Kansas City Symphony to perform at BVNW

The symphony traveled to BVNW as part of their “Support School Music” program.

Lauren Fischer, Features Editor

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On Nov. 1, the Kansas City Symphony will travel to BVNW to offer master classes, a dress rehearsal for observation and will perform a concert in the PAC at 7:30 p.m. District performing arts coordinator Janelle Brower said the event is part of the Kansas City Symphony’s Support School Music program, created to help raise money for public school music programs.

“It’s something the symphony has been discussing with us for a few years, so they contacted me two or three years ago, and we figured out that this was the best time to receive this opportunity,” Brower said.

According to executive director of the Kansas City Symphony Frank Byrne, the Support School Music program began in 2003 to demonstrate the symphony’s support of the importance of public school music programs.

“Schools are cutting funding for the arts all the time, and when we do this we bring the orchestra to the school at no cost, so it’s totally free and we allow the district to sell tickets and keep 100 percent of the revenue as a donation and over the years we’ve been doing it we’ve raised over 152,000 dollars in support of public school music education,” Byrne said.  

Brower said the lower ticket price and the local venue make the event more appealing to community members, and encourage people to come.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for our whole community to have the symphony come so close to home, and it gives our students a great chance to hear the Kansas City Symphony and also collaborate with them and learn from them,” Brower said.

The symphony will also offer seven master classes on seven different instruments during the school day.

“They’re going to work with one student in a master class setting while other students who play those instruments are observing and learning from what they’re teaching them,” Brower said.

Before the symphony’s performance that evening, there will also be performances by the honor orchestra and honor choir. Member of the honor choir Allison Policky said the honor choir consists of students auditioning for district choir this year.

“We’re all singing the songs we’ve been rehearsing for district choir so we all know them already, but we haven’t rehearsed it together as a huge group yet,” Policky said. “I’m most excited to be working with other people from the other Blue Valley schools who are at the same music level as the rest of us, so we’re all really committed to what we do, we all love to sing and make music together,”  

The symphony’s program for the concert consists of Leonard Bernstein’s “Overture to Candide”, “With Malice Toward None” from John Williams’s music from “Lincoln” and Antonin Dvorák’s “Symphony No. 9 in E Minor” “From the New World.”

“We picked a fun program to play at the event at Northwest,” Byrne said. “This program could not be more popular [and] it could not be more attractive.”

Byrne said events like this help people experience a professional symphony, and  he hopes many people from the community and students across the Blue Valley district come see the event.

“Step one in encouraging music is to give people the opportunity to experience music and for some people that may have never had the opportunity to hear a professional orchestra play great repertoire like this, it could be a revelation,” Byrne said. “The principle thing is to reinforce the importance of public school music [and] as budget challenges happen, we don’t want to see public school music go away…so we’re showing our support by showing up at your school.”

Brower said the event will provide a special opportunity for students and the community to experience a professional orchestra.

“I’m looking forward to the whole event and for our students to get to hear the symphony in the Northwest PAC during rehearsals and during performance,” Brower said. “I think that sound is going to be amazing and I think that will be wonderful to experience.”