KCCO was honored to be joined by Theodore Ohly, winner of our 2019-2020 Chatelain Young Artist Competition, at our April concert at Yardley Hall. Due to Covid safety precautions, this performance was pre-recorded without a live audience. It is available to view on our YouTube channel. Theodore performed symphonie espagnole (mvt. 1).
Theodore Ohly, 14, began studying violin at age 5. He took Skype lessons with Julian Meyer of Philadelphia, who had been his mother’s teacher for three years. When the Ohly family moved to the Kansas City area in 2015, he began studies with Noah Geller, concertmaster of the Kansas City Symphony. Currently, he studies with ChiaFei Lin, associate concertmaster of the Kansas City Symphony. Theodore is a member of the Ohly trio, along with his brother Oscar (cello) and sister Lucy (violin). He was concertmaster of the Youth Symphony of Kansas City Academy Orchestra during the 2019-2020 season. Theodore also plays soccer, runs, and is on the SMNW tennis team. He is currently a freshman at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School.
We look forward to resuming our Chatelain Young Artist Competition in our 2021-2022 season.
Like many orchestras around the country and the world, KCCO had to make some difficult decisions as a result of the Covid 19 virus – including canceling most live performances for our 2020-2021 season. In lieu of in-person events, smaller groups of KCCO musicians came together and created some wonderful virtual concerts for your enjoyment. You can view those performances – as well as other KCCO videos – on our Videos page or on our YouTube channel. Then, as Covid restrictions began to relax, we were pleased to be able to end the season with a live outdoor concert on May 23.
We are now planning for our 63rd season and will be announcing those dates soon. In the meantime, KCCO is featuring live musical performances for limited audiences around the greater Kansas City area – our Civic in the City series. Please follow us on Facebook or email us for info on those upcoming events.
The Kansas City Civic Orchestra’s free admission to concerts is a deeply rooted mission. We are always touched by the generosity of our supporters, which allows us to continue this mission. Your passion for our community orchestra is inspiring, and we thank you for your continued support!
To say we are excited to be back together rehearsing and preparing concerts is an understatement. We truly look forward to once again offering high-quality and inspiring live concerts to the Greater Kansas City community. With hope and excitement, we look towards our 2021 – 2022 season.
Jennifer Mitchell is a former strings teacher, long-time member of KCCO, and outreach program rockstar!
A love that began in kindergarten…
My love for the violin began in Kindergarten after hearing a 1st grader perform “Twinkle, Twinkle”. We lived in Clay Center, Ks at the time, and were lucky to find a wonderful Suzuki teacher right away.
When my family moved to Kansas City in 1969, I began taking lessons from Tiberius Klausner and became a member of the KC Youth Symphony, eventually becoming the Concert Mistress.
In 1975, the Kansas City Civic Orchestra gave me a full scholarship to attend the UMKC Conservatory and I have been a member of KCCO ever since, minus a couple years when my kids were born.
Upon graduation from UMKC, I became an elementary strings teacher in Shawnee Mission East Area for 36 years. Following my retirement, I helped create the KCCO Outreach program. It has been an AMAZING experience as part of the elementary Outreach team playing for over 13,00 students on both sides of the state line. I also enjoy playing 50-minute programs each month for seniors at six different assisted and memory centers who are no longer able to attend live performances.
Then came COVID 19.
While I REALLY missed playing for elementary students this year, I was able to move my outreach program OUTSIDE and continue playing for seniors during spring, summer and fall. Being part of KCCO’s “Civic in the City” was another amazing opportunity to perform in front of live audiences who were as excited to hear live music as I was to share it with them.
Currently I continue to perform for seniors via Facebook Messenger and am looking forward to more opportunities to play this spring as the weather warms up.
A familiar face to local audiences and former Shawnee Mission students, local violinist and retired SMSD strings teacher Jennifer Mitchell will perform for you on violin with accompaniment. Jennifer has performed for over 13,500 students and seniors through her musical outreach program with the Kansas City Civic Orchestra.
The coronavirus has created new opportunities for KCCO outreach. Jennifer and others from the orchestra have taken their performances to small audiences through live driveway/neighborhood concerts, outdoor performances to senior facilities, and now online through Facebook.
Program of American Favorites
America the Beautiful
The Caissons Go Rolling Along
The Marine’s Hymn
You’re A Grand Old Flag
Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree (With Anyone Else But Me)
I Only Have Eyes For You/The More I See You
When She Loved Me
If I Didn’t Have You
Lover, Come Back To Me
I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You
What a Wonderful World
Over the Rainbow
Let There Be Peace on Earth
Enjoy the sounds of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra strings as they perform repertoire that is inspiring, traditional, and exciting!
Music Director Christopher Kelts and 26 KCCO strings players gathered over a period of a few weeks to rehearse and record this video for your listening and viewing pleasure. The performance features works by Mozart, Dvorak, and Tchaikovsky.
Our sincerest appreciation goes to Atonement Lutheran Church, Keith Stanfield (audio/video), and all the musicians involved in this project.
Be sure to sign up for e-mail updates. You may also donate to the Kansas City Civic Orchestra to help us continue to offer performances like these.
