Kansas City Symphony to Attempt GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ Title for the Largest Tuba Ensemble

TubaChristmas header

The Kansas City Symphony is aiming for tuba glory at noon on Friday, December 7 in the Municipal Arena at Municipal Auditorium with its annual holiday tradition TubaChristmas.

Since 2008, the Symphony has hosted hundreds of tuba and euphonium players for TubaChristmas, most recently in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts for two performances each year. For 2018, the Symphony was ready to up the ante by combining all players into one date at the Municipal Arena and go for a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title attempt.

The free, one-hour concert on Friday, December 7 will feature traditional holiday carols arranged for tuba and euphoniums, and the concerts draw packed houses. The 2018 concert also will feature the world premiere of a new composition for tubas and euphoniums by James Barnes, noted composer and University of Kansas professor emeritus of music composition. University of Kansas professor of tuba-euphonium, Scott Watson, will conduct the concert.

The tradition of TubaChristmas began in 1974 in New York City by renowned tuba player and teacher Harvey Phillips. Today there are hundreds of TubaChristmas events around the nation and world, making it the perfect event for a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS official attempt. The current record was achieved on December 21, 2007, in Anaheim, California, with 502 performers.

“We can absolutely break the current GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title,” said Kansas City Symphony Executive Director Frank Byrne, himself a tuba player. “This event has such wonderful spirit, is so much fun, and we have had incredible response each year. For 2018 we want to have the biggest and best TubaChristmas in the world, and to break a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title. It will be a source of pride for Kansas City and great fun for performers and audience.”

The Symphony is taking no chances.

GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS Adjudicator will attend on Friday, December 7, so everyone at the concert will know if the Kansas City Symphony’s TubaChristmas achieves a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title.

Tuba and euphonium players may register to perform here.

Audience members who wish to witness the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title attempt can secure free tickets at this page.

“We want to invite tuba players from around the nation to come to KC and help us set the new world record,” Byrne added.

TubaChristmas in Kansas City is generously underwritten by Janet M. Stallmeyer and Donald L. Flora.

WHO: Kansas City Symphony
WHAT: TubaChristmas 2018
WHEN: Noon on Friday, December 7, 2018
WHERE: Municipal Arena at Municipal Auditorium – 301 W 13th Street, Kansas City, MO 64105
WHYGUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title attempt for Largest tuba ensemble

For more information, please contact the Kansas City Symphony Box Office at (816) 471-0400.


Travel to Paris, Versailles and Giverny

Join the Kansas City Symphony Alliance for a trip to Paris, including Versailles and Giverny, March 31 through April 10, 2019

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower, Paris

In June, the Kansas City Symphony Alliance hosted its first overseas symphony trip.  Those who traveled to Vienna with us said “it was amazing how many events we could attend” and “we packed a lot into seven days.” Of our tour guides, one participant said “A special recognition should be extended to Rob and Barbara Seaver, our on-site guides during the week.  They couldn’t have done a better job with everything, as far as I’m concerned.  Rob was very knowledgeable about everything we did in Vienna.  Couldn’t have been better.” Another told us “I would definitely like to go on another symphony trip” and that the trip was an “extraordinary experience!”

With reactions like that, we can’t resist organizing another trip to Europe for 2019. This time, the destination will be the enchanting city of Paris, the “City of Lights,” which offers many opportunities to attend great music performances, visit superb art galleries, and of course wonderful sightseeing and extraordinary vistas. Once again our European tour guides will be Rob and Barbara Seaver (Rob was born and raised in nearby Lawrence), who specialize in European tours for cultural groups.

The first ten days in June 2019 offer an extraordinary opportunity to hear two of the great orchestras of Europe, the Orchestra de Paris and the Russian National Orchestra, along with the remarkable classical piano duo of Katie and Marielle Labeque. The trip will also include a concert at Versailles, visits to Giverny and the Domaine de Chantilly, and, of course, tours of great art museums  including the Louvre and the Musée D’Orsay, and some spectacular sightseeing.


Sunday, March 31, 2019. We will depart from Kansas City for Paris.

