Iowa PBS to provide coverage of Yankee Doodle Pops

Thanks to a unique partnership between Iowa PBS, the Des Moines Symphony and Iowa Public Radio, Iowans will finally be able to enjoy the 27th Annual Yankee Doodle Pops Concert. Originally planned for Thursday, July 2, 2020, at the Iowa State Capitol, the concert will instead take place as a statewide broadcast on Iowa PBS. Des Moines Symphony Yankee Doodle Pops will air Friday, July 2 at 8:30 p.m. with an encore presentation on Sunday, July 4 at 6 p.m.

Each year, the Des Moines Symphony welcomes more than 100,000 central Iowans to celebrate Independence Day at Yankee Doodle Pops, the largest single-day concert event in Iowa. This July, Music Director and Conductor Joseph Giunta and the musicians of the Des Moines Symphony are pleased to bring the Des Moines Symphony’s 27th Annual Yankee Doodle Pops to its largest-ever audience through a statewide broadcast in partnership with Iowa PBS and Iowa Public Radio. 

"We are thrilled to be able to share Yankee Doodle Pops on Iowa PBS,” said Molly Phillips, executive director and general manager of the statewide network. “The spirited arrangements, the thundering cannons and the dazzling fireworks have come to define how central Iowans celebrate our independence each July. Now, families anywhere in Iowa can share in this popular and patriotic tradition.”

As always, the Des Moines Symphony will perform time-honored patriotic favorites, including the “1812 Overture” and “Stars & Stripes Forever.” Broadway’s Hugh Panaro (“Phantom of the Opera”) will join the Symphony for a return appearance, singing selections from “Les Misérables,” “The Music Man” and more. 

“After much deliberation, we have come to the conclusion that we cannot responsibly invite 100,000 Iowans to gather shoulder to shoulder on the Capitol grounds this July,” said Des Moines Symphony Executive Director Richard L. Early. “We are grateful to Iowa PBS and to Iowa Public Radio for working with us to reimagine this concert in a way that allows us to reach more Iowans than ever before, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to performing our 28th Annual Yankee Doodle Pops in person at the Iowa State Capitol in July 2022.”

Des Moines Symphony Yankee Doodle Pops will be hosted by Kevin and Mollie Cooney and will feature all-new footage celebrating the sights and sounds of Yankee Doodle Pops. The Orchestra’s performance will be recorded in HyVee’s Ron Pearson Center, allowing the musicians of the Des Moines Symphony to remain safely distanced thanks to more than 21,000 square feet of performance space. 

Iowans will also be able to enjoy the concert on the radio once more. Iowa Public Radio’s broadcast of the Des Moines Symphony’s Yankee Doodle Pops will air on IPR Classical signals Sunday, July 4 at 12 p.m. and again on Monday, July 5 at 11 a.m.

“We look forward to broadcasting this event every year,” said Al Schares, music program director at Iowa Public Radio. “Even though we won’t be celebrating together in person, we hope Iowans will still enjoy the sounds of the symphony wherever they’re celebrating Independence Day in 2021.”

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