Join Us for the KCSA Annual Holiday Luncheon on December 5

You are invited to the Kansas City Symphony Alliance (KCSA)

Annual Holiday Luncheon

Saturday, December 5, 2015 at Brio Tuscan Grille on the Plaza

Private Dining Area – Second Floor

500 Nichols Road, Kansas City, Missouri

Reception and cash bar 11:30 a.m., Lunch served at noon

Holly and ivy

The menu is chopped salad, a choice of entrée (Campanelle chicken carbonara or grilled salmon fresca with herb pasta), crème brulee, and beverage (ice tea, soft drink, coffee or hot tea).

The price is $35.00 per person. Please send a check for your reservation, made payable to “KCSA” to: Marilyn Raines, 22331 Bridlewood Lane, Spring Hill, Kansas 66083 by November 30. Also please indicate your entrée selection when you send in your reservation.

We look forward to seeing you there!


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Rising Symphony Stars Was a Smashing Success!


Adobe Photoshop PDFThe second annual Rising Symphony Stars evening sponsored by the Kansas City Symphony Alliance (KCSA) was a great success on Sunday, October 18, with over 140 people in attendance. The program featured performances by seven young musicians who have been finalists in the Kansas City Symphony’s Young Artist Competition, plus several of their instructors, who are members of the Kansas City Symphony.  In addition, those attending enjoyed a cocktail hour and a delightful meal.

Rising Symphony Stars was held at the Marriott Country Club Plaza hotel.

Rising Symphony Stairs chair Patty Bibler welcomed the crowd to the dinner and concert.

Rising Symphony Stairs chair Patty Bibler welcomed the crowd to the dinner and concert.

Dr. Valerie Chow and Jon Gray sat at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance table.

Dr. Valerie Chow and Jon Gray sat at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance table.

A quartet of string musicians were among the performers.

A string quartet at Rising Symphony Stars consisted of Emily Shehi, Noah Geller, Dana Rath and Youming Chen. Noah Geller is the concertmaster of the Kansas City Symphony.

Cellist Dana Rath and violinist Emily Shehi were among the young performers at Rising Symphony Stars.

The chair of Rising Symphony Stars this year was Patty Bibler, assisted by committee members Judy Barackman, Sylvia Brush, Don Dagenais, Linda Hartman, Tracey Hawkins, Laura Heinlein, Barbara Holzmark, Karen Hodson, Helen Miller and Marilyn Raines.  

Patty and her committee thank all of those who attended for helping to make the second Rising Symphony Stars evening such a success.

As the photos on this page attest, it was a delightful event for all who attended.  If you came, we appreciate your support.  If you missed it, we hope to see you there next year!



The Marriott Hotel ballroom was decorated festively for the event.

The Marriott Hotel ballroom was decorated festively for the event.

______ and Karen Hodson enjoyed Rising Symphony Stars.

Karen Tennant and Karen Hodson enjoyed Rising Symphony Stars.

Among the Rising Symphony Stars guests were John and Laurie Burgess and Karen Hardcastle and her daughter Maddie.

Among the Rising Symphony Stars guests were John and Laurie Burgess and Karen Hardcastle and her daughter Maddie, along with Judy O’Brien.

The performers and their instructors took a well deserved bow at the end of the evening.

The performers and their instructors took a well deserved bow at the end of the evening. Left to right are Maria Abner, Victor Medina, Brian Rood, Nick Kashka, Noah Geller, Emily Shehi, Dana Rath and Youming Chen

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KCSA Holds Orientation for New Members

In October, KCSA hosted an orientation for new members at the Kansas City Symphony officers. The group heard from Executive Director Frank Byrne, Development Director Llewellyn Crain and Symphony Chief Financial Officer Barbara Tate and others, and received background and training for their upcoming volunteer work with KCSA.

