Thanks to some days of unseasonably nice weather this fall, our senior outreach team has been able to continue offering limited performances to senior living facilities! Although the format is different – sometimes a recording from home, sometimes on-site but at a distance – residents have still been able to enjoy some live music during this challenging time.
While we are not able to hold our annual holiday concert this year, you can still enjoy music of the season played by Kansas City Civic Orchestra members of the strings, brass, and woodwinds sections!
Original arrangements of favorite holiday tunes can be yours to enjoy in the comfort of your own home – or to share with others as a season’s greeting! For a minimum donation of $20.20, you will receive links to download our holiday video via email between November 20 and December 31, 2020. You may save and share the video as many times as you like. Spread some joy and make the season special with this unique video greeting!
Keith Stanfield is KCCO’s Concertmaster and a featured artist for our September 28, 2019 concert. As a member of the Opus 76 Quartet, Keith performs over 40 Quartet concerts a year, and has recently recorded two Quartets by living composers David Izzard and Mike Moreland, as well as a quartet by Franz Josef Haydn. Recordings of quartets by Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn, as well as a complete cycle of Beethoven quartets will take place in 2019.
Outside of the quartet, Keith made recordings of Mozart Violin Concertos 3 & 4 and works by Johan Sebastian Bach for solo violin (available on iTunes). Concerto performances with orchestra for the 2019/20 season include Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante” and Beethoven’s violin concerto. Keith has won positions at a number of orchestras. He is currently Concertmaster of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra, the Kinnor Philharmonic Orchestra and Associate Concertmaster of the Saint Joseph Symphony Orchestra.
Keith also presents a free recital series annually, consisting of 5 performances. This year’s series will feature all 10 of Beethoven’s sonatas for violin & piano. Three additional recitals are scheduled for this season, featuring works by Clara & Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. A recent performance was reviewed in K.C. Arts Beat as “full of romantic passion..played with intensity..conveyed with authority.. [Brahms’s 3rd Sonata was] lovingly played, a sense of nostalgia and heartache convincingly portrayed.. an exciting and convincing performance.”
Keith is a former soccer player, who represented Western Samoa in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. He played five matches for the country (scoring two goals) before retiring to focus on the violin. He has coached soccer in the UK and the USA. More recently, Keith became a consultant for arts organizations looking to grow their audiences, specializing in online communications. Keith lives in the United States of America in Kansas City, and teaches a small number of students privately.
He started playing the violin with Alison Apley aged 3 and is an alumni of the Purcell School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. Teachers included the late Erik Huston, Remus Azoitei and Christine Grossman.
KCCO recently lost a friend and long-time supporter of the orchestra, Carl James.
Carl Ray James, 92, of Kansas City, passed away peacefully in his sleep on October 12, 2020.
Carl was born on July 3, 1928 to Glendon Otis and Martha Anna (Stone) James in Kansas City, MO. While working for the Dictaphone Company, Carl met Frances Marie Smith. They were married on November 1, 1953 at Roanoke Methodist church by Frances’ father, the Rev. J. Roy Smith. Carl is survived by his sons, David (MaryAnn), Donald (Lorinda), and his three grandchildren, Jordan, Nicolas, and Anna.
As a young man, Carl served in the US Air Force, stationed in South America. After marrying Frances, they operated their own typesetting and slide presentation business, Commercial Photocomposition, in midtown Kansas City. Carl enjoyed continually learning new technology as their industry evolved over the decades.
Carl and Frances were active members of Broadway United Methodist church. Carl was appointed leader of the Pathfinders Sunday school. It was a position which he was proud of and referred to himself as their “Benevolent Dictator”. He was also active in the OK Klub, a social group within the church, and once helped produce, with some of his lifelong friends, a comedic film as entertainment at their Christmas dinner.
When his children were young, he enjoyed family camping vacations to Rocky Mountain NP, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon. He also loved the time he spent with his family and friends at a small yellow house on Table Rock Lake. It was at the lake house that he started the tradition of cooking buckwheat pancake breakfasts for all the relatives and friends, and the little house became known as the YHOP, “Yellow House of Pancakes.”
Carl was a self-taught musician and had a great love of music. He and Frances attended the very first concert of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra, and later in life became involved the orchestra as a board member and ardent supporter.
