Civic in the City

Although our regular concert was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, KCCO musicians have been meeting in small groups to rehearse and perform while maintaining appropriate safety measures.  An expansion of our outreach efforts, begun by violinist Jennifer Mitchell, “Civic in the City” is a series of recitals prepared and performed in various neighborhoods around town.  Debbie Allen, principal clarinetist, began the neighborhood performances with a series of four recitals in her neighborhood during the months of June and July.  Duos, trios, and quartets were performed outdoors for appreciative, and safely socially distanced,  audience members.

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.

During the month of August, Civic in the City recitals have included a duo performance by Ruth Sadasivan and Jennifer Mitchell and a combined performance of string and woodwind players.  Additional neighborhood recitals are in the planning stages. If you would like to host a KCCO performance in your neighborhood, please email us and we’ll get in touch to discuss the when, where, and how!


Upcoming Performance Dates

October 2 (KCMO)
October 3 (KCMO)
October 7 (KCMO)
October 10 (KCMO – Waldo)

Due to limited space, we must limit the number of attendees at these performances. If you would like to attend a performance, please email us to sign up for more specific Civic in the City updates.


61st Season Finale – Canceled

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.




R. Wagner –––––––––––Overture to Rienzi, WWV49
É. Lalo –––_________––Symphonie espagnole in D minor, Op. 21
––––––––––––––––––––-– Allegro non troppo
_Carol Chatelain Young Artist Concerto Winner Theodore Ohly, violin
L.V. Beethoven –––––––Coriolan Overture, Op. 62
L.V. Beethoven –––––––Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37
––––––––––––––––—––––Allegro con brio
–––––––––––––––––—–__Rondo: Allegro-Presto
______Minju Choi, piano

2020 Carol Chatelain Young Artist Concerto Winner

Chatelain Concerto Winner Teddy Ohly
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.

Sounds of the Season 2019

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.

Free Concert: Time for Civic

Our second concert of the 2019-2020 season features music from popular time-related movies! Our family-friendly, abbreviated performance on Saturday will be preceded by our sixth annual Instrument Petting Zoo for children – a great opportunity for budding musicians to learn about and even play different instruments with the guidance of KCCO orchestra members.

Both performances of this concert, as well as the Instrument Petting Zoo, are free and open to the public.


“Time for Civic”
Friday, November 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 9 at 2:00 p.m.
(preceded by Instrument Petting Zoo at 1:00 p.m.)
Atonement Lutheran Church

– Program –

Back to the Future (Main Theme) Silvestri

Fantasy for a Musical Clock in F minor, K. 608 Mozart

Highlights from Jura

ssic Park Williams

4’33” Cage

Take Five Desmond & Brubeck


The Avengers Silvestri

As Time Goes By Hupfeld

Symphony No. 101 “The Clock” Haydn
Andante in 2/4 time

Somewhere Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz Arlen

Highlights from Doctor Who Gold


Sixth Annual Instrument Petting Zoo
Our Instrument Petting Zoo gives aspiring young musicians the opportunity to learn about different kinds of instruments and even try playing them!
The petting zoo is set up with “stations” for the different instruments. Each participant receives a KCCO passport that they can have stamped as they visit each station. It’s a fun musical journey!
In addition to the volunteer orchestra members who assist children with the instruments, KCCO also greatly appreciates the support of Band of Angels, who provides the instruments for the zoo.

Current Season

KCCO’s 62nd Season – Update!

Dear Kansas City Civic Orchestra Patrons,

Like many orchestras around the country and the world, KCCO has had to make some difficult decisions as a result of the Covid 19 virus – including canceling our 2020 concerts. However, we are still looking forward and are now excited to announce our spring 2021 concert season!

March 6, 2021: Due to continued COVID safety measures, we were unable to welcome a live audience to this performance. However, a video of it will soon be available for you to view! You can find updates here or on our social media.

This concert at Atonement Lutheran Church will feature an underserved composer, Florence B. Price. Price’s Symphony No. 1 in E minor was first premiered in 1933 by the Chicago Symphony. Since then, it has been performed only infrequently. This symphony combines Price’s influences of African-American folk song and spirituals with subtle nods to the composer, Dvorak.

April 25, 2021: UPDATED – In response to Covid restrictions and related concerns, KCCO will not be holding our April 25 concert at Helzberg Hall as originally planned. We hope to return there next year. However, there WILL be a performance at another location. Please check back here and on social media for more information.

Our April concert in Helzberg Hall will feature the Chatelain Young Artist Competition Winner from 2020 and the soon-to-be-announced 2021 winner. Our 2020 winner, Theodore Ohly, will be performing the first movement of Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole. The natural and sensitive acoustics of this world-renowned hall will enhance the Civic Orchestra’s programmed works featuring the small to the very large. The concert will open with Kansas City native Virgil Thompson’s The Plow That Broke the Plains Suite and will close with the colossal final movement of Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8.

Typically our April concert would conclude the orchestra’s season, but this year we’ve added a concert in May!

May 22, 2021: Who doesn’t love some classic favorites? Our final concert will feature some of classical music’s favorite composers and their works, including composers such as Copland, Tchaikovsky, and Wagner, to name a few.

In addition to our upcoming concerts, the Kansas City Civic Orchestra is featuring live musical performances around the greater Kansas City area – our Civic in the City series. Learn more here or by joining us on Facebook by searching “Kansas City Civic Orchestra”.

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 concerts to the Greater Kansas City community. With hope and excitement, we look towards our 2020 – 2021 season.

Thank you for being a part of our community!

Chris Kelts, Music Director

*All concerts are subject to change or cancelation in accordance with health guidelines. **Repertoires are subject to change.