2015 Oct KCSA New Member Mtg

Shown at the October 2015 new member orientation session are new KCSA members Myrna Vatnsdal, Una Creditor, Glenda Negrelli, Linda Skaith, Beth Fairleigh, Marta Goodpasture and Kami Tobin.

Thanks to the Symphony for hosting this orientation, and we appreciate you all for joining us!

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A Message From the 2015-16 KCSA President

Our Kansas City Symphony Alliance history indicates a strong tradition of events which have supported the Kansas City Symphony and enriched the awareness of symphonic music in our community.  We can learn specific lessons from our history which helps us evaluate and make strong plans to continue our outreach.

Sylvia Brush 2015-16 President of the Kansas City Symphony Alliance


Recently during my trip to the League of American Orchestra Conference representing KCSA, I was inspired and challenged to find renewal of purpose for our auxiliary.  We have the opportunity to experience collective ownership of our traditions, blend ideas, and refresh our focus.

In order to accomplish these goals, we encourage our KCSA members to review their responsibilities and privileges which constitute membership.  This review is an opportunity to stimulate a new resolve for members to become more connected.  A strong connection with each other will foster stronger trust and renewed inspiration to carry out our purpose of supporting our symphony.

Thanks for trusting me to work together with our KCSA Board of Directors as we carry leadership responsibilities for the year ahead. I will do my best to join hands with all members of our auxiliary in an effort to move forward together.  Let’s remember our KCSA mission to be effective supporters of our Kansas City Symphony as they enrich our community through the performing arts.

Let’s have a great year in KCSA!
Sylvia Brush

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Welcome to Our New Members for 2015-16

KCSA is pleased to welcome seven new members to the group, who were introduced to the full KCSA membership at our Fall Membership Meeting on September 15 at the Country Club Congregational Church.  Four were in attendance and are pictured below.  The other three new members, not able to attend that night, are Ruth Gerald and Will and Myrna Vatnsdal.  Be sure to welcome them the next time you see them.

2015-16 New Members

The four new members welcomed into KCSA at the Member Meeting on September 15 are Marta Goodpasture, Katherine Weinstein, Betty Culley and Glenda Negrelli.

KCSA passed its 2015-16 budget at the Fall Membership Meeting thanks to the hard work of our Treasurer, Peggy Jacobson, and the members of her Budget Committee.

The members also enjoyed a wonderful presentation from Symphony violinist Mary Garcia Grant, who charmingly told us about her artistic beginnings as a Suzuki violin student in Emporia, Kansas, and her subsequent education, auditions, and her continuing and long career as a violinist with the Kansas City Symphony.

She also played a delightful Bach partita.  Thanks for the insights and humor, Mary!


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Celebrate the Success of Our 46th Symphony Designers’ Showhouse!

Thank you for making our 46th Symphony Designers’ Showhouse

Such a Success!!

Thank you for helping to make our 46th annual Kansas City Symphony Alliance (KCSA) Symphony Designers’ Showhouse for 2015 such a success!  The Showhouse ran through June 7, 2015 and attracted over 7,000 visitors.

We also had a very successful Boutique which made about $14,500, and our awesome wine raffle featuring 70 bottles of wine collected over $5,500.

Our financial results from the Showhouse are not quite finalized, but it is sure to equal or exceed the great success of last year’s Showhouse!

August (Augie) Bogina, Jr. was the Chair of this year’s Symphony Designers’ Showhouse Committee.  The other members of this Committee were:

  • Designer Chair – Janis Downs
  • Budget – Peggy Jacobson
  • Historian – Beverly Shaw
  • Marketing and Speakers Bureau – Tracey Hawkins
  • Music – Jan Miller
  • Private Parties – Barbara and Jim Holzmark
  • Program Book – Sandy Carolan
  • Secretary – Karen Hodson
  • Tickets – Patty Bibler and Annette Szulc
  • School Tours – Helen Miller
  • Donations – Georgia Klein and Karen Hodson
  • Public Preview – Joy McNeese and Gloria Connealy
  • Hard Hat – Nancy Johnson
  • Coffeehouse – Cathy Bossert
  • House Operations – Kim Martincich
  • Boutique – Barbara Bloch
  • Showhouse Search – Kim Martincich
  • Advisor – Karen Hardcastle

Thank you to all of these dedicated Committee chairs, and to the members of their committees, for making the Symphony Designers’ Showhouse possible!