Carl was very loyal and dedicated to his friends. He participated in a monthly poker game with the same group of friends for nearly 60 years. He also enjoyed competitive arguing with his mother in law’s brother, Harold. He was proud that he lived to the age of 92 so Harold couldn’t beat him at longevity. Many people will remember Carl for his nearly monthly newsletter which he called “Random Thoughts” and also his love of dark chocolate.
Carl was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Glendon, his sister Naomi, a half-brother Bill, and his wife of 63 years, Frances.
There will be a memorial service celebrating Carl’s life when we can safely gather again.
Memorial contributions may be made online or mailed to:
Kansas City Civic Orchestra PO Box 224 Shawnee Mission, KS 66201
Penwell-Gabel – Planning Center (913-232-7334) is assisting the family.
Although our regular concert was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, KCCO musicians have been meeting in small groups to rehearse and perform while maintaining appropriate safety measures. An expansion of our outreach efforts, begun by violinist Jennifer Mitchell, “Civic in the City” is a series of recitals prepared and performed in various neighborhoods around town. Debbie Allen, principal clarinetist, began the neighborhood performances with a series of four recitals in her neighborhood during the months of June and July. Duos, trios, and quartets were performed outdoors for appreciative, and safely socially distanced, audience members.
A highlight of Civic in the City is the performance of an original composition for string quartet, As The River Flows, written by our own Debbie Allen. The inspiration for the composition was watching nature unfold in all its glory, while sheltering in place, at the onset of the virus. As The River Flows includes three movements: Life Endures, NatureRestores, and Water Glistens.
During the month of August, Civic in the City recitals have included a duo performance by Ruth Sadasivan and Jennifer Mitchell and a combined performance of string and woodwind players. Additional neighborhood recitals are in the planning stages. If you would like to host a KCCO performance in your neighborhood, please email us and we’ll get in touch to discuss the when, where, and how!
Debbie Allen is principal clarinet and woodwind section leader for the Kansas City Civic Orchestra. She is a music educator with experience teaching at all grade levels in vocal and instrumental music. Debbie also enjoys creating original music for school bands and orchestras, both to challenge and inspire kids as well as to give back and honor the inspiration and enlightenment she has received as an educator. Her recent compositions include music for string quartet. Music and recordings may be found at www.jwpepper.com/myscore/musictoinspire. Debbie holds degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Emporia State University. She is currently an Adjunct Faculty instructor at Baker University and spends summers working at Interlochen Center for the Arts Summer Camp.
We are living in strange times, to say the least.Never before in our nearly 63 seasons has the Civic Orchestra had to cancel part of a concert season, but with great reluctance – and a strong sense of responsibility – the Board of Directors and I have made the decision to cancel the remainder of our 2019-2020 season.This, unfortunately, includes canceling the Saturday, April 25, 2020 concert at Helzberg Hall.
Like many orchestras around the country and the world, we are looking forward to our 2020-2021 season and are already in the exciting stages of planning the next set of concerts.We will be offering a concert tribute to Ludwig Van Beethoven and his 250th birthday year.We will also have two family weekend concerts: our November Pops and family concert, which will include our fabulous instrument petting zoo educational outreach program, and our Sounds of the Season performances in December, which will bring 2020 to a festive close.We will top off our 63rd season of wonderful music with a performance at Helzberg Hall on Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 3:00pm.This concert will feature our 2020 Carol Chatelain Young Artist as well as our 2021 winner (to be chosen).
The Kansas City Civic Orchestra’s free admission to concerts is a deeply rooted tradition, and it is only possible thanks to you, our supporters. We are always very touched by the amount of generosity you offer by giving annually, at concerts, or through sponsorships to help us meet our capital funding needs.Just as everyone is working to meet budgets in this difficult time, the Civic Orchestra is also working to balance its remaining budget for the current season.* We thank you for your continued support and for your inspiring passion for the Civic Orchestra!
To say we are excited to get back to rehearsing together and preparing concerts, and that we are looking forward to offering high quality and inspiring concerts to the Greater Kansas City community once again, is an understatement.With hope and excitement we look towards our 2020-2021 season.
