The Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO) has partnered with United Way’s African American Leadership Society (AALS) for Masterworks VI: For America. In addition to celebrating the diversity of American Music, $1.00 from every ticket sold to the concert will be donated to the AALS.

The United Way’s AALS is committed to fighting for racial equity now and in the future. The organization focuses on fostering the next generation of African American leaders, giving every African American child in every neighborhood an equal opportunity to succeed, and uplifting the voices of Black Quad Citizens.


In Celebration of the Figge Art Museum’s For America exhibit, the concert weaves together many different American musical traditions. The program begins with Aaron Copland’s evocation of the spirit of rural Americana in Appalachian Spring. The Sphinx Quartet joins the QCSO for Michael Abels’s energetic combination of jazz, blues, bluegrass, and Latin dance in Delights and Dances. The concert concludes with the Fugue from Charles Ives’ epic Symphony No. 4 based on the hymn “From Greenland’s Icy Mountains,” and “Chasqui” and “Coqueteos” from Gabriela Lena Frank’s Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout.


Prior to the concert, the organizations are holding a digital panel discussion on “The Student Experience in K-12 Music Education” on Thursday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m. This digital panel will delve into the experience of students of color in public K-12 music education and the importance of equitable public music education access for all students and why such equitable access supports broad positive community outcomes.

Hosted by QCSO Assistant Conductor and Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles Music Director Ernesto Estigarribia, panel members include Kimberly Gardner, Music Teacher at Frances Willard Elementary School in the Rock Island – Milan School District, Calesia House, Director of Instrumental Music at Wilson Middle School in the Moline – Coal Valley School District, and Wesley Julien, Quad Cities musician, drummer, and producer. Held via zoom, the discussion will be free to attend with registration required. Space is limited but a recording of the panel will be made available on-demand after the event.

“Growing up, music was an integral part of my education. I participated in school-based music programs from elementary until I graduated high school. I am excited that AALS was asked to be a part of this collaboration. The panel discussion is a great a way to spotlight the Black experience within music education and bring new perspectives to how these experiences impact students of color.” – Kayla Babers, AALS Manager

“The QCSO is honored to partner with the AALS for this concert and panel discussion. Advancing racial equity, as an institution and in our Quad Cities community, is essential to securing a bright future with equal opportunity for all. By working together to facilitate a conversation about the essential role that K-12 music education plays in advancing literacy, individual and collective student achievement, and the broad positive community outcomes it provides, we seek to demonstrate the necessity for equitable access to K-12 music education that serves our entire community.” – Brian Baxter, QCSO Executive Director


You can learn more about AALS or make a direct contribution at

Registration for the Panel Discussion is available at

Masterworks VI: For America will welcome in-person audiences for two performances in the Adler Theatre on April 10, 2021 (2:00 pm & 7:30 pm) and will be available to stream On Demand via Digital Access from April 11 to May 11, 2021. Additional information and tickets are available online at, by phone at 563.322.7276, or at the QCSO Box Office at 327 Brady Street in Davenport, IA.

The concert is also presented in partnership with the Figge Art Museum and the Greater Quad Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.


Funding for the QCSO website provided by the Scott County Regional Authority