A Fond Farewell to 2018

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We hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday season with plenty of friends, family, and delicious food! KCCO closed out this year with two fantastic “Sounds of the Season” performances – the Friday night concert was preceded by our annual Silent Auction Fundraiser, which included some great items, and on Saturday our special guest conductor for Sleigh Ride was KMBC Chief Meteorologist and KCCO tympanist Bryan Busby.

Fabulous concerts aren’t all that we’ve been up to during the first part of our 60th season – our outreach committee has been busy sharing their love of music with the community. Our coordinators have performed 66 sessions at 15 locations for just over 2,300 students, inspired approximately 130 aspiring musicians at our fifth annual Instrument Petting Zoo, and performed 72 sessions for seniors since September!

KCCO would like to thank you, our listeners and supporters, for making these concerts and outreach events possible. We are especially grateful to those of you who contributed toward our recent campaign for $5,000 in matching funds – we reached our goal and received an additional $10,000! These funds help us cover the costs associated with the concerts and outreach programs that we offer to the community at no cost.

We’re looking forward to seeing you at our March concert, “Legend, Lyricism, and Ludwig”, and our May performance at Helzberg Hall. Until then, we wish you a very happy new year!

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Musician Spotlight – Don Goldenbaum

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Music has always been part of Don Goldenbaum’s life. Growing up in Hampton, Virginia, Don played clarinet in the high school band and studied violin privately with Elizabeth Chapman, concertmistress of a local community orchestra. Later, in college, he studied for a year with Dr. Myron Kartman, eventual chair of the strings program at Northwestern University.

The two summers before leaving for college, Don played professionally in the pit orchestra of The Common Glory, a nightly outdoor pageant in Williamsburg, VA. Those two season-long exposures to daily (nightly) life as a musician, performing as a teen with big-city pros whose lives appeared to revolve entirely around music, convinced him that for him the violin would be an avocation rather than a vocation.

Instead of pursuing a musical career, Don got a B.A. in psychology and math from Antioch and an M.A. in philosophy and Ph.D. in Educational Research from Indiana University. While attending Indiana’s grad school, though not as a conservatory student, he enjoyed accompanying flute and voice majors during their senior recitals on classical guitar.

Shortly after moving to Kansas City in 1975, Don served as principal second violin in the KC Civic Orchestra under Glen Block, and later, was concertmaster of the Overland Park Orchestra and the Medical Arts Symphony. He plays violin today in the Kinnor Philharmonic and plays viola in KCCO’s viola section. A high point of his current musical life involves teaming with three other members of KCCO to introduce stringed instruments and musical ideas to young children in local schools, hospitals, and libraries as part of the orchestra’s musical outreach program.

Having music as a serious hobby allows day-job flexibility. Don followed a stint as a Senior Systems Analyst at KC’s Midwest Research Institute by eventually launching and running a technical writing and documentation firm, Applied Communications Group, providing onsite, IT- and manufacturing-related writing services to Sprint, Marion Labs, Burlington Northern Railroad, Bayer Animal Health, and other firms. Other positions included Executive Director of Johnson County Community College’s Business and Industry Institute, Vice President for Research at the Greater KC Community Foundation, and Vice President of the Kansas City Regional Council for Higher Education. As a freelance consultant, he designed instructional board games on technical and management subjects that training firms used in their commercial seminars and evaluated federally-funded programs for local colleges. Currently, he is a national reviewer of research-grant proposals for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Now serving as co-president of KCCO’s board, his earlier community involvement has included being on the boards of The Children’s Place, Carondelet Healthcare, and The Center for Practical Bioethics.

Don and his wife, Sally – a novelist – have three children, Todd, Aria, and Daniel, and six grandchildren, all of whom live much too far from Kansas City.

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St. Mark Center Outreach Event

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Young students at the St. Mark Center were visited by KCCO violinist Abigail Walden.

“There was so much excitement as the students, 10 months to 15 months old, huddled around to see the violin up close and pluck the strings. Students listened closely to learn what sound each string made as [KCCO musician Abigail] Walden strummed them one by one.”

Read more about “Orchestra Hour at St. Mark Center” here.

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KCCO’s Original Concert Master, Dale Bryan

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The Kansas City Civic Orchestra was saddened to hear of the passing of our first concertmaster, Dale M. Bryan.

Dale, a violin player, served as concertmaster from 1959 – the year of our founding – through 1966. Dale was a native of Kansas City. He graduated from Wyandotte High School in 1942. One of the accomplishments of which he was most proud was being selected concertmaster of the Kansas all-state high school orchestra festival at Emporia both his junior and senior years. It was on this return drive from Emporia his senior year that Dale learned of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He served in the Navy during and after World War II.

Dale Bryan appears in this photo from 1959, along with our founder Hugo Vianello.

Dale held a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kansas City and a Master of Arts degree in education from UMKC. He taught in the public schools of Smithville, North Kansas City, and Park Hill High School, where he initiated the first program of stringed instrument instruction. He left Park Hill to join the music faculty at what was then Park College. In addition to serving as KCCO’s first concert master Dale was also the original concert master of the Northland Symphony. In later years he was employed in various capacities at the Kansas City Public library. Following his retirement he spent his time in private teaching, taking care of his house and grounds, and volunteering at St. Luke’s Northland Hospital.

Dale Bryan with violin

Dale continued to play his violin until the last few years of his life. The photo at left was taken within the last few months and shows Dale with his violin – the same one he played during his time with KCCO.

Our thoughts are with Dale’s family as we mourn the loss of our fellow music lover and key figure in KCCO’s history.

You can read Dale’s complete obituary here. KCCO is grateful to David McLane Bryan, Dale’s son, for providing the recent photo of Dale and for informing us of his passing.

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