Celebrate the Season with the Kansas City Symphony

Look no further than your Kansas City Symphony for ways to celebrate the holidays through song! The Symphony has plenty of festive concerts and great gift ideas for everyone on your list! Check out our upcoming December concerts as well as offerings in 2019:

Messiah
A Kansas City Symphony and Chorus Tradition!
HANDEL’S MESSIAH
December 7-9, 2018
Helzberg Hall | Kauffman Center

The Messiah performance of the year! Nearly 200 amazing musicians and powerful voices bring this choral masterpiece to life with the return of Aram Demirjian as guest conductor. From the “Passion of the Christ” to the “Hallelujah Chorus,” Handel’s glorious Messiah is bigger and better than ever in the acoustically marvelous Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center – an unforgettable start to your holiday season.

Christmas Festival

CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL
December 14-18, 2018
Helzberg Hall | Kauffman Center

Kansas City’s favorite Christmas concert tradition returns for seven joyous performances with the Symphony and Symphony Chorus. Cherished Christmas carols and Yuletide songs, talented special guests and one jolly visitor from the North Pole are sure to fill you with holiday spirit. Your family and friends will love this special concert experience, capturing the true essence of the season. At each performance, we’ll give away a dazzling jewelry prize from Helzberg Diamonds, no purchase necessary.


GIFT IDEAS

The Kansas City Symphony also offers gift certificates — one size fits all!

Or perhaps tickets to one on these in-demand concerts would surely thrill your friends and family:

Harry Potter

Kansas City Symphony Presents
HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE™ IN CONCERT
Thursday and Friday, January 3-4 at 7 p.m.
Saturday, January 5 at 12 p.m.
Sunday, January 6 at 4 p.m.

Helzberg Hall | Kauffman Center
Jeffrey Schindlerguest conductor

Grab your broom and get ready for the tasks ahead! The Triwizard Tournament comes to Hogwarts™ in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire™ in Concert. Relive the magic of Harry Potter™ soaring across the big screen in high-definition and experience the Kansas City Symphony performing Patrick Doyle’s unforgettable score live.

HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. J.K. ROWLING’S WIZARDING WORLD™ J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s18)

Russian Romantics

Kansas City Symphony Classical Series

RUSSIAN ROMANTICS: TCHAIKOVSKY and GLAZUNOV
Friday and Saturday, January 11-12 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, January 13 at 2 p.m.

Helzberg Hall | Kauffman Center

Andrey Boreykoguest conductor
Maria Ioudenitchviolin (Underwritten by the Almy Legacy Fund)

STRAVINSKY Chant funèbre
GLAZUNOV Violin Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY Suite No. 3

We’re bringing St. Petersburg to Kansas City with three Russian giants — Stravinsky, Glazunov and Tchaikovsky, led by St. Petersburg native Andrey Boreyko who makes his Kansas City Symphony conducting debut. Presumed lost for more than a century, the recent rediscovery of Chant funèbre allows audiences to hear a young Stravinsky’s rise to prominence before he wrote his famed Firebird. Glazunov’s passionate Violin Concerto blends colorful, freewheeling melodies with impressive technical feats. Tchaikovsky’s triumphant Third Suite culminates in a powerful theme-and-variations finale.

Grammy Greats

Kansas City Symphony Presents
CLASSICS UNCORKED: GRAMMY® GREATS
Thursday, January 17 at 7 p.m.

Helzberg Hall | Kauffman Center

Jason SeberDavid T. Beals III Associate Conductor

We’ve handpicked some of the best Grammy® Award-winning music for a one-night-only showcase in the world-class acoustics of Helzberg Hall. You’ll hear excerpts from the film “Up” by Michael Giacchino, an arrangement of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” and music by Aaron Copland, Joan Tower and Jennifer Higdon. Principal Viola Christine Grossman stars in Higdon’s Viola Concerto. Afterward, enjoy a complimentary glass of wine or champagne, and mingle with Symphony musicians. Sponsored by BMO Wealth Management. Most tickets $25.

Star Wars

Film + Live Orchestra
STAR WARS EPISODE IV — A NEW HOPE
Thursday and Friday, January 31 – February 1 at 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 2 at 2 p.m.
Sunday, February 3 at 4 p.m.

Helzberg Hall | Kauffman Center

Jason SeberDavid T. Beals III Associate Conductor

Journey back to 1977 and a galaxy far, far away for the classic first film of the original “Star Wars” trilogy, written and directed by George Lucas and starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. Watch the Rebel Alliance attempt to destroy the Death Star on a huge screen in Helzberg Hall while your Kansas City Symphony performs the thrilling John Williams score live.

Presentation licensed by Disney Concerts. © All rights reserved. In association with 20th Century Fox, Lucasfilm and Warner/Chappell Music. © 2017 and TM LUCASFILM LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. © Disney

For more information, call the Symphony Box Office at (816)-471-0400between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.

