Des Moines Choral Society Involvement Helps Make DSM Home
Header image from Des Moines Choral Society Facebook page.
When moving to a new city, finding a group or activity that helps you feel connected to the community is so important. Greater Des Moines (DSM) has many opportunities for newcomers and longtime residents to get involved. Christine Neumeir and Keelin Reilly recently moved to the region and shared how joining the Des Moines Choral Society has shaped their experience here.
When Did You Move to DSM + What Was the Catalyst for Your ove?
CN: I moved to DSM (Indianola, to be specific) at the end of last August after hatching the idea for several years. I had the great good fortune to be pointed in the direction of the Des Moines Metro Opera by its musical director David Neely, when he was guest-conducting a production of Falstaff in Bozeman, MT, where I moved from. I attended the 2016 season and have been back every year since (except 2020, for obvious reasons). Every time I was here, I was not only charmed by the opera productions, but also the lovely area, which reminded me of Germany, where I grew up, and the equally lovely people I met. COVID and other life-related changes finally made me put my plans into action, and here I am!
KR: I moved to the area in August 2021, to join Corteva Agriscience as a research associate in a protein engineering group.?I was very interested in biological and agricultural research during my undergraduate education, so this opportunity with Corteva represented a great combination of my interests. I really enjoy my work and co-workers and think that Corteva is a terrific place to work.
What Did You Most Look Forward to About Your Move to DSM?
CN: I guess this already answers the second question: now that I'm "local" instead of 1,200 miles away, I am very much looking forward to strolling over to the performance venue for the opera (which is a block away from my house) as well as volunteering for the organization. I am also discovering more and more hidden treasures worth exploring in the area — imagine my surprise finding out that THE Bridges of Madison County are literally in my backyard!
KR: I was excited to live in and learn about a new part of the country. I grew up and went to college in the mid-Atlantic region of the East Coast, so I had never lived more than a few hours from home! Given my interests in agriculture, it is also a tremendous opportunity to live in the nation’s agricultural heartland.
What Were Your Main Worries About Moving to the Region + Did Those Change Once You Arrived?
KR: I was concerned about meeting new people and finding my way in a new part of the country, but the friendliness of the people in DSM quickly put my concerns to rest. I was also quite fortunate that my girlfriend, who is originally from Wisconsin, had family in the region who have been incredibly gracious in helping me find my way here.
Where in DSM Did You Move to + Why Did You Choose That Specific Community?
KR: I live in Downtown DSM, several blocks away from Historic Court District. I chose to live here because of all the exciting activities and events that take place in the city, such as the Downtown Farmer’s Market and cultural festivals. I really enjoy being able to walk to most of the places I want to go on the weekends and after work. Being downtown, I can access lots of fun sites while using the city’s many nice paths (or skywalk on those single -digit days). I was pleasantly surprised upon moving here to find that DSM was so bikeable. Even in winter, DSM offers lots to keep me busy. I have been able to start volunteering at the Des Moines Botanical Garden and work part-time as a rink guard at the Brenton Skating Plaza.
What Are Your Top Three Attractions/Events You’ve Attended in DSM?
- Downtown Farmer’s Market
- Des Moines Botanical Garden
If You Had One Piece of Advice for Someone Looking to Move to DSM, What Would It Be?
KR: Keep an open mind and be ready to explore. DSM provides outsize offerings!
How Long Have You Been Involved with the Des Moines Choral Society?
KR: Since October 2021
How Has Your Involvement with the Des Moines Choral Society Shaped Your Time in DSM?
CN: Finding the Des Moines Choral Society is icing on the cake, considering that I left my beloved Bozeman Symphonic Choir after being a member for 18 years, as well as leaving a nine-member chamber group called Bel Canto, which visits surrounding communities in Montana as ambassadors for the Bozeman Symphony.
I always joke that obviously the first thing one does when moving to an area is look for a choir to join. But it really isn't a joke, it's what I did, and I count myself very, very lucky to have found DMCS. Our Christmas concert was a wonderful first experience of performing with this group, for its program as well as its venue. And what an amazing privilege to sing Elaine Hagenberg's wonderful piece!
I am certainly looking forward to singing with the choir for many years to come.
KR: Singing with DMCS has given me a great community of like-minded musicians, as well as an enjoyable outlet for musical pursuits. Even though I have only been with the group a short time, I can already appreciate the high caliber of musicianship in the area and the group’s importance to the wider community.
Are you interested in moving to Greater Des Moines (DSM)? Relocation Packets offer information on everything from neighborhoods and shopping to parks and local attractions. Or, kick start your career by checking out the DSM USA Career Center. It has over 10,000 jobs listed!