Monday, April 1, 2019. We arrive in Paris in the morning, checking into our charming and centrally located hotel, near many of the great highlights of Paris. We will have an orientation tour of this remarkable city, including the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel TowerLes InvalidesSt. GermaineNotre Dame Cathedral and several of the city’s other iconic landmarks. We will have a backstage tour of the historic Palais Garnier, the “Phantom of the Opera” opera house. This evening we will have a welcoming dinner at one of the top restaurants in Paris.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019. Today we will continue our Paris tour with a visit to Notre Dame Cathedral and to Sainte-Chapelle, the finest royal chapel in France, which features a truly exceptional collection of stained-glass windows.  It was built in the mid-13th century on commission from King Louis IV, at the heart of the royal residence, the Palais de la Cité. We will have a group lunch, then after enjoying a bit of free time, go to the spectacular Philharmonie de Paris concert hall to hear the Russian National Orchestra conducted by Mikhail Pletnev perform works of Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich.

Notre Dame CathedralPhilharmonie de Paris

From left: Notre Dame Cathedral, Philharmonie de Paris

Wednesday, April 3, 2019. This is the day Rob Seaver will take us on the first of two visits to the Louvre (it’s just too much to absorb in one day) and enjoy many of the spectacular artworks on display there including the iconic Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. We will savor a group lunch at one of Paris’ fine restaurants, and then have some free time in the afternoon to explore the rest of Paris. Perhaps you would enjoy the Eiffel Tower or a visit to the Madeleine or Sacré-Cœur, two of Paris’ most famous churches. That evening we will return to the Philharmonie de Paris for a concert by the world renowned Orchestra de Paris, with Kristian Bezuidenhout in a Mozart piano concerto, and the orchestra playing Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 7.

Thursday, April 4, 2019. In the morning we visit the Musée Guimet, the fabulous Asian art museum in Paris. After a relaxing group lunch we will tour the Tuileries Gardens and the Impressionist and post-Impressionist artworks on display at the Musée de l’Orangerie. In the evening we will go the modern opera house, the Opéra Bastille, for an optional performance of Verdi’s grand opera Otello (extra charge).

Friday, April 5, 2019. Today we will return to the Louvre to see more of its outstanding collection, enjoy a group lunch, then embark on an optional relaxing boat tour along the Seine, which offers a spectacular vista of many of Paris’ scenic buildings and bridges. In the evening we will attend a duo piano recital by the famed sisters Katie and Marielle Labeque, performing a four-hand version of Ravel’s Bolero along with other works.

Saturday, April 6, 2019.  Today we will go to nearby Giverny, the home of Impressionist painter Claude Monet who lived and worked there from 1883 until his death in 1926. You will visit the artist’s home and the elaborate gardens featured in many of his paintings. We will have a charming group lunch in Giverny, then return to Paris for the rest of your day on your own.

Versailles Palace

Palace of Versailles

Sunday, April 7, 2019. This is our day to journey to the neighboring city of Versailles, made the French capital by Louis XIV, and tour the spectacular palace and its world-famous gardens. Lunch at a local restaurant is on your own. We will attend a matinee performance, a concert version of Handel’s opera Rinaldo, before returning to Paris in the evening for a group dinner.

Monday, April 8, 2019. Today we will tour the Domaine de Chantilly, a spectacular and historic chateau about an hour north of Paris. After enjoying a group lunch there, we will return to Paris in time for you to enjoy some free hours before hearing the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists perform a concert version of Handel’s English-language oratorio Semele at the Philharmonie de Paris. If you like the Messiah, you will like Semele.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019. We have saved perhaps the best for last; today we will visit the famed Musée D’Orsay and its celebrated collection of Impressionist art, including some Monet paintings based upon the gardens you visited on Saturday. You will have some free time in the afternoon before enjoying a group farewell dinner in the evening, followed by an optional performance at the Philharmonie de Paris of the chamber orchestra Les Dissonances, which notwithstanding its name will be performing the Concerto of Stravinsky and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019. We return to Kansas City, carrying with us lifetime memories of the sights and sounds of Paris.