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Make Holiday Memories with the Kansas City Symphony

Choirs? Check. Bells? Check. Brass? Check. Watch out, Santa, the Kansas City Symphony has made its list and checked it twice as the ensemble prepares for five separate concerts this December, including KC’s grandest holiday concert tradition, Kansas City Symphony’s Christmas Festival.

Canadian BrassKansas City Symphony Presents
CANADIAN BRASS: CHRISTMASTIME IS HERE!

December 1, 2017
Helzberg Hall | Kauffman Center

Douglas Droste, guest conductor

Hark! The herald trumpets sing — along with French horn, trombone and tuba in this most wonderful holiday concert together with your Kansas City Symphony. These five brass masters always amaze audiences with their exquisite ensemble playing, wide-ranging repertoire and the sheer joy of their music-making. Hear classic carols, sacred music along with fun Christmas tunes, such as the treasured A Charlie Brown Christmas. Tickets from $35. Learn more.

 

TubaChristmasKansas City Symphony Presents
TUBACHRISTMAS
December 4 & 8, 2017
Helzberg Hall | Kauffman Center

 

Celebrate TubaChristmas in Helzberg Hall on Monday, December 4 AND Friday, December 8! All area tuba and euphonium players are invited to join in the festivities. All are welcome at the FREE lunch-hour concert to listen to the sounds of the season, tuba-style! Advance registration and a fee are required to perform. Call (816) 218-2639 for more information.

Janet M. Stallmeyer and Donald L. Flora generously underwrite TubaChristmas.

Handel's Messiah

Kansas City Symphony’s
HANDEL’S MESSIAH
December 8-10, 2017
Helzberg Hall
 | Kauffman Center

 

Matthew Halls, guest conductor
Kansas City Symphony Chorus | Charles Bruffy, chorus director
Kiera Duffy, soprano
Dann Coakwell, Tenor
Allyson McHardy, mezzo-soprano
Morgan Smith, baritone

This mosaic of the scriptures remains Handel’s most famous work, and it is one of the most triumphant choral pieces ever written. The impeccable acoustics of Helzberg Hall together with your Kansas City Symphony and Chorus make this THE Messiah performance of the season! With nearly 200 musicians and inspired special guest vocalists on stage, Messiah is sure to impress and delight you. Sponsored by Thrivent Financial. Adult tickets from $25 and youth tickets from $13. Learn more.

 

Christmas Festival

Kansas City Symphony’s
CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL
December 15-19, 2017
Helzberg Hall | Kauffman Center

 

Jason Seber, David T. Beals III Associate Conductor
Kansas City Symphony Chorus | Charles Bruffy, Chorus Director
Christiane Noll, guest vocalist
Allegro Choirs of Kansas City
Rezound! Handbell Ensemble

We’re sending a musical Christmas card to you! Join the Kansas City Symphony and Chorus for this spectacular holiday celebration filled with lush symphonic arrangements of Christmas classics, fresh versions of your favorite carols, and many melodic surprises. Share the spirit of the season with your entire family as you enjoy enchanting performances by the Symphony, Symphony Chorus, Allegro Children’s Choir, the Rezound! Handbell Ensemble and a special early visit from Santa Claus! At each performance, we’ll give away a dazzling piece of diamond jewelry from Helzberg Diamonds, no purchase necessary. Sponsored by Helzberg Diamonds. Adult tickets from $30 and youth tickets from $15. Learn more.

 

Nightmare Before ChristmasKansas City Symphony Presents
DISNEY IN CONCERT: TIM BURTON’S
THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
December 22-23, 2017
Helzberg Hall | Kauffman Center

 

Jason Seber, David T. Beals III Associate Conductor

What’s this, what’s this?! It’s the wildly inventive world of Tim Burton’s macabre classic shown in its entirety on a huge screen in Helzberg Hall for this Screenland at the Symphony presentation. Danny Elfman’s rambunctious, colorful score will roar to life in the hands of the Kansas City Symphony as you follow Jack the Pumpkin King’s quest to seize Christmas. Sponsored by Hallmark. The movie will be presented with out intermission. Adult tickets from $40 and youth tickets from $25. Learn morePresentation licensed by Disney Concerts © All Rights Reserved

For more information and to purchase tickets, contact the Symphony Box Office at (816) 471-0400 or visit kcsymphony.org. The Symphony offers a range of ticket prices and packages. Group and senior student discounts are available.

Get to Know Christmas Festival Guest Soprano Lisa Vroman

Lisa Vroman
Lisa Vroman, soprano

Guest soprano Lisa Vroman joins the Kansas City Symphony, Symphony Chorus, Allegro Choirs of Kansas City and the Rezound! Handbell Ensemble for seven presentations of the Symphony’s annual Christmas Festival concerts Dec. 15-18 and 20. Tickets from $30 for adults and $15 for children. Reserve tickets online or call the Symphony Box Office at (816) 471-0400.

Tell us how you got your start in music. When did you know you were going to become a professional musician?
My mother was my junior high and high school choral music teacher from Upstate, New York. I played the flute and sang in chorus. I also loved sports! I went to The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, following my sister (also a music educator) and have an undergrad degree in music education. I then completed my masters (MFA) at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa. I also have an honorary doctorate from Potsdam.

