Debbie Allen is principal clarinet and woodwind section leader for the Kansas City Civic Orchestra. She is a music educator with experience teaching at all grade levels in vocal and instrumental music. Debbie also enjoys creating original music for school bands and orchestras, both to challenge and inspire kids as well as to give back and honor the inspiration and enlightenment she has received as an educator. Her recent compositions include music for string quartet. Music and recordings may be found at www.jwpepper.com/myscore/musictoinspire. Debbie holds degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Emporia State University. She is currently an Adjunct Faculty instructor at Baker University and spends summers working at Interlochen Center for the Arts Summer Camp.
An expansion of our outreach efforts initiated by violinist Jennifer Mitchell, “Civic in the City” is a series of recitals prepared and performed in various neighborhoods around town. Debbie Allen, KCCO principal clarinetist, began the neighborhood performances with a series of four recitals in her neighborhood in June and July of 2020. There were several performances over the summer in 2021, with duos, trios, and quartets performing outdoors for appreciative audience members. Our musicians are now focused on our regular season concerts, but look for more outdoor performances next summer!
A highlight of Civic in the City is the performance of an original composition for string quartet, As The River Flows, written by our own Debbie Allen. The inspiration for the composition was watching nature unfold in all its glory while sheltering in place, at the onset of the virus. As The River Flows includes three movements: Life Endures, Nature Restores, and Water Glistens.
April 15, 2020
Dear Kansas City Civic Orchestra Patrons,
We are living in strange times, to say the least. Never before in our nearly 63 seasons has the Civic Orchestra had to cancel part of a concert season, but with great reluctance – and a strong sense of responsibility – the Board of Directors and I have made the decision to cancel the remainder of our 2019-2020 season. This, unfortunately, includes canceling the Saturday, April 25, 2020 concert at Helzberg Hall.
Like many orchestras around the country and the world, we are looking forward to our 2020-2021 season and are already in the exciting stages of planning the next set of concerts. We will be offering a concert tribute to Ludwig Van Beethoven and his 250th birthday year. We will also have two family weekend concerts: our November Pops and family concert, which will include our fabulous instrument petting zoo educational outreach program, and our Sounds of the Season performances in December, which will bring 2020 to a festive close. We will top off our 63rd season of wonderful music with a performance at Helzberg Hall on Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 3:00pm. This concert will feature our 2020 Carol Chatelain Young Artist as well as our 2021 winner (to be chosen).
The Kansas City Civic Orchestra’s free admission to concerts is a deeply rooted tradition, and it is only possible thanks to you, our supporters. We are always very touched by the amount of generosity you offer by giving annually, at concerts, or through sponsorships to help us meet our capital funding needs. Just as everyone is working to meet budgets in this difficult time, the Civic Orchestra is also working to balance its remaining budget for the current season.* We thank you for your continued support and for your inspiring passion for the Civic Orchestra!
To say we are excited to get back to rehearsing together and preparing concerts, and that we are looking forward to offering high quality and inspiring concerts to the Greater Kansas City community once again, is an understatement. With hope and excitement we look towards our 2020-2021 season.
With thanks and sincerity,
Christopher Kelts, music director
Cc: Board of Directors
* Due to the passing of the CARES Act, donors can deduct up to $300 above the Federal Standard Deduction for donations made to a non-profit organization such as the Kansas City Civic Orchestra. Click here to support KCCO today.
Due to safety measures in response to the Covid-19 virus our season finale concert will not take place as scheduled.
We truly appreciate your support during our 2019-2020 season. Please check back with us for information on our next season and some special presentations on our Facebook page.
Stay safe and healthy!
Our final concert of 2020!
Wagner’s Overture to Rienzi kicks off our season finale program, followed by Carol Chatelain Young Artist Concerto winner Theodore Ohly (violin) performing the Allegro non troppo movement of Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole. The second half of the program honors Beethoven, opening with the Coriolan Overture, Op. 62. Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 closes the program and features pianist Minju Choi.
