Lee’s Summit Symphony Concerts are Special Events

The 2019-2020 season of the Lee’s Summit Symphony, its 17th, is proving the most successful yet—both in attendance and musical excellence. Concerts have become “don’t miss” occasions for hundreds of eastern Jackson Countians. This season the concerts are presented in a new, larger venue, the Pavilion at John Knox Village, and feature a new co-conductor, Kirt Mosier, who brings a different energy and a creativity to the performances.

“Holiday Spectacular”, 3:00 on December 21st, is sold out online but tickets may still be available at Lee’s Summit Hy-Vee stores and the Price Chopper stores at Lakewood and Raintree. The program will feature two very special performances. Angie Thurmond, tuba soloist, will play an arrangement of God Rest Ye Merry, Gentleman by Kirt Mosier which was recently premiered by the Kansas City Symphony, and repeat guests Isaac Cates and Ordained will sing Carol of the Bells and Hallelujah, a soulful version of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus from The Messiah. Cates’ group joined the symphony last year in a tribute to Aretha Franklin.

Joyride, Stille Nacht and other holiday favorites will complete the program, and of course Jolly Old Saint Nick is expected to visit.

Are you looking for last-minute gift ideas? Co-Executive Directors Bob and Candy White are offering Anytime Tickets for just $20, which will be great gifts for people who can’t commit to specific concert dates. To order Anytime Tickets, email office@lssymphony.org.

What makes this particular community orchestra so special? Co-founder and conductor Russ Berlin was for many years an outstanding orchestra director in the R-7 school district, bringing national acclaim to the district’s excellence in instrumental music. After his retirement, he created the Lee’s Summit Symphony so outstanding graduates from the area could continue performing as adults. His emphasis then, and today, is finding musicians who may have other full-time careers but still want to use their instrumental skills. Even now, most musicians reside in eastern Jackson County, augmented by some outstanding faculty members from the University of Central Missouri.

Since their first performance in the Longview Farm Show Barn, the orchestra has grown and attracted both business and individual sponsors who provide most of the financial support. These loyal donors are critical for the stability and validity of the organization.

The orchestra doesn’t shy away from typical symphonic repertoire, including classical music of the past three centuries. But each concert includes something contemporary and is based on a theme; for instance, the last concert, “Intergalactic Reunion”, featured  space-themed compositions. Large video screens add interest and provide further information about the music being performed.

The spring concert, April 4th, is “Symphonic Dance” and in June we look forward to music of the ‘30s and ‘40s when “The Rat Pack Is Back!” Join us at a Lee’s Summit Symphony concert and “Experience the Sound.”

–Carol Rothwell

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