Iowan opera singer performs with Buena Vista County students, awards scholarships

Simon Estes is a native Iowan turned world opera performer
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 5:22 PM CST
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STORM LAKE, Iowa (KTIV) - Buena Vista County high school and college students performed at Buena Vista University with a world-renowned opera singer from Iowa Sunday. Some of the students received scholarships to chase their dreams.

Simon Estes is an opera singer from Centerville, Iowa and he attended the University of Iowa.

Now, Estes is giving back by going on a 99-county tour through the state, called Roots and Wings, singing and talking with choir students. Buena Vista County is stop number 60 on the tour, where Estes gave scholarships to four high school students. He said this is inspired by his college experience.

“When I was a student at the University of Iowa, I scrubbed floors and cleaned toilets and washed windows, you name it. Somedays I only had a handful of cereal for breakfast with water, not milk, and I thought ‘If ever I am blessed I want to help students financially get an education,” said Estes.

Estes has given away nearly $250,000 in scholarships through his fund; 50% of his performance fees go toward the scholarships.

Estes said he wants to teach the students he meets love and kindness, something he said the world needs more of.

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