About Burlington Civic Music


Burlington Civic Music celebrates its 91st year of providing a series of outstanding and varied programs to entertain, enrich, and educate audiences from Southeast Iowa and Western Illinois. Opening its first concert October 1924, artists first appeared in churches and schools. With the newly opened Burlington Memorial Auditorium in 1984, BCM found its new home venue.

Incorporated as a 501(c)3 in March 1984, the now non-profit association continued its original mission to popularize good music in the community, further artistic advancement in the community, find funding to present great concerts to the community and ensure permanency in the concert series.

The 1,700 facility on the banks of the picturesque Mississippi continues to roll in tune with keeping live music on the river alive and well.


April 17

1929 – 1938 The first 10 seasons offered three or four performances per season. Performances were held at local churches and schools. Highlights were:

  • Pianist Jose Echanis
  • Soprano Claudia Muzio
  • Tenor Jose Mojica


April 17

1939 – 1960 44 performances occurred, including:

  • Arthur Rubenstein and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Mantovani
  • Robert Shaw Chorale
  • Van Cliburn
April 17

1961 – 1970 Highlights:

  • Boston Pops
  • Peter Nero
  • Ray Bolger
  • Roger William
September 5

1971 – 1981

  • Henry Mancini and his 40 piece orchestra
  • Ballet West
  • Marcel Marceau
  • Fiddler on the Roof
  • Bob Hope
  • My Fair Lady
September 5

1981 – 1991 Highlights:

  • Minneapolis Orchestra
  • Bob Newhart
  • American Ballet II
  • Simon Estes
  • West Side Story
  • The Dallas Brass
September 5

1991-2001 Highlights:

  • The U of Iowa Symphony Orchestra
  • Warsaw Soloists
  • Cabaret
  • The Ahn Trio
  • Tony Sandler and Friends
  • Camelot
September 5

2001 – 2011 Highlights:

  • Mikhail Petukov, classical pianist
  • Jazzing the Classica, violin and piano team
  • Singing in the Rain
  • Glen Miller Orchestra
  • Chicago
  • Cantus
September 5

2011 – 2019 Rick Benjamin’s Ragtime Orchestra/”Steamboat Bill”, silent screen with Buster Keeton

  • Jeri Sager
  • Moscow Festival Ballet…Cinderella
  • The Addams Family
  • The Texas Tenors
  • My Fair Lady
  • Melissa Errico
  • Winter Dance Party
  • Wind Sync
  • Dallas String Quart: DSQ
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas

Our header photo was shot by Holly Carpenter who was born and raised in Burlington. She started doing photography in the early 2000s with what, a the time, was a very familiar camera: the point and shoot. Shortly after she upgraded to the SLR. In 2008, she joined the world of digital. And without any formal classes or training, Holly began pursuing a career as a photographer. Her learning process included reading tons of books, a lot of trial and error and, too many Youtube videos to count during which she discovered a love for night photography. The header image is just one example of her passion and discovery of the beauty that can be found in the night that surrounds us. If you want to see more, Holly sells her work every year at the Annual Craft Show held at Memorial Auditorium the first full weekend in December. Stop by to say hello.

All of Holly’s photographs are available for purchase. You can see more of her work @ https://pixels.com/profiles/holly-carpenter.