Lauded for being “positively mesmerizing at the piano” by The Times-Tribune, Korean-American pianist Minju Choi has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia as a recitalist, soloist, and chamber musician. She has appeared as a soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony and Shreveport Symphony, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and the Music Academy of the West and Juilliard Orchestras. Choi has been presented in recitals in cities in the U.S. and abroad, including Paris, New York City, Philadelphia, and Myra Hess Memorial Series in Chicago. She has performed solo concerts in prestigious venues such as the Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall, Chicago Cultural Center, Studio 54, Cosmopolitan Club of NYC, Salle Franck in Paris, and Steinway Hall. She has been heard as a soloist in live and recorded performances on radio stations around the country including WQXR New York Radio, WFMT Chicago Radio, WQSC Santa Barbara, KDAQ Shreveport, and WICR Indianapolis. Choi was a featured artist at the Vancouver Recital Society’s Chamber Music Festival, in which her performances were broadcast on the CBC Canada Radio.
A strong enthusiast of contemporary music, Choi is recognized for her championship of music by American composers. Her 2018 solo debut album Boundless under Navona Records label garnered her a feature review in the Gramophone Magazine and has been performed on radio stations across North America and Europe. It features music by Philip Lasser, Gabriela Lena Frank, and a commissioned work by Ching-chu Hu. She has commissioned a variety of works that have been written for her by American composers. Notable performances of American works have included David Diamond’s Piano Concerto with conductor Gerard Schwarz and Philip Lasser’s piano sonata “The White Owls” at Schola Cantorum in Paris, which resulted in Choi’s performance of the sonata as the centerpiece of a modern dance work presented at Lincoln Center and at Florence Gould Hall of the French Institute in New York City. She has also worked with American composers Derek Bermel, William Bolcom, and Joel Hoffman.
Committed to the education of young pianists and arts advocacy, Choi has created numerous community music engagement programs and has given masterclasses at universities across the country. Choi has served as a piano faculty at University of Indianapolis in 2010-2017. In 2016, she also served as the Indiana Arts Commission’s Strategic Planning Committee Member.
The South Korean-born, Indiana-bred pianist has been awarded prizes in several competitions including first prize in the Nena Wideman International Piano Competition, the Music Academy of the West Concerto Competition, and the Juilliard Concerto Competition. Choi was also a winner in the National YoungArts Foundation Competition. She earned her bachelor´s and master´s degrees from The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Jerome Lowenthal. She pursued additional studies with Jean-Claude Pennetier at École Normale de Musique de Paris and with Bernd Goetzke at Hochschule für Musik, Theater, und Medien Hannover in Germany. She earned her doctoral degree at Stony Brook University in New York with Gilbert Kalish and Christina Dahl. Choi is currently serving as an Assistant Professor of Piano at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri.
Ms. Choi will be performing with KCCO at our April 25, 2020 concert.
Meet Theodore “Teddy” Ohly, winner of this year’s Carol Chatelain Young Artist Concerto Competition. Teddy, 13, began studying violin at age five. He took Skype lessons with Julian Meyer, his mother’s teacher from Philadelphia, for three years. When the Ohly family moved to the Kansas City area in 2015, Teddy began studies with Noah Geller, concertmaster of the Kansas City Symphony. Currently Teddy studies with ChiaFei Lin, associate concertmaster of the Kansas City Symphony. Teddy is a member of the Ohly trio, along with his brother Oscar (cello) and sister Lucy (violin). He is concertmaster of the Youth Symphony of Kansas City Academy Orchestra. Teddy plays club soccer, runs cross country, and enjoys playing tennis. He is a student at Trailridge Middle School in Shawnee, Kansas.
Teddy will join the Kansas City Civic Orchestra during our last concert of this season at the world-renowned Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, on Saturday, April 25, 2020. Teddy will be performing the first movement of Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole in D minor, Op. 21.
Our first concert of 2020 features guest conductor Boris Vayner. Originally from Novosibirsk, Russia, Vayner enjoys a diverse career in music as a violist, educator, and conductor.
