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Performance experience is essential for a developing professional artist. However, gaining that experience can be a significant challenge.  International opera star, Simon Estes was fortunate to sing on a national tour early in his career.  Performing 45 recitals during the course of one year gave him an invaluable foundation for his later success.

The Simon Estes Foundation is developing a program to give young singers the opportunity to gain performance experience.  With this experience, young singers will be better prepared to take advantage of future opportunities as well as to secure professional management. In establishing the Young Artists Performance Program in 2011, the Simon Estes Foundation partners with local community organizations throughout the state of Iowa.  The Simon Estes Foundation’s goal is to create a network of 15 communities across Iowa that will annually participate in the Young Artist Performance Program.

The Simon Estes Foundation’s Young Artist Performance Program engages communities across Iowa in the professional development of our next generation of performing artists.  By partnering with the Simon Estes Foundation to host young artists in recital, educational programs, and a variety of formal and informal settings, local Iowa communities offer an ideal environment for young artists to hone professional skills.  These cultural activities involve Iowa residents in the process of a young artist’s transition from student to professional.  The resident young artists also serve as role models for local high school students, demonstrating the dedication, commitment and perseverance it takes to pursue any profession.

The Young Artist Performance Program provides performance experience to young artists who are bridging the gap between their academic training and a professional career.  Participants in the program must be between the ages of 21-30 and have at least a Bachelor’s degree in Music.  Masters or Doctoral degrees are desirable.  The application process is comprised of:

  • An Application form
  • An audition which includes the following repertoire:
    • Two art songs, one in English
    • Two opera arias of contrasting styles and languages
    • One selection from classic Broadway or Great American Songbook
  • A formal interview, in which communication skills are assessed.

The Simon Estes Foundation’s Young Artist Performance Program partners with local community organizations in Iowa to provide a performance forum for the young artists.  It benefits young artists by offering a community centered non-critical environment in which they can:

  • Practice performance skills
  • Reexamine and revisit repertoire
  • Share their experience and knowledge in an educational setting
  • Prove themselves in performance
  • Be accepted as an artist
  • Learn how to communicate with
    • Donors
    • Press
    • Students

The Program is practical real world experience.  Participants are selected through an audition process. During a young artist residency, participants engage in the following:

  • Formal Recital
  • Educational Programs
  • Master Classes
  • Rehearsals with choirs
  • Media interviews
  • Community Events

Selected participants work with the program’s Artistic Director, Jodi Goble, Vocal Coach at Iowa State University, in the selection and preparation of repertoire for recitals and educational programs. Ms. Goble also performs with participants in all educational programs and recitals. In addition, participants will receive performance skills coaching with Program Advisor Janet Alcorn, Associate Professor Emerita at Iowa State University.

Individuals chosen to participate in the Simon Estes Foundation’s Young Artist Performance Program will receive a performance fee for each performance plus travel and lodging expenses.


PHASE I - Preparation

  • Rehearsal
  • Vocal coaching
  • Performance Skill Coaching

PHASE II – Dress Rehearsal

  • Rehearsal
  • Vocal coaching
  • Performance Skill Coaching
  • Dress Rehearsal

PHASE III – Community Activities

  • Day 1
    • Educational Programs in schools
    • Rehearsal with High School Choir
    • Master Class
    • Media Interviews
    • Community Activities
  • Day 2
  • Concert
  • Post Concert Event
Participant Profile