Conduct the Civic!

Have you ever dreamed what it would be like to stand in front of more than 80 musicians and when you raised your hand, they would all begin to play? If you’ve ever dreamed of conducting an orchestra, here’s your chance! As a special preview to our silent auction in December, The Kansas City Civic Orchestra will auction off an opportunity to conduct Sleigh Ride during our Sounds of the Season concert on Saturday, December 11.

Place your bids at our concert this Saturday at Atonement Lutheran Church.

The person placing the winning bid will get:

  • One 30-minute conducting lesson with Music Director Christopher Kelts
  • A copy of the Sleigh Ride score
  • A dress rehearsal with the orchestra Saturday morning
  • The opportunity to conduct Sleigh Ride during our Sounds of the Season concert

All proceeds will go to support the Kansas City Civic Orchestra and our mission of providing free concerts to the Kansas City community. KCCO is a non-profit organization and your donation is tax deductable.

Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity!

Minimum bid: $200

KCCO’s 52nd Season

It’s 3:22 a.m., and it is pretty typical that I am awake at this hour working or trying to find something to do to fall back asleep. Tonight I have decided to use this time to write a blog entry talking about the Kansas City Civic Orchestra’s upcoming 52nd season. We have an excitng season planned with great guest soloists, and of course, wonderful repertoire.

Our first concert in October will feature soloist Ruslan Biryukov, whom you may remember was with us last year performing the Rococo Variations by Tchaikovsky. Well, he has returned and will be performing a work that is not performed as often, but is still a staple in the cello repertoire: Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertate for Cello and Orchestra. This piece will open the season and accompany two other famous Russian composers; Borodin and Stravinsky. Since the concert is entitled “Nostrovia! A Celebration of Russian Music” the Civic Orchestra will also perform Symphony No. 2 by Borodin and Stravinsky’s wonderful Berceause and Finale from his Firebird Suite (1919). As a side note, did you know Nostrovia is Russian for “cheers”? It might not be appropriate to bring your favorite vodka to the concert – so bring your other spirit for hearing great music and join us. Please remember to stay up to speed on our website for concert dates and times.

In November we will perform Schubert’s famous Symphony No. 8 “Unfinished”. I will dive into more detail during my pre-concert talk for this concert…trying to answer questions like “Is there another reason it was entitled Unfinished, besides the obvious?” and “Why wasn’t Schubert as popular as Beethoven?” Information on this pre-concert talk can be found on our website. This concert is pretty interesting in the fact that the first half features a much smaller version of the Civic Orchestra. We will open the concert with Rameau’s Les Indes Galante Suite. If you have not seen this baroque opera, I encourage you to get to your Netflix or Amazon.com accounts and find this work – particularly performed under the music direction of William Christie. We have two soloists for this concert: Sophia Tegart, piccolo, and James Keel Williams, bassoon. Both will be performing concerti by Vivaldi…and I don’t know about you…but Vivaldi is one of my favorite composers. Seems his ability to write both dramatic and fun music contains a great balance that is sure to please.

The first half our season ends in December with our annual Sounds of the Season.  The Civic Orchestra is sure to make your preparations for the upcoming holiday season a festive one. This year we have a few tricks up our sleeve for your listening pleasure…but I can’t reveal them.  Rest assured that when you attend this concert, you will walk out whistling your favorite tune. This is always a wonderful concert for us to give to you. Though it is usually cold outside, inside it is warm and happy. So come and hear us for some of your favorite Christmas and other holiday favorites. Get there early – this concert is always packed to the rooftops!

Well, I’m nearing the end of this post, and it is almost 4 a.m. Certainly the time has flown by. Rest assured I will post another entry talking about the second half of our season…oh yes…we have more. Mahler anyone? …it is a 100 anniversary year for this composer. We have Beethoven, Wagner, Mendelssohn and some Copland. We still have Jessica Goldring, our Mezzo-Soprano, and Yu-Fang Chen, our violinist, to introduce you to. So stay connected with us on the website…

I look forward to seeing you and you hearing us at the next concert!

52nd Season full concert schedule

Silent Auction – The Winners!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our silent auction fundraiser at our opening concert – it was a wonderful success!

We are in the process of contacting the winners  to make arrangements for picking up items their items.  If you need to make arrangements to pick up your item, want to see if you had the winning bid or have a general question about the auction, please e-mail us kccivicorchestra@gmail.com.

A New Season Begins!

September, 2009

Good afternoon friends,

Christopher Kelts, conductor

This is my first blog entry to the newly revamped Kansas City Civic Orchestra (KCCO) Web site.  I hope that you will take some time to look around at the historical photos, our new short video documentary, and of course our 51st season schedule!  It looks to be another great year for music in the greater Kansas City area.

Our opening season concert will take place this October 24.  It is a very exciting concert as it features all three of my most favorite composers: Wagner, Tchaikovsky, and of course, Brahms.  I love to program seasons.  Of course a conductor looks at budget, personnel, venue, etc., but picking a program is a lot of fun and gets me looking at repertoire from all genres, sizes, “popular” and less frequently performed works.

The Wagner, Die Meistersinger Prelude, I chose due to its massive use of the orchestra.  It’s been a long summer, and I wanted to use the most players as possible to let our listeners see and hear how wonderful the size of the KCCO has grown.

Symphony No. 2 by Brahms is probably one of the most popular of his four symphonic works.  Aside from it being just long enough in duration to program other works of substantial size, to a wonderful key of D major – Brahms really shows off his lyrical and beautiful writing in his second symphony.  Plain and simple – it’s a wonderful work – beautiful sounds mixed with a triumphant finale movement.

Our featured soloist for this concert is a wonderful cellist, Ruslan Biryukov.  He will be performing Tchaikovsky’s charming Rococo Variations for Cello and Orchestra.  This work is comprised as a theme and variation form.  It is quite easy to follow musically, and the cello technique is demonstrated with a sort of “Russian/Viennese Class.”  Without a doubt you WILL enjoy Mr. Biryukov’s playing.  I encourage you to bring your cellist friends to hear his performance.

THE INTERNET:  What do I mean?  All of the pieces listed above can be observed visually and audibly from a wonderful site called www.YouTube.com – I am not ashamed to say that I am completely addicted to this site.  You can observe some of music’s most wonderful performances as well as other postings from all other musical organizations.  I urge you to give a listen.

Well, I must be off.  The KCCO has a lot of rehearsing to do.  I look forward to writing many more blog entries, and look forward to seeing you all at our concerts.  Stay up to speed on our Web site – and always it is great pleasure for me and the members of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra to bring you our music.

Chris