Author Archive

01
Jun

Meet Summerfest Board President Don Dagenais

  Don Dagenais is the President of the Board of Summerfest Concerts. Don has been a lifelong fan of classical music, a season ticket subscriber to the Kansas City Symphony since before it existed (during the days of its predecessor, the Kansas City Philharmonic) and a supporter of almost every classical music organization in town. He has served on the boards of the Lyric Opera, Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, Lyric Opera Guild, the Arts KC Regional Arts Council and Kansas City

29
Jun

“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

14
Jun

“Reflection” with Melissa Rose, pianist

In the Summer of 1990, Summerfest began as a small group of 4 local musicians sharing a love of Chamber music and an intention to create an experience in which audience and musician could share all that it had to offer. They were a small but mighty group: Rebecca Bell, Harpsichord Mary Garcia (Grant), Violin Deborah Wells Clark, Harp Nancy Lutes, Bassoon Lamar Hunt, Jr. Flute   Over the next 3-4 years the group expanded to include additional violins

31
May

Summerfest Outreach Through the Years

(All performances free of charge) Summerfest performs community outreach events year-round to audiences that traditionally do not or cannot attend paid concert events. Our intent is to share our passion for music with audiences who would not otherwise hear live classical music. We also hope to build future audiences for classical music by introducing young children and their families to our art. Here is a summary of some of our efforts over

31
Jul

Interview with Shannon Finney

Kansas City has changed a lot since Shannon Finney first arrived two decades ago. Upon arriving from Chicago, she wondered if she was even going to like this area. That’s changed. “Kansas City is not the same place as when I arrived,” she says. “There is an upward trajectory; Kansas City is making an investment in itself. We have a lot of amenities now that weren’t here before.” At least one reason Kansas City is a better place is because Shannon and

31
Jul

Interview with Alexander East

Alexander East came to Kansas City in 1996 when selected to be a cellist in the Kansas City Symphony. Alex is a member of the committee which selects music for Summerfest. He offered these thoughts in developing the programs you are enjoying: Summerfest: Where do you start when selecting music for us to hear? Alex: We want the audience to be surprised by what they are hearing, but surprised in a good way. Each piece needs contrast to give variety on the

19
Jun

Summerfest Outreach Program

Summerfest schedules outreach events year-round to audiences that traditionally do not or cannot attend paid concert events. The scope of this outreach program has nearly doubled in recent years. In 2011 Summerfest reached over 1,600 children and seniors through free outreach presentations. In 2011 Summerfest began a residency at the French language charter school Académie Lafayette, in Kansas City, Missouri. Summerfest musicians performed twice at all-school  assemblies in

14
May

Meet Musician Mary Grant, Violinist

Who would ever guess that in the 1960’s Emporia, Kansas would be the birthplace of one of the country’s first Suzuki Violin programs?! Suzuki believed that every child, if properly taught, was capable of developing great character as well as a high level of musical achievement. Summerfest both exists and is the better because of Suzuki’s ground breaking program. Mary Garcia Grant’s older sister, Katie, was one of

14
May

Summerfest to Perform music by film composer Dave Grusin

Summerfest musicians spend countless hours exploring potential programming for each summer series. A lot of this research involves being aware of the newest recordings, reading reviews of performances and newly released CDs, and listening to lots and lots of recently produced recordings by composers of a variety of genres of music – not just classical. It was by this last avenue that the Summerfest artistic committee discovered Dave Grusin's “Three Latin

03
Apr

A Conversation with Summerfest Clarinetist, Jane Carl

In anticipation of Summerfest Concert’s upcoming July chamber music festival, we sat down with Jane Carl, clarinetist and UMKC Conservatory faculty member, to talk about what inspired her to keep the tradition going each summer. “We’ve got a pretty unique spot,” says Carl, “because we provide something that isn’t really very prevalent in the summer.” “I started playing in Summerfest a long time ago now, not the first year, but shortly