In addition to the regular visitors to the Showhouse, KCSA hosted a pre-opening celebration on Friday, May 8 called All Things Bright and Beautiful for Spring which attracted over 200 people to the Designers’ Showhouse.  The honorary chairs for the All Things Bright and Beautiful party were Vince and Julie Clark.  Our many thanks to Kami Toben, who chaired the event. KCSA also sponsored an event called The Divine Design Connection on May 19.  The lucky winner of a drawing received a complimentary designer consultation from their designer of choice.

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Two KCSA Projects Receive National Recognition

Two projects of the Kansas City Symphony Alliance (KCSA) recently received national recognition from the League of American Orchestras (LAO), an organization of symphonic orchestra organizations throughout the United States.  The projects received the “Gold Book” award from LAO, which is given to those projects of volunteer auxiliaries of symphony orchestras “to highlight volunteer organizations’ activities and provide innovative examples for other volunteer organizations to adapt and follow.”

The two KCSA projects which received the Gold Book award are:

The Symphony Designers’ Showhouse, the main annual fundraising project of KCSA to benefit the Kansas City Symphony.  Last year’s Symphony Designers’ Showhouse, the 45th in the long run of such projects, attracted over 7,000 visitors and raised over $80,000 for the Symphony.

LAO Conference Sylvia Brush

KCSA President Elect Sylvia Brush attended the League of American Orchestras conference and told the delegates about KCSA’s two nationally award winning projects. She is shown below with a group of winners from other orchestra volunteer organizations, and below with the award given to KCSA.

The Massive Wine Raffle, a new project last year which was held at the Symphony Designers’ Showhouse.  KCSA collected a total of 72 bottles of wine, and presented them for display in a large wine rack in the Boutique area of the Showhouse.  Raffle tickets were sold for just $10 apiece, and the winner of the raffle received the entire collection of 72 bottles.  Over 500 people purchased $10 tickets for the chance to win 72 bottles of wine, and the total amount raised from the Massive Wine Raffle exceed $5,000.

This year KCSA repeated the Massive Wine Raffle at the 46th Symphony Designers’ Showhouse, with even greater success.

LAO Conference Sylvia Brush-2 LAO Conference Sylvia Brush-3









In addition to these two KCSA projects, two other Kansas City Symphony auxiliaries also received Gold Book recognition from the League of American Orchestras.  The Kansas City Symphony League received an award for its hosting of the Symphony Ball, and the Kansas City Symphony Guild received an award for its Intermezzo project.



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KCSA Officers for 2015-16

Sylvia Brush is the President of the Kansas City Symphony Alliance for the 2015-16 year. Patty Bibler serves as the Vice President-President Elect for the 2015-16 year, and will become the President of KCSA during the 2016-17 year.

Karen Hodson and Patty Bibler serve as the co-Vice Presidents-Designers’ Showhouse and are in charge of the Committee for the 2016 Symphony Designers’ Showhouse. Cathy Radek serves as the Vice President-Symphony Shop, and chairs the committee which runs the Symphony Shop during the 2015-16 Kansas City Symphony season. Vandra Solomon is our Vice President-Membership Retention, and Judy Barackman is the Vice President-Membership Recruitment and Orientation. Former President Tracey Hawkins serves as the Vice President-Public Relations.

Peggy Jacobson is the Treasurer of KCSA for the 2014-15 year, with Leisa Dunn serving as the Recording Secretary and Laura Heinlein is our Corresponding Secretary.

Dick Klein is the Immediate Past President and chair of the Nominating Committee.  Don Dagenais serves as the Advisor.





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