Springtime at the Conservatory

Springtime is always an exciting time of year, and the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance has a wealth of performances scheduled in our Conservatory Artist Series, featuring all major areas of study at the Conservatory.

The always-dynamic Conservatory Wind Symphony, directed by Steven D. Davis, hosts this year’s College Band Directors National Association Conference in March. The conference, held March 15 – 18, features performances by Ball State University Wind Ensemble, Michigan State University Wind Symphony, Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Oklahoma State University Wind Ensemble and University of Kansas Wind Ensemble, and culminates with the UMKC Conservatory Wind Symphony, performing at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts Friday, March 17, 7:30 p.m. along with UMKC Conservatory choirs and dancers. Tickets are $25 general public, $10 for UMKC faculty, staff, and all students with a valid ID.

After a stunning double-billed production of two Puccini operas last fall, the UMKC Opera Theatre is back March 23 – 26, in White Recital Hall, with Handel’s Rodelinda. In one of Handel’s best dramas, we find our heroine Rodelinda — who believes her husband to be dead — forced to marry a despicable character or see him murder her son. How will the story end? The opera is directed by UMKC faculty member Fenlon Lamb, with coaching by artist-in-residence Estelí Gomez and faculty member Alison DeSimone, and features collaborations with Conservatory dance faculty and students. Tickets are $12 general public, free for UMKC faculty, staff, and all students with a valid ID.

The Conservatory Jazz Bands return to the Folly Theater in April for a hoppin’ collage concert featuring the Conservatory Concert Jazz Band, the 11 O’Clock Jazz Band, and a variety of small ensembles. These ensembles represent the entirety of jazz studies at the Conservatory, directed by Bobby Watson and Dan Thomas. UMKC Jazz Night at the Folly is Thursday, April 13, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 general public, $5 for UMKC faculty, staff, and all students with a valid ID.

Robert Olson and the Conservatory Orchestra present a special performance at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts April 24, 7 p.m., where they will feature pianist Xiangyu Zhao, alternate winner of the 2017 Chancellor’s Concerto Competition. Zhao, who studies at the Conservatory with Robert Weirich, will perform Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. The Conservatory Orchestra also performs Strauss’ An Alpine Symphony. Tickets are $25 general public, $10 for UMKC faculty, staff, and all students with a valid ID.

The Conservatory ends the 2016 – 2017 Conservatory Artist Series with Finale: Spring Dance, April 27, 28, and 29 in White Recital Hall. The extraordinary creativity of the dance faculty’s choreography is combined with our dance students and collaborations with Conservatory musicians. Guest choreographers include Kirven Douthit-Boyd, COCA, Center of Creative Arts, formerly with Alvin Ailey and Battleworks Dance Company, and Hongyun Wang, Dean of Dance at Tianjin Conservatory of Music, China, assisted by Tianjin dance faculty Zhang Huan and Tian Jiao. Tickets are $12 general public, free for UMKC faculty, staff, and all students with a valid ID.

Tickets to all events can be purchased by visiting the Central Ticket Office online at umkc.edu/cto, by phone at 816-235-6222, or in person at the box office inside the James C. Olson Performing Arts Center, 4949 Cherry St., KCMO.

–Jessica Riggins

About The Author: Contributing Writer

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