Cost of the Trip

A total of $7,850 per person, which includes:

  • Round trip airfare between Kansas City and Paris (unless you opt to make your own travel arrangements; see note below).
  • Nine nights of accommodations at our charming Paris hotel, centrally located near many of Paris’ attractions.
  • Tickets to five concerts.  There are two optional performances available at extra cost: Otello at the Opéra Bastille and a Les Dissonances concert at the Philharmonie de Paris.
  • Breakfast at the hotel each day, and either a group lunch or dinner each day.
  • All museum tickets, tour guide expenses and admission fees to all attractions.
  • All ground transportation.
  • All tips and gratuities at the hotels, restaurants and elsewhere.
  • Tax deductible contribution to the Kansas City Symphony Alliance (KCSA) once all group expenses have been reconciled.

The price of this trip includes the round trip air fare to Paris.  Would you prefer to make your own airline arrangements?  No problem; just let us know, and we will deduct the estimated airline cost ($1,600) from the cost of your trip (deducted from the final payment).

Questions?  Please contact Don Dagenais, our KCSA trip leader, at (816) 444-7407 (home), (816) 665-8293 (mobile) or 816-460-5715 (office), or by e-mail at ddagenais503@gmail.com.

To reserve your spot on this trip, please print and fill out the Reservation Form, and mail it with your deposit check as instructed below, for our receipt by no later than October 1, 2018.  We will reserve spots on this trip on a first-come first-served basis, so please act as soon as possible.  This trip is limited to a maximum of 20 people.

Register Here

Complete the Reservation Form and mail with your deposit to reserve your spot on this trip.

Send a deposit of $1,500 per person.  Please send a check made payable to “KCSA Trips” for our receipt no later than October 1, 2018.  Mail the check to:  KCSA Trips, c/o Don Dagenais, 5401 Brookside Blvd. No. 503, Kansas City MO 64112.  We will bill you for your final payment, which will be due on December 1, 2018.

The small print:

Cancellation Policy.  Your deposit and reservation constitute a contract for you to go on this trip. Upon receiving your deposit we will expend substantial sums to pay for your costs of this trip. If you must cancel, you will still owe the balance of the trip charge, but we will return whatever portion of your trip costs we are able to recover. You may want to purchase trip cancellation insurance to protect your investment in this trip. Please call your travel agent or check with trip insurance providers online.

Change Policy.  We are happy to accommodate any changes you want to make for this trip, but all change requests must be made in writing at the time of the reservation and are subject to availability and price adjustments. The tour leader must acknowledge all changes in writing for the requested changes to be confirmed.

Free Kansas City Symphony Concert, Fireworks, Family Activities, Veteran Services on Deck for 2018 Bank of America Celebration at the Station

The Symphony’s 16th annual Memorial Day weekend event features live pre-show music, food trucks, family activities, veteran services, Symphony concert and KC’s largest fireworks display.

The Kansas City Symphony welcomes all ages to its 16th annual Bank of America Celebration at the Station on Sunday, May 27, held at Union Station.

As the largest FREE Memorial Day Weekend event in the Midwest, with an expected attendance of 50,000, the Symphony continues to expand its annual gift to the region while honoring the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Grounds open at 3 p.m. with pre-concert entertainment by the United States Air Force Band of Mid-America’s Hot Brass! ensemble, A La Mode and Heartland Men’s Chorus. Adding to the festivities, an array of family friendly activities in the Lee Jeans Family Zone, veteran offerings in the Honeywell Veterans Place and nearly 20 food trucks, will be on site.

The Honeywell Veterans Place includes the Veterans Community Project tiny home model, the V.A. Mobile Vet unit, Kansas City Public Television’s large-scale Vietnam map, Warrior’s Best Friend, KC Association of the United States Army (AUSA), Bank of America’s financial health information and resources for veterans and active-duty military, as well as a tent with even more resources and opportunities for veterans.

At 8 p.m., Music Director Michael Stern will lead the Kansas City Symphony and guests in a 100-minute, no-intermission concert filled with patriotic favorites such as “Stars and Stripes Forever,” “Armed Forces Salute” and Tchaikovsky’s ever-rousing “1812 Overture.”

