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Feb. 9, 2018
By Hannah Brod, media relations assistant
The Northwest Missouri State University Wind Symphony will perform for a metropolitan audience next month at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City.
The concert is 7 p.m. Monday, March 5, and tickets are free on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve tickets, individuals should call the Kauffman Center, beginning at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, at 816.994.7222, or visit www.kauffmancenter.org.
“The Kauffman Center is truly a world-class venue, attracting performing ensembles and tour companies from around the globe,” John Bell, the conductor of the Northwest Wind Symphony, said. “Acoustically, the Kauffman Center’s Helzberg Hall ranks among the top performance venues in the world.”
The performance provides a profession-based experience for Northwest musicians in a world-class performance hall as well as an opportunity to perform with two Kansas City-area high schools. The Park Hill High School Symphonic Band, conducted by Northwest alumnus Ky Hascall, and the Blue Springs South High School Wind Symphony, conducted by Ken Hansen, will join Northwest for the concert.
Each ensemble will perform a 30-minute program, culminating with the Northwest Wind Symphony taking the stage about 8:30 p.m.
“Park Hill High School and Blue Springs South High School are noted for their long-standing exceptional band programs,” Bell said. “I know both of the band directors on a professional and personal basis, so we’re all excited to share this special evening together.”
The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, a major not-for-profit center for music, opera, theater and dance, opened in 2011 and serves as a cultural cornerstone for Kansas City and the region. Honored as one of the “World’s 15 Most Beautiful Concert Halls,” the Kauffman Center attracts some of the world’s most renowned performers and entertainers in addition to serving as the home of the Kansas City Ballet, Lyric Opera, Kansas City Symphony and other innovative programming.
The Kauffman Center’s 1,600-seat, oval-shaped Helzberg Hall is an intimate and immersive experience for performers as well as audiences. The distance from the stage to Helzberg Hall’s farthest seat is about 100 feet.
“Our students will benefit from this experience in many ways, everything from the architectural observation to the acoustical properties they’ll experience while rehearsing and performing,” Bell said. “This is also a great opportunity to collaborate with two outstanding band programs well within our area of recruitment.”
Brian Wackly, a senior public relations major from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, is a member of the Northwest Wind Symphony and saw the advantages of performing at the Kauffman Center firsthand last summer as a marketing intern with the Kansas City Symphony.
“The concert venue is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced,” Wackly said. “This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
The Northwest Wind Symphony’s program will feature “Through the Looking Glass” by Jess Turner, “Dreamland” by Michael Markowski, “Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 – Allegro” by Johann Sebastian Bach and arranged by John Bell, and “Magnolia Star” by Steve Danyew.
The Northwest Wind Symphony’s appearance at the Kauffman Center will be a first for a Northwest music ensemble. The performance is made possible in part by an Academic Initiative Grant through the College of Arts and Sciences and its dean, Dr. Michael Steiner.
In recent years, the Northwest Wind Symphony has been invited to perform at the Nebraska and Missouri music educator association conferences. Last spring, the Wind Symphony was recognized by the College Band Directors National Association, through a peer review, as one of 10 exemplary small college band programs in the United States.
Bell is the director of bands and orchestra at Northwest. Prior to his appointment at Northwest, he taught public school instrumental music in Missouri for 30 years. High school ensembles under his direction were invited to perform at state, national, and European conferences, including the Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic. Bell’s individual accolades include recognition as a Park Hill School District Teacher of the Year, the University of Central Missouri Music Department’s Distinguished Alumni Award, the Missouri chapter of Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Band Director Award, a laureate of the John Philip Sousa Legion of Honor, and the 2016 Missouri Association of String Teachers Outstanding Collegiate Educator.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468