Making Spirits Bright


“Making Spirits Bright.”

That’s what YOU will do when you donate to the Northeast Iowa School of Music. Your gift makes it possible for over 200 students per year to study the art of making music through lessons, classes, performing ensembles, and outreach programs. You brighten all these students’ lives and more, including those who join us in the audience and all those who our students go on to impact. 

For over 16 years now, generous supporters like you have been making the music happen at NISOM. Together we have reached more than 2500 students who, despite the differences in age and ability levels, have one thing in common: music makes a difference in their lives.

That’s over 2500 stories to tell, but today I would like you to meet just three students:


Kate started playing the flute in 5th grade, and in middle school she added tenor saxophone and baritone saxophone. Since May 2016, she has been studying bassoon with NISOM instructor Dennis Williams. Kate wanted lessons so badly she paid for them herself with her paper route money. “Kate’s lessons at NISOM with Mr. Williams have given her love of music wings and now the sky is the limit for her,” says Kate’s mom. 



River came to NISOM for composition lessons as a young teen. Today, at 28, the multi-instrumentalist and ¬songwriter is one of five new additions to the Iowa Arts Council’s Artist Fellowship Program. This program supports professional Iowa artists who are “exceptionally creative” and “contribute to artistic excellence and innovation,” according to the Arts Council’s website. River recently told me, “Thanks for being my teacher when I was younger. I really appreciate what you do for youth and for music. When you first let me work on the computers at NISOM, that was one of my first experiences writing my own music. Now I do it for a living and I cannot thank you enough for getting me started.”



George is 84 and still playing violin in the Dubuque Community String Orchestra. At the DCSO’s recent 20th Season concert, George’s daughter told me, “He practices every morning and every evening. Since becoming a member of the DCSO, music has become such an important part of his life. It really has improved his life.”

You Make it Possible 

Your gift makes it possible for Kate to learn, for students like River to hone their skills and then touch more lives as a music professional, and for octogenarians like George to reap the many health benefits of making music. You help change these lives and so many others.

Please support music for life with your gift to NISOM today or by becoming a member of the Melody Club - our monthly giving program.

Learn more about monthly giving and other fund options at Support


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