Music Director and Conductor Clarence Padilla came to Des Moines from Los Angeles where he appeared at the Hollywood Bowl, the Laguna Beach Arts Festival, and the Long Beach Municipal Band. Mr. Padilla is a Professor of Music (clarinet) at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he also serves as the Music Department Chair.  He has concertized, conducted and presented master classes across the United States in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, California, Tennessee, Illinois, Wisconsin, Nevada, Michigan, Ohio, Kansas, Arizona and the District of Columbia, and has given international presentations in Brazil, France, China, Mexico, Germany and Austria.

Clarence Padilla appeared as a clarinet soloist with the Des Moines Symphony in 2013, and has  been a regular member of the orchestra since 2000.   He has performed with a highly varied group of artists, including Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, Midori, Ray Charles, Pat Boone, Marilyn McCoo, Amy Grant, Simon Estes, The Manhattan Transfer, Roger Williams, Patrick Stewart, Lee Greenwood, and conductors Michael Tilson Thomas, Bright Sheng and Lukas Foss. He has also recorded for the Disney Company Entertainment Division and Touchstone Pictures and released three solo compact disc recordings.