On Sunday, Indian Hills Community College hosted over one thousand guests as world-renowned bass-baritone singer Simon Estes performed.
â??He has performed in operas, he has performed in film, he has performed on Broadway; so this in an incredible opportunity,â?? said Dr. Jennifer Boyenga, who is the Director of Fine Arts at Indian Hills Community College.
Estes, who is originally from Centerville, is performing in all of Iowaâ??s 99 counties as part of his Roots and Wings tour.
â??To see what we consider one of our hometown own to have made it to this level of professionalism and success is amazing,â?? Boyenga said.
The concert was free and open to the public.
Local businesses allowed The Indian Hills Community College Department of Performing and Visual Arts and the Ottumwa School District to sponsor the concert because of donations by John Deere Ottumwa Works, the Legacy Foundation's Bright Ideas Community Enrichment Fund, Ottumwa Arts Council, Target, South Ottumwa Savings Bank and AmericInn.
â??The fabulous part about this is that he is giving half of the proceeds of this concert back in scholarship dollars to students from Wapello County who are interested in pursuing a career in the arts,â?? Boyenga said.
Boyenga said that the students performing before and with Estes at the end of the program were very excited about the opportunity.
â??The students were here this morning rehearsing and they are so excited about it, you could just see the passion in them,â?? Boyenga said. â??To give them that exposure to a world renowned artist is an incredible opportunity. We are so happy he is here at Indian Hills Community College.â??
The students performing in the program attend Ottumwa High School, Eddyville Blakesburg Fremont High School and Cardinal High School.
On Monday, Estes will be speaking to students at Ottumwa High School in honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.