As we welcome our incoming board presidents this season, we would also like to acknowledge our outgoing president. Marcia Barber began as a cellist in the orchestra before joining the board. She was a member of the board for eight years and served as president for five of those years. During her time on the board Marcia made significant contributions to the growth and reach of the orchestra.
One of Marcia’s first actions on the board was to create the Friends of Civic. The Friends are a group of volunteers that supports the orchestra in its fundraising and publicity efforts and at its concerts. They are key to helping things at KCCO run smoothly! In 2013 Marcia formalized the grant and marketing committees, created the sponsorship program, and assisted the silent auction committee in tripling the size of that fundraiser. These efforts resulted in significant increases in revenue for the orchestra.
Marcia was also instrumental (pun intended!) in expanding the orchestra’s outreach efforts. In 2014 she worked with the board and music director Chris Kelts to develop and launch the Young Artist Concerto Competition, which was recently renamed in recognition of long-time orchestra member Carol Chatelain. The competition provides cultural, educational outreach to the community and supports and bolsters young musicians, giving them the opportunity to perform their concerto of choice with orchestral accompaniment at a highly attended public concert. The winner of the fourth annual competition joined KCCO for its performance at Helzberg Hall, as will this year’s winner.
Also in 2014, Marcia developed the first Instrument Petting Zoo, an event where KCCO musicians and Friends of Civic members introduce children to a variety of instruments, both teaching them about and giving them the opportunity to play the instruments. That year also saw the first KCCO concert intentionally programmed for children, featuring the Marimba Sol de Chiapas.
After the success of the petting zoo, Marcia formed an educational outreach committee – headed by Jennifer Mitchell – and charged the committee with identifying opportunities and methods for enhancing understanding and appreciation of orchestral music through special programming. In addition to taking over responsibility for the annual petting zoo, the outreach committee established a touring ensemble to reach underserved children and adults in the community. The program has been wildly successful; in 2018 it reached 3,800 children through its performances in schools, libraries, and hospitals and over 2,000 adults at its performances in centers for adults with memory challenges, developmental, and mobility issues.
KCCO is grateful for the time, effort, and talent Marcia dedicated to making the orchestra as successful as it is today, and our current co-presidents, Sheila Evans and Don Goldenbaum, look forward to continuing to make high quality orchestral music accessible to the KC metro community.
For our 2018-2019 season, KCCO is welcoming a new board member! Sheila Evans will act as co-president with Don Goldenbaum until Don departs for the north in January, after which Sheila will act as president.
Sheila Evans has a 360 degree view of the arts, having been a performer, board member, chairperson, funder, and Executive Director.
Sheila was most recently Executive Director of the Allentown Symphony Association, in Allentown, Pennsylvania. In that role, she quadrupled the number of performances in Miller Symphony Hall—including Symphony, Jazz, Dance, Children’s Theater, and popular performances; led a $6m fund raising drive in order to eliminate debt for the Hall and fund new improvements for the 120-year-old historic hall; founded the El Sistema Lehigh Valley program with other community leaders to create musical and life opportunities for at-risk students in the Allentown Public Schools; and was recognized by the Allentown Human Relations Council with a Diversity and Inclusion Award—recognizing Diversity of performers; staff, and programming.
Sheila was recognized in 2016 as a “Woman of Influence” in the Lehigh Valley. She received a “Gateway to Equity Award” from the Allentown American Association of University Women in 2013. She served as a member of the Allentown Arts Commission from 2011-2017 and as a member of the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts grant making body for multiple years. Sheila is also a member of the Muhlenberg College Board of Associates and the Allentown Rotary.
Jazz has been a part of Sheila’s life since she moved to Detroit in 1973 as a violin student of Mischa Mischakoff – concertmaster to Toscanini and of the Philadelphia and Detroit Symphonies. While a student in Detroit, Sheila discovered her love of jazz at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge. George Benson was the first performer that she heard there – and she was hooked.
After several years as a violinist with the Omaha Symphony, Sheila decided to pursue an MBA in Marketing and Finance at Arizona State University – following which she returned to Detroit to launch a 20+ year career in telecommunications in Detroit, New Jersey, and finally in Kansas City. While in Kansas City she was a board member and then Chairperson of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. She returned to the musical life in 2009 as the Executive Director of the Allentown Symphony Association.
Sheila has three children – Ruth, an Editor at Getty Publications in Los Angeles, Nathan, a jazz trombonist and composer in Buenos Aires, and Matt, white water guide and restaurateur in Gunnison, Colorado. She has been married for three years to Robert Cort, who makes her life possible.
This summer Sheila returned to Kansas City, where she will continue her tradition of community involvement and support for the arts as co-president and then president of the board of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra. She and her husband Bob are looking forward to re-engaging with Kansas City music (and sports) as both participants and audience members.
A great organization, a fantastic group of musicians, and the rewarding experience of making high quality orchestral music accessible to the KC metro area.
Kansas City Civic Orchestra is seeking talented musicians to join us for our 2018-2019 season. This will be our 60th consecutive season as an all volunteer orchestra providing high quality music – as well as educational outreach events – to the Kansas City area.
Please visit the links below for more information about our open positions and our audition requirements. To register to audition, please complete the form. The first priority deadline to register is August 1, 2018.