To recognize the great Leonard Bernstein, who would have been 100 this year, the Symphony will perform selections from the musical “On the Town.” As orchestras across the world commemorate Bernstein this year, the Kansas City Symphony continues its celebration of the composer not only in this outdoor concert but also at its season finale concerts, June 22-24, with Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety performed by guest pianist Ran Dank.

To mark the 100th anniversary of WWI ending in 1918, guest baritone John Brancy will sing a WWI-era song, “God Be with Our Boys Tonight” as well as “Danny Boy.” Guest host and narrator Jim Birdsall (announcer for CNBC and NFL Films) and members of the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America also will take part in the concert, including Airman First Class Melissa Edgmon who will sing “God Bless America” and “Star-Spangled Banner” with a flyover by KC Flight.

The program culminates at 9:40 p.m. with a grand finale when all eyes turn skyward for the city’s largest display of choreographed fireworks, presented to the beat of patriotic music and overlooking the National World War I Museum and Memorial.

Attendees are encouraged to take the Kansas City streetcar, which is free to ride, and will operate until 11 p.m. The streetcar runs a 2-mile loop with 16 stops from the River Market area through downtown and the Crossroads Arts District to Union Station, which is the event stop. For additional parking options, view a map here.

As the event draws near, the Symphony will post details regarding pre-show entertainment, special exhibits and more at kcsymphony.org/celebration and on the Symphony’s FacebookTwitterInstagram and Snapchat accounts. The official event hashtag is #celebrationkc.

Kansas City Public Television (KCPT) will broadcast the event live on Channel 19 and re-air the event on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28. The rebroadcast airs regionally on Independence Day as well. For the first time, the Bridge 90.9 FM also will live stream the concert on the radio and online at bridge909.org.

New Concerts Added for 2017/18 Season


A sensory-friendly family concert

Thursday, October 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Helzberg Hall | Kauffman Center

Jason SeberDavid T. Beals III Associate Conductor

The Kansas City Symphony welcomes patrons and families with sensory-sensitivities to a symphonic performance on Thursday, October 19 at 6:30 p.m. The program will feature repertoire from the Young People’s Concert: Out of this World, combining symphonic music with visual elements. This fun and diverse performance will be specially adapted so families and friends of all abilities may enjoy symphonic music in a safe and welcoming environment. Tickets are $10.

Visit this page to learn more or call the Symphony Box Office at (816) 471-0400 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.


A soothing evening of meditation and music

Tuesday, October 24 at 6 p.m.
Helzberg Hall | Kauffman Center

Prepare to unwind as our certified Relax and Renew® trainer Anita Bailey coaches you through various breathing and meditation techniques. Symphony musicians will perform selections to assist in your relaxation. Tickets are $10. To learn more visit this page or call the Symphony Box Office at (816) 471-0400.


A side-by-side performance with students of the UMKC Conservatory of Music

Wednesday, October 25 at 6 p.m.
Helzberg Hall | Kauffman Center

This early evening performance of Mozart’s tuneful Serenade in B-flat major, “Gran Partita,” written for 13 wind instruments and bass will be a true “side-by-side” between Kansas City Symphony musicians and UMKC students. This is event is free and open to the public.

Reserve free seats here or call the Symphony Box Office at (816) 471-0400.

Friday, Nov 4: Symphony to Hold First Friday Event

First Friday event from 2015 - Photo credit Eric Williams
First Friday event from 2015 – Photo credit Eric Williams


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4 from 6-9 p.m.
Performances from 7-8:30 p.m.
1703 Wyandotte, Kansas City, Mo.
Vitagraph Room

Spend your First Friday in the Crossroads Arts District with members of your Kansas City Symphony, as they perform FREE, short and casual programs. Stop by the Symphony offices at 1703 Wyandotte anytime between 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Friday, November 4 and enjoy fantastic music performed live. Watch as Hallmark’s master artist Michael Driggs sketches our musicians while he is inspired by the music as it is performed. Unbelievable Symphony ticket discounts offered during this free performance, too.  Toast a world of delightful music with us this First Friday, November 4.

Call the Kansas City Symphony Box Office at (816) 471-0400 for more information.