Our Team


“Reflection” with Summerfests’ Artistic Committee


Since its inception, Summerfest has provided the Kansas City community with exceptional programming that is distinctive from other arts organizations. Our Artistic Advisors strive each season to achieve the eclectic mix of little-known and well-loved chamber music pieces.   This successful formula has resulted in Summerfest Chamber Music Festival becoming a valuable and consistent part of the fabric of the arts community in Kansas City for 25 years!

Summerfest’s Artistic Advisors are responsible for this amazing achievement. (pictured above from left to right)

  • Jane Carl, Professor of Clarinet at the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory of Music
  • Alexander East, Assistant Principal Cellist of the Kansas City Symphony
  • Shannon Finney, Associate Principal Flutist of the Kansas City Symphony.
  • Mary Grant, Second Violinist of the Kansas City Symphony and founding member of Summerfest

These committed and extremely talented musicians are the core, heart and soul of Summerfest. With dedication and determination they choose the program, hire the musicians, work with representatives at the performance venues, acquire the music and lend their amazing talent to performing the music each season!

Thank you does not seem adequate, but to Jane, Alex, Shannon, and Mary:

We appreciate you and all you do! Thanks for sharing your time and talents and making Summerfest what it is today!

Please enjoy some of their memories as they reflect on their Summerfest participation over the years:

Summerfest is such an oasis of creativity and challenge in the summertime.  This year I counted and realized that I have been fortunate enough to perform over 100 (!) different pieces of chamber music with Summerfest.  Starting out in my career I would never have imagined that I would find an opportunity to explore the depths and breadth of chamber music with such inspiring and committed musicians and friends!
-Shannon Finney, flutist

“It’s hard to pinpoint one event or piece or moment in my long history of Summerfest that sums it up for me.  There are so many.  What started as concerts for a few weeks in July, a notoriously slow season in the musical world, became something much, much more in my life.  I discovered a passion for programming, an abiding love for all sorts of chamber music I never would have heard let alone played, and some long-lasting friendships both musical and personal with people in Kansas City and around the country.  It’s been a great time in my life, and I look forward to more.”
-Jane Carl, clarinetist,

The last year we played on the Fourth of July weekend: There were about six people in the audience, who were all very grateful to do something other than sit outside and watch fireworks, but there were more musicians than audience members. One of the six in the audience was someone who was visiting her son for the holiday. She introduced herself as a previous babysitter of mine – Mrs. Alderson.
—Mary Grant, violinist

For many summers, we rehearsed and performed at St.Mary’s Episcopal Church in downtown Kansas City, where we enjoyed the unique Gothic atmosphere and some wonderful receptions after concerts.  I know many of us have memories of squeezing into the tiny parking lot during the weekday rehearsals and ringing the doorbell, or calling colleagues on a cell phone to let us into the well-locked building.  One time shortly after the renovation of the reception hall, I was warming up in the lower level and when time came to go upstairs, I realized I was locked in a dark hallway the basement with no way to contact the other musicians!  Fortunately I was found and we were able to proceed, but it was a bit unnerving.
—Alex East, cellist


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