Please view and share this as much as you like. Together we will let music carry us through!
While we are not able to hold our annual holiday concert this year, you can still enjoy music of the season played by Kansas City Civic Orchestra members of the strings, brass, and woodwinds sections!
Original arrangements of favorite holiday tunes can be yours to enjoy in the comfort of your own home – or to share with others as a season’s greeting! For a minimum donation of $20.20, you will receive links to download our holiday video via email between November 20 and December 31, 2020. You may save and share the video as many times as you like. Spread some joy and make the season special with this unique video greeting! Use the button below to donate.
Thanks to some days of unseasonably nice weather this fall, our senior outreach team has been able to continue offering limited performances to senior living facilities! Although the format is different – sometimes a recording from home, sometimes on-site but at a distance – residents have still been able to enjoy some live music during this challenging time.
Keith Stanfield is KCCO’s Concertmaster and a featured artist for our September 28, 2019 concert. As a member of the Opus 76 Quartet, Keith performs over 40 Quartet concerts a year, and has recently recorded two Quartets by living composers David Izzard and Mike Moreland, as well as a quartet by Franz Josef Haydn. Recordings of quartets by Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn, as well as a complete cycle of Beethoven quartets will take place in 2019.
Outside of the quartet, Keith made recordings of Mozart Violin Concertos 3 & 4 and works by Johan Sebastian Bach for solo violin (available on iTunes). Concerto performances with orchestra for the 2019/20 season include Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante” and Beethoven’s violin concerto. Keith has won positions at a number of orchestras. He is currently Concertmaster of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra, the Kinnor Philharmonic Orchestra and Associate Concertmaster of the Saint Joseph Symphony Orchestra.
Keith also presents a free recital series annually, consisting of 5 performances. This year’s series will feature all 10 of Beethoven’s sonatas for violin & piano. Three additional recitals are scheduled for this season, featuring works by Clara & Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. A recent performance was reviewed in K.C. Arts Beat as “full of romantic passion..played with intensity..conveyed with authority.. [Brahms’s 3rd Sonata was] lovingly played, a sense of nostalgia and heartache convincingly portrayed.. an exciting and convincing performance.”
Keith is a former soccer player, who represented Western Samoa in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. He played five matches for the country (scoring two goals) before retiring to focus on the violin. He has coached soccer in the UK and the USA. More recently, Keith became a consultant for arts organizations looking to grow their audiences, specializing in online communications. Keith lives in the United States of America in Kansas City, and teaches a small number of students privately.
He started playing the violin with Alison Apley aged 3 and is an alumni of the Purcell School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. Teachers included the late Erik Huston, Remus Azoitei and Christine Grossman.
KCCO recently lost a friend and long-time supporter of the orchestra, Carl James.
Carl Ray James, 92, of Kansas City, passed away peacefully in his sleep on October 12, 2020.
Carl was born on July 3, 1928 to Glendon Otis and Martha Anna (Stone) James in Kansas City, MO. While working for the Dictaphone Company, Carl met Frances Marie Smith. They were married on November 1, 1953 at Roanoke Methodist church by Frances’ father, the Rev. J. Roy Smith. Carl is survived by his sons, David (MaryAnn), Donald (Lorinda), and his three grandchildren, Jordan, Nicolas, and Anna.
As a young man, Carl served in the US Air Force, stationed in South America. After marrying Frances, they operated their own typesetting and slide presentation business, Commercial Photocomposition, in midtown Kansas City. Carl enjoyed continually learning new technology as their industry evolved over the decades.
Carl and Frances were active members of Broadway United Methodist church. Carl was appointed leader of the Pathfinders Sunday school. It was a position which he was proud of and referred to himself as their “Benevolent Dictator”. He was also active in the OK Klub, a social group within the church, and once helped produce, with some of his lifelong friends, a comedic film as entertainment at their Christmas dinner.
When his children were young, he enjoyed family camping vacations to Rocky Mountain NP, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon. He also loved the time he spent with his family and friends at a small yellow house on Table Rock Lake. It was at the lake house that he started the tradition of cooking buckwheat pancake breakfasts for all the relatives and friends, and the little house became known as the YHOP, “Yellow House of Pancakes.”
Carl was a self-taught musician and had a great love of music. He and Frances attended the very first concert of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra, and later in life became involved the orchestra as a board member and ardent supporter.
Carl was very loyal and dedicated to his friends. He participated in a monthly poker game with the same group of friends for nearly 60 years. He also enjoyed competitive arguing with his mother in law’s brother, Harold. He was proud that he lived to the age of 92 so Harold couldn’t beat him at longevity. Many people will remember Carl for his nearly monthly newsletter which he called “Random Thoughts” and also his love of dark chocolate.
Carl was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Glendon, his sister Naomi, a half-brother Bill, and his wife of 63 years, Frances.
There will be a memorial service celebrating Carl’s life when we can safely gather again.
Memorial contributions may be made online or mailed to:
Kansas City Civic Orchestra PO Box 224 Shawnee Mission, KS 66201
Penwell-Gabel – Planning Center (913-232-7334) is assisting the family.
Kansas City Civic Orchestra
PO Box 224
Shawnee Mission, KS 66201