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Backstage And Beyond

CANE MUTINY: Symphony principal shows the saner side of being an oboist

When oboist Kristina Fulton spends hundreds of hours carving Mediterranean cane into paper-thin strips of reed, she has a single purpose in mind: to produce the most gorgeous sound possible. “I’ve always loved listening to opera singers, or even amazing jazz greats, Ella Fitzgerald or Nina Simone,” said the San Diego native, who has held […]

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GET ON YOUR FEET: A top-notch live band can make your reception into the party of a lifetime

Strategy, creativity, and a playbook drawn from years of observation: The success of a wedding band is more akin to Andy Reid’s playbook than you might think. A band throws out songs the way Andy tries crazy plays early in a game, just to gauge responses, adjusting the game-plan as he goes. A band ensures […]

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LOVE IS A MADNESS: Actors find Kansas City ideal for career and for ‘happily ever after’

Life doesn’t always imitate art, but it usually imitates Shakespeare. When Hillary Clemens and Matt Schwader first met in 2010 in Wisconsin, performing Rosalind and Orlando in the American Players Theatre’s As You Like It, they could hardly have known it would be the first of many such collaborations. “We got along really well, and […]

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AT A CROSSROADS: Conservatory finds ideal leader by following one simple rule

When Diane Helfers Petrella was charged with running the UMKC Conservatory, first as interim dean and then, in 2018, as full-time dean, she was so busy juggling the half-dozen crises facing the school that she barely noticed what was, for the public at least, the most newsworthy aspect of the appointment: She was the first […]

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A SECRET NO LONGER: International fame is shining light on sleepy Parkville

When you’re selling a somewhat offbeat product, sometimes the biggest challenge is explaining to people what it is and why they need it. When it comes to marketing, publicity, and fundraising for Park University’s International Center for Music, one obstacle to spreading awareness about it locally has been its uniqueness: There’s nothing quite like it, […]

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BUCKLE UP: After COVID-19’s bumpy stretch, Kansas City is in for the ride of a lifetime

The continued health of the arts in Kansas City has long been uppermost in our collective consciousness, and for months COVID-19 has kept us all preoccupied. Meanwhile, what is perhaps the most significant decision of the decade for our cultural future is already underway. Yet it has almost escaped notice. During the past 20 years […]

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FROM OUR TOWN TO YOURS: Kansas City Musicians Continue To Change The World

Ask anyone from Paris, London, or New York what they know of Kansas City music and they’re likely to mention jazz. But those of us who live here know that our contributions cover a range of genres, from pop to Country, Broadway to choral music, classical to hip-hop. “Kansas City has, throughout its history, has […]

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ART IN TIME OF CRISIS: Kansas Citians suggest balsam for wounded souls

The arts do more than console: They engage, stimulate, inspire. We asked a number of local performers, arts leaders, and community vanguards what energizes them during times of crisis. Specifically: “What album, song, artist, performance, or other work should we listen to or watch right now, and how has it given you solace and motivation?” […]

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COUNT THE WAYS: Six things you can do right now to support local arts groups (in the comfort of your own ‘quarantine’)

Nearly every day, arts-loving Kansas Citians receive notice that yet another performance has been canceled. As the Covid-19 virus has forced theaters and concert halls to go dark for the rest of the 2019-2020 season, we now begin to fear that even fall concerts are in question. Yes, these are unprecedented times in our history, […]

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