We are an adult singing group based in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area that sings choral three or four part music (SATB) in a wide variety of styles.
The group was started in 1987 by Della Spurgin who wanted to have a group perform for a town celebration in Mitchellville. Dawn Hutchison was asked to be the conductor. At the first rehearsal at the Runnells Christian Church more than 60 people showed up. After a successful performance that summer, the group wanted to continue singing, so the next performance was at Southeast Polk High School in December of 1987.
The group continued, performing a spring concert, singing at town celebrations and the Iowa State Fair and a December/Christmas concert until 2000 when the director Dawn Hutchison had a conflict with rehearsals for a musical at PCM High School in the fall. The group disbanded until after Dawn’s retirement from teaching. In the fall of 2010, Heartland Singers “2.0” began rehearsals at Oakwood United Methodist Church in Pleasant Hill. The group now performs December concerts and a performance in late April.
Dawn Hutchison was raised on Long Island, New York and attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts for her undergraduate B.A. degree. She then married Robert Hutchison, an Iowa native, and they both did graduate work at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. Robert attended law school while Dawn received her M.A. in choral conducting and literature and got certified to teach vocal music in Iowa. Dawn taught K-3 vocal music in the College Community School District, Cedar Rapids, followed by K-4 and 9-12 vocal music in the Woodward-Granger School District. While taking a break from teaching and raising their children Andrew and Julie, Dawn taught talented and gifted classes as a volunteer in the SE Polk School District and produced several musicals, classes and concerts at Four Mile Elementary, as well as serving as a substitute teacher. In 1989 she returned to full-time teaching in Monroe (PCM High School) as the high school vocal music teacher (9-12) and choral director. She held that position for 14 years and then taught K-8 vocal music at Prairie City Elementary and PCM Middle School for her last 6 years of teaching.
Mary Jo Bartels teaches private piano lessons in Altoona and has a B.A. from Clarke University, Dubuque, Iowa.
Claudia Holcomb is retired from teaching both vocal and instrumental music in the Dallas-Center Grimes District and received her B.A. in music from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.