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The Arts

Kirkwood, Community Orchestra Form Partnership


College to offer symphony orchestra to students this fall as a result of collaboration

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (July 18, 2022)–Kirkwood Community College and the Cedar Rapids Community Orchestra (CRCO) will begin partnering this fall to offer symphony orchestra to music students at the college. The mutually beneficial agreement opens up new opportunities for Kirkwood students, while providing the CRCO with access to a larger rehearsal space and performance hall for the growing ensemble.

The collaboration marks the first time in the college’s history that orchestra will be offered at Kirkwood. In addition to performing alongside experienced community members, the partnership will also allow students to receive college credit for being in the orchestra and will provide recruitment opportunities for those who play string instruments.

According to Kirkwood Dean of Arts and Humanities Jennifer Cunningham, the agreement with CRCO is just one part of a larger effort to promote music instruction and careers at the college.

“Offering the chance to learn and work with a symphony orchestra is a huge step forward for Visual and Performing Arts at Kirkwood,” said Cunningham. “But while the experience will open even more doors for our students, it’s just one example of the increased opportunities now offered at the institution. Beginning this fall, Kirkwood will also be offering a brand new Associate of Applied Arts in Music degree that will allow students to pursue their passion while preparing them for employment in the music industry. Furthermore, we’ve also increased scholarship awards to cover full tuition to those studying in the program and set up an internship requirement so they get even more hands-on experience.”

Kirkwood is currently one of only 39 two-year colleges, and the only community college in Iowa, to hold accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music. Additionally, the institution has transfer agreements with both Coe College and the University of Iowa, which provide pathways to study music at a four-year school to prepare for a career in the industry.

To Cunningham, Kirkwood has a lot to offer anyone who wants to pursue a career in music as well as those who just have a passion for the arts.

“With new programs of study, full scholarships, internships and transfer agreements, the college’s Visual and Performing Arts faculty and staff are thrilled to be teaching their passion at an institution so dedicated to promoting the arts,” said Cunningham. “It’s a very exciting time to pursue a music degree at Kirkwood.”

For more information on music programs at Kirkwood, go to