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We’re Dreamers, Jazz Cats, Givers, Performers and So Much More!

Crescendo: Dream Within Reach | Nov. 4, 2016, 7 p.m. concert – Helzberg Hall | Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts…

It’s fall and we’re back in full gear. The brass is booming, strings are vibrating, the dancers are dancing, and everyone is excited to be together as a community of learners and artists.

Our annual Crescendo concert and scholarship fundraiser is a much-loved and anticipated event during which our stellar students and faculty mine the rich vein of Conservatory talent.

The fast-paced, 60-minute performance spotlights Conservatory students and faculty as they perform in various locations throughout Helzberg Hall. The concert — whose repertoire is a well-kept secret — features dance, jazz, opera, voice, orchestra and more.

Proceeds from Crescendo directly benefit Conservatory students, ensuring that the Conservatory can continue to attract and retain the artists, educators and leaders who make the Conservatory such an important part of Kansas City.

Tickets to the concert, which begins at 7 p.m., cost $30 for general public, or $15 for UMKC faculty, staff, and all students with UMKC or student ID.

The gala portion of the evening begins with a patron reception and cocktail party at 6 p.m. in Brandmeyer Great Hall. After the concert, gala patrons enjoy a delicious dinner in beautiful Brandmeyer Great Hall.

Can’t get enough jazz?  Neither can we!  There are three jazz concerts in November alone and you will probably want to see them all. Jazz Nights at the Green Lady with the cool student combos perform Nov. 8 and 15, 6 p.m., Orion Room, Green Lady Lounge. These two concerts are FREE!  If you haven’t ever been to one of these concerts, this is a great opportunity to see what our creative and talented jazz students are up to.

Enjoy a post-Thanksgiving jazz night Nov. 29, 7:30 p.m., in White Recital Hall, where our incomparable Conservatory Concert Jazz Band, directed by Bobby Watson, and the stellar 11 O’Clock Jazz Band, directed by Dan Thomas, perform. Tickets are ONLY $8 general public, $6 seniors, and all UMKC faculty, staff and all students get in FREE with UMKC or student ID.

Dan Thomas, co-director of jazz studies says, “We are tremendously pleased with the quality of our students, our program, staff, and our faculty. Our students get the rare opportunity to study the jazz idiom in a curriculum that focuses its entire musical energy on the jazz tradition. Our students continue to achieve national success, and have certainly been a contributing force in strengthening the Kansas City jazz scene. No doubt this is due to the wonderful education that they are receiving at the Conservatory.”

Conservatory Choirs:  A Season for Giving
Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m. | Visitation Catholic Church, 5141 Main, KCMO

At the beginning of December, and for the 14th year, the Conservatory Choirs, directed by Robert Bode and Charles Robinson, have presented a choir concert benefiting the Harvesters Community Food Network. The concert is free, but the choirs gladly accept non-perishable food items and monetary contributions to Harvesters.

Robert Bode, Raymond R. Neevel/Missouri Professor of Choral Music and Director of Choral Activities, notes, “The Harvesters concert is one of my favorite programs of the year. All our choirs participate, for a total of about 150 singers. We perform at Visitation Catholic parish — one of the most beautiful spaces in the city, both visually and acoustically. The concert includes traditional classical pieces by the great choral composers from the 16th through the 21st centuries as well as lighter holiday favorites. This program is specifically designed to be enjoyed by audience members of all ages. I am particularly proud that we pair with Harvesters Community Food Network for this event, so bring your family and some canned goods and enjoy some of the most beautiful music of the season!”

This concert is a beautiful way to enjoy our choirs and to contemplate how we can all be of service to a greater good and a broader community. By donating money and/or non-perishable food to Harvesters, attendees not only support people in need, but also support the Conservatory’s wish to be of service and value to our community.

Tickets for all Conservatory performances: Central Ticket Office, 816-235-6222. conservatory.umkc.edu

Dana Self

Dana Self is an arts writer who was a contemporary art curator for more than 13 years in Kansas, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Tennessee museums, including the Kemper Museum. She has organized about 100 exhibitions of emerging and mid career artists.

She is currently marketing director for UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance.

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