical music with our community.” 

The opportunity to share these experiences wouldn’t be possible without generous donations and support beyond the university.   

“We have generous patrons in the community who care about funding these performances,” Brunet adds. “So, it is both the community giving to the university and the university giving back to the community.” 

For more information on the School of Music and its upcoming events, visit its website and events calendar.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 73 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 1,900 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.