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Want to discover more of Kansas City's classical music offerings? Here's where to start

Kansas City skyline
Carlos Moreno
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KCUR
From live performances to listening to music from home, there's plenty of ways to engage with Kansas City's music community in the new year.

Kick off the new year with new ways to connect to Kansas City's classical music community, including Classical KC's "Take Note" newsletter.

This story was first published in Classical KC's "Take Note" newsletter. You can sign up to receive stories like this in your inbox the first Wednesday of every month.

Let 2022 be your year for new music and new-to-you music, with world premieres, hidden gems, curated playlists, and stimulating interviews with musicians in the Kansas City community and beyond.

Here are a few opportunities coming up for auditory exploration:

Performances

Classical music draws from a 500-year-old well of inspiration, with each generation adding to the rich diversity of the wide-ranging genre. This month, hear the Kansas City premiere of Joel Thompson’s “To Awaken the Sleeper,” co-commissioned by the Kansas City Symphony and performed in Helzberg Hall, conducted by Michael Stern (January 28-30).

Stay tuned to the Kansas City Symphony on Classical KC for exclusive broadcasts hosted by Stern and Classical KC's Dan Margolies.

Recently nominated for multiple Grammy Awards, the four members of Brooklyn-based Sandbox Percussion have been around Kansas City recently of late, serving as UMKC Conservatory percussion faculty since August 2021. Their collaboration with composer Andy Akiho, “Seven Pillars,” was nominated for both Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance and Best Contemporary Classical Composition (KCUR interviewed Sandbox co-founder Ian Rosenbaum about the nomination.)

Check out the video component of the project on their YouTube channel. And hear them in action performing Steve Reich’s “Drumming” with the UMKC Conservatory percussion studio on January 19 at UMKC White Recital Hall.

Want to see more performances, but don’t know where to start? Challenge an arts-loving friend to a ticket exchange and take turns surprising and introducing each other to new styles and ensembles.

The members of Sandbox Percussion, who teach at UMKC, were nominated for a Grammy with composer Andy Akiho (center). From left to right: Victor Caccese, Terry Sweeney, Ian David Rosenbaum, Andy Akiho, Johnny Allen.
Sandbox Percussion
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The members of Sandbox Percussion, who teach at UMKC, were nominated for a Grammy with composer Andy Akiho (center). From left to right: Victor Caccese, Terry Sweeney, Ian David Rosenbaum, Andy Akiho, Johnny Allen.

Interviews

Cellist and University of Kansas professor Hannah Collins released her solo debut album “Resonance Lines” last fall. She talked with Sound Currents hosts Sascha Groschang and Laurel Parks about the project. Each week, Sound Currents on Classical KC offers raw, insightful commentary on the music of today.

Learn about the artists making music in our community with in-depth interviews and high-quality musical selections on the Kansas City Local Feature, from Kansas City staples like newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble to visiting artists like Black Violin.

You can also dive into groundbreaking artists from previous generations with From the Archives with Frank Byrne.

Get Involved

Listening to music is only part of the experience. Learn new skills (or refresh some rusty ones) by engaging with music as an amateur performer. Separate from her role as a radio personality, Laurel Parks runs high energy, low anxiety violin workshops for adult beginning learners.

Throughout the metro area, community groups welcome new members who’ve reclaimed their love of performing. Learn more about groups like the Kansas City Wind Symphony, Rezound Handbell Ensemble, or Heartland Men’s Chorus.

If you can’t commit to the rehearsal schedule, nearly every arts organization needs volunteers in a variety of capacities, and it’s a great way to support the arts and your favorite artists.

For new music, voices and ideas, stay tuned to Classical KC.

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