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Expression, bravery and truth: Celebrate Pride with Kansas City artists and musicians

Celebrate Pride with Classical KC.
Celebrate Pride with Classical KC.

Celebrate Pride month with Classical KC by listening to meaningful music selected by and featuring out and proud artists and musicians from right here in Kansas City, including drag queen and clarinetist Tajma Stetson and J.J. Pearse: Composer and member of the Mid America Freedom Band. Hear music by Julius Eastman, Michael Tippett, Jennifer Higdon and more.


Brooke Knoll

Guest curators

Tajma Stetson
J.J. Pearse
Jackson Thomas


Amahl and the Night Visitors
"Amahl! Amahl!"
"Oh, Mother, you should go out and see!"
"Stop bothering me!"
"Poor Amahl! Hunger has gone to your head"
"Don't cry, Mother dear"
"From far away we come"
by Gian Carlo Menotti
Alastair Willis with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Chicago Symphony Chorus
Todd Thomas (baritone), Ike Hawkersmith (treble), Kirsten Gunlogson (soprano), Dean Anthony (tenor), Kevin Short (bass-baritone), Bart LeFan (baritone)

Asyla - III Ecstasio
by Thomas Adés
Sir Simon Rattle City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Joy Boy
by Julius Eastman
Christopher Rountree with Wild Up
Shelley Washington - baritone saxophone

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra - III. Vivace
by Michael Tippett
Michael Tippett with the BBC Philharmonic
Martino Tirimo - piano

Harp Concerto
III. Lullaby
IV. Rap Knock
by Jennifer Higdon
Ward Stare with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
Yolanda Kondonassis - harp

The Street (harp solo)
Station IV. Jesus meets his Mother
Station XIV. Jesus is laid in the tomb
by Nico Muhly
Parker Ramsay - harp

Special live recording
"A Storm Turns the Room" by Kota Hayton

This performance of ''A Storm Turns the Room" by Kota Hayton is from KC VITAs' 2021 Summer Series. It's a setting of a poem by Kansas native Meghan Mohn. The music acts to set the tone for the different scenes of an oncoming midwestern storm described by the poem.

Special live recording
"When I Go Back to Earth" by Jackson Thomas
Plants accumulate carbon in the spring and summer, and they release it back into the atmosphere in the fall in winter. And a change in the landscape of the Arctic tundra, seen here, means that shrubs hold onto snow better, which keeps the organic-rich soils warmer and more likely to release carbon dioxide that's stored there.

With text by Sara Teasdale, this piece was the 80th World Premiere by KC VITAs since 2015, performed in May at Asbury United Methodist Church in Prairie Village. It is dedicated to Kevin Sweeney and Amy Rosenfeld in memory of the late Ann Sweeney who passed earlier this summer.

Want even more music to celebrate Pride? Explore our Spotify playlist.

Brooke Knoll is the digital audience specialist and afternoon host for Classical KC. You can reach her at
Sam Wisman is a Senior Producer for 91.9 Classical KC and a backup announcer for KCUR 89.3. Email him at