I will add that my stepfather was a Robert Shaw Chorale singer in the 1950s and also was a graduate and choral professor at Potsdam! Music has been in my family DNA for many years!

Since you’re singing in the Kansas City Symphony Christmas Festival, we must ask if you have a favorite seasonal song or carol?
Since I sing multiple holiday symphony concerts, I do repeat many favorites each year… But having a choral upbringing means I am happiest when singing with a choir for the holidays. I could not pick one favorite.

Do you celebrate for the holidays? Do you have any traditions?
I sometimes do not get home until Christmas Eve … and am off again for a New Year’s concert elsewhere, so it is a really great work season. Even when starring as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera, or any show, you do not get holidays off as vacation. We are the entertainment for the rest of the world!

I do miss my family, as we are extremely close, but you have to make time the rest of the year.

Have you sung with the Kansas City Symphony in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center before?
Not with the Symphony, but I spent time in Kansas City getting my Equity card at KC Starlight Theatre one summer after grad school.

How much of your time is spent practicing vs. performing vs. traveling? Do you have much down time? What do you like to do during your leisure time?
Traveling takes a lot of energy. For example, I was with the Hong Kong Philharmonic last season, and it is tricky to fly, recover to sing, then recover after the flight home. I am constantly preparing for the next concert event, which means arranging music, learning new pieces and developing concerts and recitals. I also have been singing corporate events, recitals and giving master classes more and more.

In my “down” time” (not very much) my husband and I love working on our home, and we have a 2-year-old, 70-pound rescue dog named Barber (after American composer Samuel Barber).

Photo of Barber the dog, a 2-year-old, 70-pound rescue dog, who is named after American composer Samuel Barber
Photo of Barber the dog, a 2-year-old, 70-pound rescue dog, who is named after American composer Samuel Barber

Who is your favorite artist of all time and why?
It depends on what genre… Elly Ameling, Benita Valente, Barbara Cook, Ella Fitzgerald, Elton John… the list is a long one!

Since you’ll be in Kansas City for several days, is there anything else you want to do outside of the concert hall?
I will probably not spend a lot of time outside the concert hall/hotel. That is typical during a run of many concerts! You must eat well, exercise and rest. I have a project coming up in January and also will be learning music by composer Kurt Weill that week.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I have spoken to Maestro Jason Seber, and I am so looking forward to sharing the stage with him, the orchestra musicians and the two choirs. I have said I never get to see my family for the holidays, so I will just adopt your audience as my extended family.


Kansas City Symphony Christmas Festival is Dec. 15-18 and 20.
Kansas City Symphony Christmas Festival is Dec. 15-18 and 20.

Secure seats to the Kansas City Symphony Christmas Festival by visiting this page or by calling the Symphony Box Office at (816) 471-0400.

Get to Know Christmas Festival Guest Pianist Rich Ridenour

Special guest and featured pianist Rich Ridenour performs with the Kansas City Symphony for the Christmas Festival concerts on Dec. 17-20 and Dec. 22. Ticket information here.

Pianist Rich Ridenour, Photo by Bassel Jadaa

Tell us about yourself. When did you start playing the piano?

When I was 8. I was forced into it by Mother. Geez. I was not a model student at first. But when I discovered girls were impressed I played piano, I started to practice more.

What are you most looking forward to in your upcoming performances with the Kansas City Symphony?

Connecting again with the wonderful audience and orchestra. I had a great time playing as Jennifer Holiday’s warm-up act two years ago. The Kansas City Symphony rocks.

Do you have a favorite piece that is part of the upcoming concerts? If so, which one and why?

Not fair. This is like selecting a favorite child. The variety of moods will be special. I do relate to Charlie Brown Christmas in many ways. Some days I am Charlie Brown.

Since you’ll be in Kansas City for several days, is there anything in particular that you plan to do?

Shop. Will Worlds of Fun be open? Definitely the Boulevard Brewing Company (after show).

The Christmas Festival concerts are a big hit with families and children. Do you have any advice for young musicians?

Find the joy in music and play music you relate to. I did not find any joy in music at first (as I mentioned earlier…), so some students need to give some time to try it on. Whether you are on stage or in your home music is a huge lift to the soul.

Do you have any favorite holiday traditions you observe?

I ring bells for Rotary. I still hear ringing from last year.

What’s up next for you? Where do you travel to after Kansas City?

After Kansas City, I travel back to Sarasota to pick up my wife and within 24 hours we will be in cold Michigan with my family. Then, I play with the Greensboro Symphony for New Year’s Eve with my son Brandon who played trumpet with Canadian brass for seven years.

Concert Tickets:

To hear guest pianist Rich Ridenour perform with the Kansas City Symphony, Symphony Chorus, Allegro Choirs of Kansas City and Rezound! Handbell Ensemble for the Christmas Festival concerts, please call (816) 471-0400 or select your seat online. Tickets start at $30 for adults and $15 for children.

Kansas City Symphony's Christmas Festival