Saturday, February 29, 2020
Pre-concert talk at 6:45 p.m.
Concert at 7:30 p.m.
Atonement Lutheran Church
City Beautiful – Stölzel
Gayaneh Ballet Suite No. 1 – Khatchaturian
Dance of the Rose Maidens
Ayesha’s awakening and dance
Symphony No. 1, in G minor – Kalinnikov
Scherzo: Allegro non troppo
Finale: Allegro moderato
Hear selections from Tchaikovsky’s famous Nutcracker Suite performed by the Kansas City Civic Orchestra. We are pairing this holiday tradition this year with the brilliant and toe-tapping Nutcracker Suite arrangements of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. The Kansas City Civic Orchestra is excited to welcome the Washburn University Jazz Band for this year’s Sounds of the Season concert!
Sing along to holiday favorites such as O Little Town of Bethlehem, Silent Night, Deck the Halls and Joy to the World. Included in our Friday night concert will be the winning Silent Auction bidder to lead the Civic Orchestra in Leroy Anderson’s famous Sleigh Ride!
We will also be holding our annual Silent Auction Fundraiser again this year. Stay tuned for a preview of available items.
Happy Holidays from KCCO!
Washburn University Jazz Orchestra
Dr. Craig Treinen, Director of the Jazz Studies Program at Washburn University leads Jazz Ensemble I, a group known for its musicianship and professionalism. The Washburn University Jazz Ensemble I have won the praise of adjudicators and audiences alike from their performances in prestigious jazz festivals throughout the United States. Membership is by audition.
KCCO is excited to announce our 2020
Carol Chatelain Young Artist Competition!
KCCO’s annual competition for young artists, The Carol Chatelain Young Artist Competition, gives KCCO the opportunity to engage with and support young musicians in the Kansas City area. The winner of this year’s competition winner will have the opportunity to perform with the orchestra at a world-class venue – Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts! The winner will also receive a cash prize of $500. This year’s auditions will take place on Saturday, January 18, 2020. We invite all musicians aged 11 to 19 to participate!
How to Enter
- Please read the competition rules below
- Download the application form
- Mail the form and $25 application fee to: Kansas City Civic Orchestra, P.O. Box 224, Shawnee Mission, KS 66201
Applications must be received by January 9, 2020.
- Competition audition date is: Saturday, January 18, 2020 at Mennonite Church beginning at 11:00am (time will be assigned).
- The concerto competition is for ages 11-19.
- Perform a solo orchestral work that is no less than 9 minutes and no greater than 20 minutes in length, from memory (can be a movement from a standard concerto or a multi-movement work).
- Audition time slots will be up to 15-minute intervals (accompanist cuts are encouraged for the audition).
- The competition is open to all instrumentalists except piano, saxophone, and percussion.
- First place winner will receive a performance with the Kansas City Civic Orchestra on Saturday, April 25, 2020 at 3:00pm at Helzberg Hall (Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts) and a prize of $500.00.
- Second place may receive acknowledgement at our April 25, 2020 performance.
- Kansas City Civic Orchestra reserves the right to have both first and second place winners perform at the April 2020 concert.
- Winner(s) must be available for rehearsals on: April 14 and April 21 between 7:30pm and 9:30pm and Saturday, April 25 at Helzberg Hall between noon and 2pm. Specific times within these rehearsals will be assigned at a later date.
- All room/board/transportation is at the expense of the competition participant.
- The $25.00 application fee is non-refundable.
- Audition date/time/place is non-negotiable.
- An audition time will be emailed to participant within one week of the application deadline.
- Competition participants must supply their respective instrument at audition/performance.
- Competition participants must supply their own accompanist at audition.
- Judges may come from within or may be guests of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra.
- Winner selection will be announced and emailed at the end of the audition day.
- Judges’ decision is final.
- The Kansas City Civic Orchestra can decide not to award winners/prizes.
- Failure to abide by these guidelines and rules may result in participant’s disqualification.
Feel free to contact our music director with any additional questions.