With thanks and sincerity,
Christopher Kelts, music director
Cc: Board of Directors
* Due to the passing of the CARES Act, donors can deduct up to $300 above the Federal Standard Deduction for donations made to a non-profit organization such as the Kansas City Civic Orchestra. Click here to support KCCO today.
Due to safety measures in response to the Covid-19 virus our season finale concert will not take place as scheduled.
We truly appreciate your support during our 2019-2020 season. Please check back with us for information on our next season and some special presentations on our Facebook page.
Stay safe and healthy!
Our final concert of 2020!
Wagner’s Overture to Rienzi kicks off our season finale program, followed by Carol Chatelain Young Artist Concerto winner Theodore Ohly (violin) performing the Allegro non troppo movement of Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole. The second half of the program honors Beethoven, opening with the Coriolan Overture, Op. 62. Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 closes the program and features pianist Minju Choi.
R. Wagner–––––––––––Overture to Rienzi, WWV49
É. Lalo –––_________––Symphonie espagnole in D minor, Op. 21
––––––––––––––––––––-– Allegro non troppo
_Carol Chatelain Young Artist Concerto Winner Theodore Ohly, violin
L.V. Beethoven–––––––Coriolan Overture, Op. 62
L.V. Beethoven –––––––Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37
Lauded for being “positively mesmerizing at the piano” by The Times-Tribune, Korean-American pianist Minju Choi has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia as a recitalist, soloist, and chamber musician. She has appeared as a soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony and Shreveport Symphony, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and the Music Academy of the West and Juilliard Orchestras. Choi has been presented in recitals in cities in the U.S. and abroad, including Paris, New York City, Philadelphia, and Myra Hess Memorial Series in Chicago. She has performed solo concerts in prestigious venues such as the Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall, Chicago Cultural Center, Studio 54, Cosmopolitan Club of NYC, Salle Franck in Paris, and Steinway Hall. She has been heard as a soloist in live and recorded performances on radio stations around the country including WQXR New York Radio, WFMT Chicago Radio, WQSC Santa Barbara, KDAQ Shreveport, and WICR Indianapolis. Choi was a featured artist at the Vancouver Recital Society’s Chamber Music Festival, in which her performances were broadcast on the CBC Canada Radio.
A strong enthusiast of contemporary music, Choi is recognized for her championship of music by American composers. Her 2018 solo debut album Boundless under Navona Records label garnered her a feature review in the Gramophone Magazine and has been performed on radio stations across North America and Europe. It features music by Philip Lasser, Gabriela Lena Frank, and a commissioned work by Ching-chu Hu. She has commissioned a variety of works that have been written for her by American composers. Notable performances of American works have included David Diamond’s Piano Concerto with conductor Gerard Schwarz and Philip Lasser’s piano sonata “The White Owls” at Schola Cantorum in Paris, which resulted in Choi’s performance of the sonata as the centerpiece of a modern dance work presented at Lincoln Center and at Florence Gould Hall of the French Institute in New York City.She has also worked with American composers Derek Bermel, William Bolcom, and Joel Hoffman.
Committed to the education of young pianists and arts advocacy, Choi has created numerous community music engagement programs and has given masterclasses at universities across the country. Choi has served as a piano faculty at University of Indianapolis in 2010-2017. In 2016, she also served as the Indiana Arts Commission’s Strategic Planning Committee Member.
The South Korean-born, Indiana-bred pianist has been awarded prizes in several competitions including first prize in the Nena Wideman International Piano Competition, the Music Academy of the West Concerto Competition, and the Juilliard Concerto Competition. Choi was also a winner in the National YoungArts Foundation Competition. She earned her bachelor´s and master´s degrees from The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Jerome Lowenthal. She pursued additional studies with Jean-Claude Pennetier at École Normale de Musique de Paris and with Bernd Goetzke at Hochschule für Musik, Theater, und Medien Hannover in Germany. She earned her doctoral degree at Stony Brook University in New York with Gilbert Kalish and Christina Dahl. Choi is currently serving as an Assistant Professor of Piano at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri.
Ms. Choi will be performing with KCCO at our April 25, 2020 concert.
Kansas City Civic Orchestra
PO Box 224
Shawnee Mission, KS 66201