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.