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March 6, 2018

Visiting artist series bringing performances, master classes

By Taylor Middleton, media relations assistant

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Jo Byrnes

Jo Byrnes

Cassia Kite

Cassia Kite

Kevin Bobo

Kevin Bobo

Northwest Missouri State University will host three artists working in the mediums of theatre, music and art during a unique series of master classes, presentations and performances in coming weeks.

The series, “Transformations: A Life in the Arts,” will feature guests artists Jo Byrnes, Cassia Kite and Kevin Bobo – all of whom have ties to Northwest – through the support of a grant from the Heartland Foundation and a partnership with the Maryville R-II School District.  

All presentations are free and open to the public.

“The most exciting part is that the artists are coming in and they are serving multiple functions,” Dr. Katy Strickland, the chair of Northwest’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts and an assistant professor of music. “Each guest will not only talk to the students about their areas but also about careers in those areas.”

The series kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, with Byrnes leading an interactive master class about Laban movement analysis at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts.

Brynes, an associate professor of dance at Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri, is an expert in Laban movement, a method and language for describing, visualizing, interpreting and documenting human movement. It is closely tied to theatre movement and dance and draws from multiple fields including anatomy, kinesiology and psychology. She is the wife of Lawrence Alford, performance facilities manager at Northwest.

Kite, a studio art instructor and mixed media artist at IMG Academy in Brandenton, Florida, is a 2003 Northwest graduate. She will appear at Northwest on Monday, March 26, to participate in a panel discussion and gallery opening featuring performances of her Soundstitching, an interdisciplinary, multimedia project that transforms color from her hand-stitched images into musical compositions.

Her presentation, beginning at 6 p.m. March 26 in the Charles Johnson Theater at the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building, will feature music inspired by Kite’s hand-stitched tapestries of the Fine Arts Building and Bearcat Stadium. The Northwest Saxophone Quartet, Northwest Jazz Combo and pianist Dr. Jiwon Choi will perform compositions by Northwest students and faculty.

“I’m so excited to come back and just be there,” Kite said. “This is a way to pay homage to the experience I had and the education I got. Giving back is at the heart of a lot of it.”

The series concludes with a percussion recital featuring Bobo at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 2, at Maryville High School’s Lee and Nina Schneider Center for the Performing Arts. Bobo also will lead a master class at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, at Blue Springs High School.

Bobo is a professor of music at the Indiana University School of Music, a position he’s held since 2007. An internationally respected marimba artist, Bobo has performed in five continents and nearly 40 states. He is a Maryville High School graduate and the son of Richard Bobo, a Northwest music faculty member from 1983 to 2000 and former department chair.

For more information about the series, visit


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215