Musician Spotlight – Janice White, Cello

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Janice White has been a music-lover all her life. As a young child she enjoyed singing. In third grade she began playing piano, and later she became a clarinet player in her school band. At home, she says, she “drove everyone nuts” playing orchestral music on the record player and practicing for performances.

In 8th grade Janice attended Old Mission Junior High. Old Mission was a newer school and was fortunate to have a range of new instruments available for students, including some that no student was yet able to play. Because her music teacher determined that her hands had a large enough spread for the job, Janice volunteered to take up playing bass (after just a moment of hesitation when she realized how big it was!).

Janice’s musical endeavors included not only school performances, but also performances with the Youth Symphony. It was the first year of the Symphony’s operation, and Janice had friends from music camp who were playing with the group. She learned that they were in need of a bass player, so she auditioned and was asked to join. The Youth Symphony included players from all across the metro. They played symphonies and other pieces, had a concerto competition, and played four concerts per year at local high schools and at the KC Music Hall at Municipal Auditorium. Janice says the symphony gave her the opportunity to enjoy a “higher level of playing.”

In college Janice added another instrument to her arsenal when she took up playing the cello. Then, in a world where women’s options were limited to being a teacher, nurse, or secretary, she chose to become a teacher as that profession aligned most closely with her love of music. She taught junior high orchestra, high school band, choir, and music theory.

Janice has now been teaching piano in the Kansas City area for 54 years; she has taught the children and grandchildren of some of her students! She also teaches cello and has taught clarinet, guitar, and bagpipes (but only the chanter!). She first joined the Kansas City Civic Orchestra in 1967. In 1973 she took a hiatus when her first child was born, then returned to KCCO in 1987.

In addition to serving as her vocation, music has afforded Janice the opportunity to perform in many different venues, learn different kinds of music, and meet a large, diverse group of friends. Janice can’t remember – or imagine – ever not having music in her life.

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Musician Spotlight – Carol Chatelain, Violin

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Carol Chatelain has been a member of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra since 1972 and has served as its concertmaster since 1975. She has also been a member of the orchestra’s board for more than 30 years.

A native of Lewis, Kan., Chatelain is a graduate of Kansas University, where she received bachelor’s degrees in violin performance and music education, and a master’s degree in music education. She taught music in public schools for 31 years, retiring from the Shawnee Mission school district in 1994. Chatelain’s other musical activities include playing with the Kinnor Philharmonic Orchestra and the Harvest String Quartet, with which she has played for over 30 years. She has also been a member of the Overland Park Orchestra, St. Joseph Symphony, Heritage Symphony, Northland Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Medical Arts Symphony.

Carol is married to Richard (Dick) Chatelain, who plays tuba with KCCO, and she has two daughters and one grandson. Carol and Dick are season ticket holders for the Kansas City Symphony, avid KU basketball fans, and proud parents of a miniature dachshund named Heidi. Carol says the Kansas City Civic Orchestra has been a big part of her life and the source of many friendships. “I hope I have many more notes to play with them,” Carol says.

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Musician Spotlight – Dr. Christopher Kelts, Conductor

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KCCO recently welcomed the return of Dr. Christopher Kelts as Music Director, so we would like to officially reintroduce him to you! Be sure to check out his Facebook page as well.

Christopher Kelts is the new Director of Orchestral Studies and Assistant Professor of Music Missouri State University. He is also the Music Director and co-founder of the Kinnor Philharmonic Orchestra and serves as Music Conductor for the Kansas City Civic Orchestra.

A native of St. Louis, Dr. Kelts has had many opportunities to perform in his home city. He has been the recipient of the “Arts for Life” Award for his musical direction in local theatre, served as guest conductor for the St. Louis Suburban Honors Orchestra and clinician to many St. Louis School Districts. Kelts was also a guest clinician for the Hickman Mills Honors Orchestra (Kansas City), in addition to giving many clinics to local and state-wide middle and high schools. He has also served as an adjudicator for the American String Teacher’s Association (ASTA).

Other conducting engagements have included: assistant conductor of the Kansas City Ballet, Chamber Orchestra of the Ozarks, Topeka Symphony Orchestra and the Urban Cultural Project (Kansas City).

Dr. Kelts completed his advanced conducting training at Illinois State University and University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. His teachers have included Glenn Block, Robert Olson and Paul Vermel. While in his studies at UMKC Conservatory, Chris served as the assistant conductor for the Conservatory Symphony and Chamber Orchestra. He maintained the position as Opera conductor of many of the Conservatory’s opera productions. Dr. Kelts has conducted stage productions as: Le nozze di Figaro, Il Ritorno di Ulisses in Patria, Susannah, Pirates of Penzance, Hansel und Gretel, Guilio Cesare, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi and recently premiered Tonatzin. Chris has worked with stage directors, Linda Ade Brand, Marciem Bazell and Richard Gammon.

Not limited to his studies in orchestral conducting, Dr. Kelts formally trained as a violist where he studied at Missouri State University and Illinois State University. Dr. Kelts has ample symphonic experience as a violist. Recent positions have included; Springfield (MO) Symphony Orchestra, Peoria Symphony, Opera of Illinois Orchestra and the Fort Smith Symphony Orchestra. His teachers have included Amy Muchnick, Kate Hamilton and Karen Tuttle. Chris Kelts continues to perform in various chamber and orchestral ensembles.

For over ten years, Chris had served on the summer faculty for Missouri State University’s String Institute (String Fling) and is faculty/conductor for The Heartland Summer Chamber Music Festival. Christopher Kelts is a member of the Conductor’s Guild and College Orchestra Director’s Association.

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Musician Spotlight – Mark Lauer, Bassoon

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Mark Lauer is a graduate of the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. (B.M Performance 2015) He is currently completing a Performer’s Certificate at UMKC while maintaining an active performance schedule as the principal bassoonist with the Kansas City Civic Orchestra, Philharmonia of Greater Kansas City, and the newly formed Southside Philharmonic (Jefferson City, Mo). In addition Mark is also a frequent performer with the Midwest Chamber Ensemble and Classical Revolution KC. Mark has performed with The Missouri Symphony Orchestra, The Arkansas Philharmonic, The symphony of Northwest Arkansas and The Black House Collective. He has also held positions with The Heritage Philharmonic (Independence, Mo) and the Jefferson City Symphony Orchestra. Mark has spent two summers playing in the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra in Branson, Missouri.

In 2015 Mark was a winner of the Kansas City Musical Clubs Scholarship competition, received an honorable mention at the SAI Scholarship competition and was a Finalist in the UMKC Concerto Aria competition performing Carl Maria von Weber’s Concerto for Bassoon. Mark is a two time Runner up at the Missouri Music Teachers Association state collegiate competition (2013, 2014). Mark has collaborated with several local Kansas City Performers and appears on the albums “Kamikaze” (Claire and the Crowded Stage), “In the Blue” (Claire and the Classical revolution) and “Moons and Meltdowns” (Teri Quinn).

In 2016 Mark was awarded an Inspiration Grant from Arts KC, Kansas City’s regional arts council, to fund the release of his debut album, “Muses and Mavericks”. The album features five new works written by Kansas City composers and is set to be released in May of 2017.

Mark has studied bassoon with Marita Abner and Dr. Steven Houser.

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