Linda Robbins Coleman

 
 
 

Linda Robbins Coleman is a native of Des Moines, Iowa. She graduated from Drake University with a Bachelor of Music Education degree and later studied with the Greek National Theatre. From 1977-97 Coleman was Composer-in-Residence for Drake Theatre, scoring thirty-five plays ranging from the ancient Greeks to the moderns. She was the first Iowa woman to hold the position of Composer-in-Residence with any orchestra, serving with Orchestra Iowa (formerly known as the Cedar Rapids Symphony) from 1994-96 and 2000-02, and the Wartburg Community Symphony from 1991-2002. The WCSO commissioned and premiered five compositions, and Orchestra Iowa commissioned three and performed nine of her works. Coleman also served on the Artistic Advisory Committee of Orchestra Iowa for twenty years.


            Coleman has been recipient of more than 80 commissions ranging from chamber and symphonic music to jazz, pop, theatre, and film. Her music has been performed and broadcast throughout North America and Europe by artists that include the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Moravian Philharmonic (Czech Republic), the Dayton Philharmonic (OH), the Lexington Philharmonic (KY), the Chelsea Symphony (NY), Orchestra Iowa, and the Ames and Maya quartets. In 2021 her symphonic poem For a Beautiful Land was included on the “American Discoveries” cd by Reuben Blundell and the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra.


Coleman’s awards include Drake University’s Dignitas Society (2013) and their distinguished Alumni Achievement Award (2008); Member Laureate status by the Sigma Alpha Iota professional music fraternity (1999); induction into the Hoover High School Hall of Fame (2000); The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts American College Theatre Festival; the Music Teachers National Association; Meet the Composer; and WORLDFEST Houston International Film Festival. Her music is listed in Orchestral Music, A Handbook by David Daniels, published by Scarecrow Press.


             In 1981 she and her husband founded the Friends of Drake Arts and worked with promotion and community outreach for fifteen years. From 2010-2016 she worked with the Drake Alumni Association on three theatre affinity reunions. For each reunion she hosted receptions for more than 150 alumni. From 2015-18 she initiated and organized a campaign that drew from fifty years of Drake Theatre alumni and friends to raise money to renovate and rededicate the William S.E. Coleman Studio Theatre and to establish the William S.E. Coleman Guest Artist Series at Drake University.


            In 1987, Coleman co-founded the Iowa Composers Forum and served as its chief administrator for ten years, producing more than two dozen concerts and five state-wide festivals. Coleman worked as an adjunct in the theatre department at Drake University for twenty years, as a visiting artist at a magnet elementary school in Des Moines’s inner city for six years, and on the Iowa Arts Council's Artist in the Schools and Communities roster for fifteen years. For sixteen years she was the only independent woman piano tuner/technician in the greater Des Moines area. Her clients included Drake University, Grand View University, 24 churches, two hospitals, and numerous piano studios.


            An accomplished pianist, Coleman has been performing since the age of six and worked professionally as a jazz and classical soloist and collaborative pianist. Coleman is a published poet and writer. For four decades she served as collaborator, research associate, and editor with Professor William S. E. Coleman, working on materials related to William F. (Buffalo Bill) Cody and the 19th century Lakotas; the escape of the Danish Jews from Nazi persecution in 1943; and modern productions of ancient Greek plays by the Greek National Theatre. From 1977-2000 she worked with her husband researching and editing their book, Voices of Wounded Knee. It details the events and attitudes leading to the 1890 Massacre and the end of the Plains Indian Wars. Published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2000, it is considered the definitive book on this topic, and remains available in bookstores and online. In 2016 she was interviewed and edited an article about Cody for the March-April issue of the Iowa History Journal magazine. Boyhood’s End, a non-fiction book about the World War II era that she co-authored with her husband will be published in 2022.


            As the owner of Coleman Creative Services since 1976, she works on music creation, promotion, marketing and publicity, research, and consultation. She has worked as copy editor, historian, grant writer, educator, and coordinator for organizations in the USA and abroad. Additionally, she served as a caregiver to elderly relatives for three decades. When she is not working on music, she can often be found in her gardens or completing various home repair projects.


(Shorter biographies are shown below)

























Photo: Linda Robbins Coleman conducts the SEISO Chamber Orchestra

at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.



375 words:

Linda Robbins Coleman, composer, pianist, and conductor is a native of Des Moines, Iowa. She graduated from Drake University, and later studied with the Greek National Theatre. She has received more than 80 commissions for compositions ranging from chamber to symphonic music, and from jazz to theatre and film. Her music is performed and broadcast throughout North America and Europe. From 1977-97 she was resident composer and conductor for Drake Theatre and scored thirty-five plays. Coleman was the first Iowa woman to become Composer-in-Residence with any orchestra, serving with Orchestra Iowa (formerly the Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra) from 1994-96 and 2001-02; and the Wartburg Community Symphony from 1991-2002. The WCSO commissioned and premiered five compositions, and Orchestra Iowa commissioned three and performed nine of her works. Coleman also served on the Artistic Advisory Committee of Orchestra Iowa for twenty years.


A jazz and classical pianist and collaborator, she spent fifteen years on the Iowa Arts Council performing artist and education rosters. In 1981 she and her husband founded the Friends of Drake Arts and worked on promotion and community outreach for fifteen years. In 1987, Coleman co-founded the Iowa Composers Forum and served as its chief administrator for ten years. In 1999 she was awarded a Member Laureate by Sigma Alpha Iota. In 2000 she was inducted into the Hoover High School Hall of Fame. In 2008 Drake University awarded her the distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, and in 2013 she was inducted into their Dignitas Society.


Coleman is a published poet and writer. For four decades she served as collaborator and research partner with her husband, playwright, director, historian, and Professor William S. E. Coleman. Their book Voices of Wounded Knee detailing events and attitudes leading to the 1890 Massacre and the end of the Plains Indian Wars, published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2000, remains in print. Boyhood’s End, a non-fiction book about the World War II era that she co-authored with her husband, will be published in the spring of 2022. Since 1976 she has owned Coleman Creative Services, working in performance, promotion, publicity, research, and consultation. Additionally, she served as a caregiver to elderly relatives for three decades. For more information, visit www.lindarobbinscoleman.com or her YouTube channel: Linda Robbins Coleman. 


150 words:

Linda Robbins Coleman is a native of Des Moines, graduated from Drake University, and studied with the Greek National Theatre. From 1977-97 she was Drake Theatre’s resident composer and scored thirty-five plays. Coleman was the first Iowa woman to become Composer-in-Residence with any orchestra, serving with the Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra from 1994-96 and 2001-02; and the Wartburg Community Symphony from 1992-2002. In 1981, Coleman and her husband founded the Friends of Drake Arts. In 1987, she co-founded the Iowa Composers Forum and served as its chief administrator for ten years. She spent fifteen years on the Iowa Arts Council performing artist and education rosters. For four decades she was a collaborator and research partner with Professor William S. E. Coleman. She has owned Coleman Creative Services since 1976. Awards include Drake University’s Alumni Achievement Award and Dignitas Society; and Sigma Alpha Iota’s Member Laureate. For more information, visit www.lindarobbinscoleman.com





   
 


     
  



Linda’s corner garden.



 

Biography