Iowa’s RME Changing Name And Identity To Common Chord With ‘More Music, More Community’
The board of directors and staff of River Music Experience (RME) are announcing a new name and identity to celebrate the evolution of the organization and expansion of its mission. Effective September 14, 2022, the organization will be known as Common Chord and use the tag line “More Music. More Community.”
According to Tyson Danner, Executive Director of Common Chord, the fresh look and evolution are all about being more inclusive and better connecting how the organization is focused on amplifying the power of music to build connections and strengthen community.
“Music is a universal language. It is something we all have in common. It has the power to connect and unite us as individuals and as a community,” said Tyson Danner, Executive Director. “Collaboration through music builds togetherness and enriches the lives of all Quad Citizens. We are dedicated to bringing people together through music – that’s what ‘Common Chord’ communicates.”
Newer programs highlight the organization’s expanded focus on bringing music to the whole community.
• OneSound Piano Project: Common Chord has placed pianos in public spaces throughout the region
at locations like Niabi Zoo, the Quad Cities International Airport, and the Freight House Farmers’
Market, elevating and activating the experience of public spaces for residents and visitors.
• Music at the Market: In partnership with the Farmers’ Market and the Riverfront Improvement
Commission, local musicians perform at the “Common Chord Stage” at the Farmers’ Market each
weekend. The program provides more opportunities for local musicians while infusing more music into
a thriving regional landmark event.
• The Echo: This digital music scene publication, started in 2021, tells the stories of our QC music
scene. Through The Echo, Common Chord promotes all the venues and events in our community,
giving the general public a point of access to engage with our thriving, diverse music industry and
building support for our homegrown artists.
• InTune Music Mentoring: InTune mentors visit weekly with students in after-school community centers
including Project Renewal (Davenport), the Martin Luther King Center (Rock Island), and Boys & Girls
Club (Moline and Davenport). Mentors use music as a path to build healthy relationships, while helping
kids explore the world, their place in it, and themselves.
Common Chord builds on its history as RME
In 2004, the organization housed in the Redstone building in downtown Davenport first opened its doors as the “River Music Experience” – a museum about American roots music. In the nearly twenty years since, it has grown far larger and more impactful, featuring a host of concerts and educational programs that have established its place in the cultural landscape of the Quad Cities.
“Our programs and mission have grown so much, even through the pandemic,” said Ross Carlson, current board chairman. “Today, we have reached an important step in the maturity of the organization. Our mission is clear, our programs are strong, and we are financially sustainable. We decided it was time our name caught up to who we are today, not what we were twenty years ago.”
Common Chord will continue to feature live music concerts in the Redstone Room and locations throughout the region as a foundational component of its programming, with a special focus on providing more opportunities for local artists and more diverse genres. Educational programs remain a key focus for Common Chord, including the RiverCurrents school program that teaches elementary students the history of American music; and the Acoustic Music Club which provides accessible music enrichment for youth and adults in partnership with the Handicapped Development Center, Blackhawk Area Special Education District, and ARC of the Quad Cities.
Common Chord invites the public to the Community Jam Session
Common Chord invites the public to a first-of-its-kind Community Jam Session on Sunday, September 18,
2022, in the Davenport Freight House parking lot (4313 W. River Dr.). Musicians are invited to begin setting up
at 1:00 pm, with music starting at 2:30 pm.
Everyone is welcome – musicians and non-musicians alike – to band together for the love of music and
community. All people, all instruments, and all skill levels are welcome at this free event.
“This is a true mega-jam session – where everyone plays an important role in the band,” says Danner. “From
beginners to season road warriors, you’re guaranteed to have a good time and make new friends!”
The event will feature food trucks from the Farmer’s Market and food by Chill Eats. Drinks will be available
from the Front Street Tap Room, including Common Chord’s new collaboration with partners Bent River
Brewery: “Key Change Blonde”.
Come early to enjoy the Freight House Farmers’ Market, and for music activities for the little ones, including
recycled instrument making and an instrument petting zoo. Don’t forget to pick up your very own kazoo to start
your musical journey!
Special thanks to Common Chord partners the Riverfront Improvement Commission and the Freight House
Farmers’ Market, to Supporting Sponsors Downtown Davenport Partnership and Rexroat Sound, and to
Community Sponsors West Music, Russell Construction, and Dahl Ford.
Community Jam Session Songs:
• “Listen To The Music” – The Doobie Brothers
• “Dancing In The Streets” – Martha & the Vandellas
• “Hey Ya!” – OutKast
• “Juke Box Hero” – Foreigner
More information for musicians (including lyrics, chords, & sheet music) and equipment needs can be found at:
Common Chord announces creation of Encore Society
At a private event in the Redstone Room on September 8th, Common Chord celebrated its recent successes
and announced the founding of the “Encore Society”. This leadership giving group is composed of Common
Chord’s most dedicated supporters, all of whom have made either multi-year planned gifts or have named
Common Chord as a beneficiary in their estate plans.
These seven individuals have made their long-term commitments in support of the expanding mission and
programs of Common Chord:
• Jeff and Kristi Cordle
• Jeff and Reggie Goldstein
• Kim Nickels
• Travis and Doris Unterzuber
To learn how to support Common Chord through the Encore Society, or as a member of the Front Row
monthly giving program, visit www.commonchordqc.org/support.