Linda Robbins Coleman


Linda Robbins Coleman is an internationally acclaimed composer especially in the areas of orchestra and chamber music. She served as the Composer-in-Residence with the Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra for the 1994-96 seasons, the first Iowa woman to hold this position with any orchestra. She was invited back during the 2001-02 season to help the CRSO celebrate their 80th anniversary. During the 1995-97 seasons Coleman also became Composer-in-Residence with the Wartburg Community Symphony. A native of Des Moines, she is a graduate of Drake University and has 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.           

    An accomplished pianist, Coleman has been performing since the age of six and worked professionally as a jazz and classical soloist and accompanist. She was on the Iowa Arts Council Arts to Go performing artist roster with singer Nancy Cooper for five years touring with their program, Music for the Grand Salon.

   She has been recipient of more than 60 commissions for compositions ranging from chamber to symphonic music, and from jazz to theatre and film. To date her music has been performed and broadcast in more than twenty-seven states in the USA, as well as Great Britain, Europe, Canada, and Mexico. Her music has been performed by more than sixty organizations ranging from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Dayton Philharmonic, the Lexington Philharmonic and the Garden State Philharmonic orchestras, to regional and local professional, community, and university ensembles and individuals. Many orchestras have performed more than one of Coleman’s works, and new commissions have often followed as a result.

     In 1987, Coleman co-founded the Iowa Composers Forum where she served as its original Executive Secretary and chief administrator for ten years. In 1981 she founded the Friends of Drake Arts and worked with promotion and community outreach for fifteen years at the university. As an educator, Coleman spent five years as a visiting artist teaching music composition at a magnet elementary school in Des Moines’s inner city. She was on the Iowa Arts Council's Artist in the Schools/Communities roster for fifteen years, performing residencies in many communities,

  For twenty-nine years she served as research associate to 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 1988-2000 she served as research associate and copy editor for the book Voices of Wounded Knee, detailing the events and attitudes leading to the 1890 Massacre and the end of the Plains Indian Wars. It was published by the University of Nebraska Press in September, 2000, and is currently available at bookstores and online.

 For the past thirty-three years she has been owner and president of Coleman Creative Services, working in music, promotion, marketing and publicity, desktop publishing, research, and consultation. She has served as author, copy editor, grant writer, composer, educator, and coordinator on various projects for numerous organizations and groups around the USA and abroad. Additionally she has served as a caregiver to various elderly relatives for the past two decades.

   On May 16, 2008, Linda Robbins Coleman was awarded Drake University’s distinguished Alumni Achievement Award at the Drake National Awards Dinner. This honor is bestowed annually to one individual for outstanding achievement in a career or profession and reflects the pride of Drake University in those achievements.

    When she is not working on something musical or historical or providing care for elderly relatives, Coleman can be found digging in her gardens, creating a new recipe in her kitchen, or doing repair and renovation (including drywall, brick laying, cabinet making, and floor refinishing) on the 1910 home she shares with her husband William and their four cats.


Drake University Alumni Achievement Award

William S. E. Coleman

Author, Playwright, Historian, Actor, Baseball Fanatic

Sigma Alpha Iota

Member Laureate

Composers Bureau Online

Annual American Composer Update

Des Moines Community Orchestra

Carl B. Johnson, Music Director and Conductor

Des Moines Register

Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra/Orchestra Iowa

Composer in Residence, 1994-96, 2001-02

Member, CRSO Artistic Committee

Iowa Composers Forum

Co-Founder, Original Executive Secretary and

Chief Administrator 1987-97

Conductors Guild

Board Member - 1999-2001

Chair, Awards Committee, 2000-01

Chair, Public Relations Committee, 1999-2000

Hoover High School Hall of Fame

Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)

Old Dominion University Libraries

Diehn Composers Room

Conductors Guild Collection

Antropodium - Journal on Trump

American Music Center

Iowa Arts Council

Artist in the Schools/Communities

Arts to Go Touring Performers Roster

League of American Orchestras

Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music

Free Lending Library of Philadelphia

Wilmslow Symphony Orchestra

Cheshire, England

DeKalb Symphony Orchestra

Atlanta, Georgia

Garden State Philharmonic Orchestra

Toms River, New Jersey

Annapolis Symphony Orchestra

Annapolis, Maryland




Cedar Rapids Symphony                                                    

      1994-96, 2001-02

Wartburg Symphony Orchestra        


Drake Theatre 1977-97

Linda Robbins Coleman

Name: Linda Robbins Coleman

Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa

Education: Drake University

                   Greek National Theatre

Occupation: Freelance Composer, Writer, Editor, Consultant, Arts Advocate. Research Assistant, Historian, Medical Advocate, Caregiver


Iowa Arts Council

Artist in the Schools 1990-2000

Metro Arts Education Roster


Edmunds Academy of Fine Arts

        Visiting Artist 1987-92

Drake University Theatre Department -

    adjunct 1977-97

Iowa State University

    College for Seniors

        1993-09, 2002


Iowa Composers Forum

Co-Founder, Founding Executive Secretary, Treasurer, Administrator, Grant writer, and Board Member 1987-97

   *Produced 30 concerts and 5 Statewide Festivals.

*Originated and Published ICF Newsletter

*Every grant applied for received funding.

Barnes & Noble Bookstore

Community Relations Coordinator, 1993-94

*Produced all in-store events, publicity, promotion, liaison, and outreach.

*Worked with arts organizations to create community awareness.

*Achieved $150,000 worth of publicity in one year on a budget of $150 a month.

Friends of Drake Arts Founder, 1980-82.

*Originated and developed theatre receptions and community artreach.

Special Programs/New Ideas Committee member.

*Created member Salons, 1993-97



Keynote Speaker -

Sigma Alpha Iota National Convention, August 3, 2012

Federation of Women’s Clubs,                         Des Moines Iowa -

    February 11, 2009

Georgia Perimeter College - 1997, 2002, 2005

Cedar Rapids Symphony -

1994-96, 2000-01, 2003, 2005

Kenyon College - 1999

Dubuque Symphony - 1998

Mesa College - 1997

Wartburg College -1991-97

Iowa Wesleyan College, 1993

Iowa Arts Council - 1991




Show up, pay attention, state the truth as you know it, and do not become overly attached to any outcome.

Be kind and compassionate whenever and where ever possible.