KCCO’s 2016 – 2017 concerts feature three talented guest conductors. We are honored to have these accomplished professionals join us for our 58th season.


Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 3.43.18 PMSteven D. Davis
Guest Conductor (March 2017 Concert)

Steven D. Davis is a lauded, versatile, and cosmopolitan conductor who has inspired ensembles around the world. In constant demand as a guest conductor, he has conducted across four continents, working with ensembles in cities such as Bangkok, Beijing, Dublin, Lisbon, Sydney, and regularly conducts in his favorite city, Kansas City.

Davis has worked to break down barriers as a conductor by leading performances across a wide variety of genres. He has been celebrated as a conductor of wind ensembles, orchestras, opera, ballet, and cutting-edge new music ensembles. In addition to conducting symphonic repertoire of historically significant composers, such as Beethoven, Berg, Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler, Schoenberg, and Stravinsky, Davis is fervently committed to
performing new repertoire. This commitment has been praised by prominent contemporary composers including Robert Beaser, Chen Yi, John Corigliano, Michael Daugherty, Osvaldo Golijov, Stephen Hartke, James Mobberley, Narong Prangcharoen, Bernard Rands, Paul Rudy, Steven Stucky, Frank Ticheli, and Zhou Long.

Davis currently serves as Rose Ann Carr Millsap/Missouri Distinguished Professor of Conducting, and conductor of the Conservatory Wind Symphony at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance. As conductor of the UMKC Conservatory Wind Symphony, he has initiated countless collaborations with other artists and genres, including dance, theater, visual art, and film. Numerous world premieres have been dedicated to the ensemble during his tenure as artistic director.

Davis is a proud advocate for artistic music education and is a frequent guest lecturer, conductor, and clinician at music and music education conferences across the world. Most notably, he has performed at five Midwest Clinics in Chicago, and has led a myriad of All-State ensembles across the United States. His most recent guest conducting and teaching engagements include the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Beijing Modern Music Festival, and the Texas All-State Symphonic Band. Since 2002, Davis has spent his summers serving on the Orchestra and Wind Ensemble conducting faculty of the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp, where he currently is the Director of Bands and oversees the Junior Band, Intermediate Wind Symphony, and World Youth Wind Symphony.

Davis is committed to working with youth year-round, and is now in his tenth season as the conductor of the Youth Symphony of Kansas City’s Symphony Orchestra. Under his direction, the Symphony Orchestra has performed at the Kansas and Missouri Music Educators Conferences, the Midwest Clinic, and throughout Ireland. Davis is also the resident conductor of newEar, Kansas City’s premier new music ensemble. As a respected conducting pedagogue, annually, he hosts the Kansas City Conducting Symposium at UMKC, one of the
largest conducting symposiums in the country. He will also host the 2017 College Band Directors National Association Conference in March at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Kansas City. Davis has received many awards and honorary memberships in professional organizations.


debbautRobert Debbaut
Guest Conductor (April 2017 Concert)

Robert Debbaut has led orchestras and opera companies in the United States as well as in Central and North America, Asia and Europe. Included among those orchestras are the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, DePaul Opera Theatre, Filharmonia Sudecka (Poalnd), Hartford Symphony, International Symphony Orchestra (Canada), Kharkiv Philharmonic (Ukraine), Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony of Guatemala, North Bohemian Philharmonic, Great Novgorod Chamber Orchestra (Russia), Pärnu Linnaorchester (Estonia), Salt Lake Symphony, Saint Petersburg Classic Orchestra (Russia), San Juan Symphony, Shanghai Conservatory Orchestra, Utah Opera, Utah Symphony and the Yaroslavl Symphony Orchestra (Russia) among many others.

Conducting both concerts and recordings of the music of Twentieth Century American composers has been a great privilege for Dr. Debbaut. These include works by David Amram, Michael Angell, Jan Bach, William Banfield, David Carlson, Elliott Carter, Tully Cathey, John Corigliano, John Vasconcelos Costa, Michael Horvit, Steve Reich, George Walker and Henry Wolking. A composer and arranger himself, Dr. Debbaut’s recent works include “Great New City” for string orchestra, Variations on a Theme of Mozart “Komm, lieber Mai” for flute and piano, “Four Children’s Pieces” by Viktor Kosenko, arranged for violin and piano and “Birch Trees,” four Russian folk songs arranged for women’s chorus with piano accompaniment and violin obbligato. His first book, “Mrs. Beach’s Symphony, an American Original” was published in October of 2016.

Robert Debbaut holds the degree Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of Michigan where he was the first American conductor to be Doctoral Fellow in Conducting. Additional training includes degrees from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory and Missouri State University as well as study at the Tanglewood Music Center during Leonard Bernstein’s last summer there, at the Oregon Bach Festival, the International Conductors Workshop in Prague, and the David Oistrakh Festival in Estonia. His teachers have included Neeme Järvi, Helmuth Rilling and the late Maurice Abravanel and Gustav Meier.

Along with his Russian-American wife, the former Alina Anikeeva, and their daughter, fifteen-year-old honor student Sofia, Robert Debbaut shares a home in Ozark, Missouri with three often less-than-domestic house cats.

Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 3.39.19 PMMichael W. Mapp 
KCCO Arts Partner, Guest Conductor (2016 Concerts)

Michael W. Mapp is the Director of Bands at Washburn University, where he oversees all aspects of the band
program. He is the conductor of the Marching Blues, WU Blues Pep Band, University Band, and the Washburn
University Wind Ensemble. Under his direction, the bands have been selected to perform at state and national events. In addition to guiding all aspects of the university band program, Dr. Mapp teaches courses in orchestration, conducting, music education, and appreciation. Before joining the faculty of Washburn University, he enjoyed teaching in the public schools.

An avid advocate of new music, Mapp has been active in commissioning new works from some of the most talented contemporary composers writing music today. Striking a balance between the classic and contemporary, programming is of extreme interest to Mapp, especially in regards to contemporary music education. He has given music education presentations throughout the United States and is an active guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator. Mapp has been involved in recording projects that have featured the music of Aaron Copland, Michael Torke, Frank Ticheli, and Mohammed Fairouz. Most recently he served as producer of, “The
Trumpet Sounds,” featuring the music of Lajos Barós, Ian David Coleman, Felix Mendelssohn, Philip Wilby, Alan Hovhaness, Grayston Ives, and Anthony Maglione.

Currently, Mapp serves on the board of the Kansas Bandmasters Association and is the Kansas State Chair for the National Band Association. Other professional affiliations include the College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, College Music Society, North American Saxophone
Alliance, Kansas Music Educators Association, and Phi Beta Mu International Band Masters Fraternity.

Mapp holds degrees from New Mexico State University, Wichita State University, and The University of Kansas.