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.

KCSA President Sylvia Brush

KCSA President Sylvia Brush

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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New 2015-16 KCSA Officers Elected at Annual Meeting

Sylvia Brush took over the office of President of the Kansas City Symphony Alliance at its Annual Membership Meeting held on June 20 at the Gaslight Grill in Overland Park, Kansas.

Patty Bibler was elected as the Vice President-President Elect.  She will also serve as a co-Vice President-Designers’ Showhouse for the next year, along with her co-chair Karen Hodson.

Attending the KCSA annual meeting were three members who have been with the group for over 50 years: ------, Marylou Turner and Hazel Knutson.

Attending the KCSA annual meeting were three members who have been with the group for over 50 years: Bess Athan, Marylou Turner and Hazel Knutson.

Tracey Hawkins was reelected as the Vice President-Public Relations. Vandra Solomon and Judy Barackman continue as the two Vice Presidents of Membership.

Cathy Radek will continue to serve as the Vice President-Symphony Shop, with the assistance of Melissa Green.

Other officers elected at the Annual Meeting were Peggy Jacobson as the Treasurer, Leisa Dunn as the Secretary, and Laura Heinlein as the Corresponding Secretary.  Dick Klein moves into the position of Immediate Past President and chair of the Nominating Committee.

Don Dagenais will serve as the Advisor for the coming year.

Congratulations to all of these new officers, and best of luck for a successful 2015-16 year for KCSA!

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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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Join us for Rising Symphony Stars October 18, 2015


Adobe Photoshop PDFKCSA has announced that the second annual Rising Symphony Stars event will be held on October 18, 2015.  As was the case with last year’s extremely successful debut of this event, the evening will feature a full course dinner at the Marriott Country Club Plaza hotel, along with interspersed performances by some of the outstanding young musicians who have been finalists in the Kansas City Symphony’s Young Artist Competition.

At last year’s inaugural Rising Symphony Stars event, over 140 people attended and enjoyed outstanding string and piano performances, along with a delicious dinner and a successful fund raising raffle.

The chair of Rising Symphony Stars this year is Patty Bibler.  She and her committee have been hard at work for several months already, to try to make the second Rising Symphony Stars concert a success.  Here are a few photos from last year’s event.  Your invitation should be arriving in the mail soon.  Information is available from our web site:


Please plan to join us for this delightful evening!

The Marriott Plaza Hotel ballroom was full at Rising Symphony Stars.

The Marriott Plaza Hotel ballroom was full at Rising Symphony Stars in October 2014.

Rising Symph Stars 2

The six young performers who played at Rising Symphony Stars 2014 event took a bow at the end of the evening.

Ruth Holszschuh, John Turner, Che ---, Marylou Turner and Don Dagenais enjoyed the reception before the dinner and performances.

Ruth Holszschuh, John Turner, Chaeyoung Park, Marylou Turner and Don Dagenais enjoyed the reception before the dinner and performances at the 2014 Rising Symphony Stars.

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A string quartet of young players entertained the audience at the 2014 Rising Symphony Stars.

Karen Hardcastle, her daughter Katie and Judy O'Brien at the reception.

Karen Hardcastle, her daughter Madelyn and Judy O’Brien are shown at the reception for Rising Symphony Stars in October 2 

Pianist Chaeyoung Park performed Chopin for the audience.

Pianist Chaeyoung Park performed Chopin for the audience at the 2014 Rising Symphony Stars concert and dinner.

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Dine at Lidia’s Restaurant and Help the Symphony

Lidia’s Kansas City Restaurant in the Freight House Building in the Crossroads District (101 West 22nd Street) is donating 10% of every dining tab to the Kansas City Symphony from now through September 1.  All you need to do is identify yourself as a supporter of the Symphony and ask for the Symphony donation to apply to your restaurant bill. That is all there is to it!

Lydia's Restaurant

Lidia’s Restaurant features the culinary artistry of Lidia Bastianich, the host of Lidia’s Italy, an Emmy-nominated television series. She is one of the best-loved chefs on television and is a best-selling cookbook author. Her line of cookbooks include Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy and Lidia’s Italy as well as Lidia’s Family Table, Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen, Lidia’s Italian Table and La Cucina di Lidia. Lidia is the chef/owner of four acclaimed New York City restaurants, Felidia, Becco, Esca and Del Posto, as well as Lidia’s Pittsburgh and Lidia’s Kansas City.

So enjoy wonderful Italian food before your next Symphony concert, or on any occasion, and help the Symphony at the same time!

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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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Mark Your Calendar for the Symphony Ball 2015

The Kansas City Symphony League, a sister auxiliary organization of KCSA, has scheduled the 2015 Symphony Ball for Saturday, September 12, 2015.  The Ball will be held at at the Marriott Hotel downtown at 12th and Central Streets. More information will be coming later, but be sure to mark this date on your calendar!

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Welcome to Our New Members!

Several new members of KCSA joined us for our Fall Membership Meeting on September 16 at the Country Club Congregational Church.  They are shown in these photos; be sure to welcome them the next time you see them.

KCSA passed its 2014-15 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 first violinist Alex Shum, who told about his boyhood and training in his native Hong Kong and his adventures in this country and how he ended up with a career in the Kansas City Symphony. We appreciated the wonderful insights and terrific stories, as well as his enchanting playing, including a solo violin version of Mozart’s Ein Kleine Nachtmusik.  Thanks, Alex!

Janet Allton, Sandy Juluan and Diane Hanson joined KCSA.

Janet Allton, Sandy Juluan and Diane Hanson joined KCSA.

These new KCSA members are Linda Skaith and Beth Farleigh.









Alex Shum, a first violinist with the Kansas City Symphony, treated the KCSA members to a special private concert.

Alex Shum, a first violinist with the Kansas City Symphony, treated the KCSA members to a special private concert.

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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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A Word From Our President

From Dick Klein, Kansas City Symphony Alliance President:

To the KCSA Team:

First I want to thank all team members who worked hard last year to make a very successful year.  If we continue working as a team in the coming season we will produce another good year.  Your Board of Directors is in place and working on project and event planning and scheduling.  Only with the help of everybody is the planning of any value.  We need all members to actively participate in our projects and activities to the extent of their abilities. We need them to be willing to be a part of a continued learning and succession of leadership in large and small roles in the organization.  We can plan but the team makes it happen.

Our very capable ex-president, Don, has agreed to keep our web site up to date and publish a regular news letter.  It’s purpose is so the membership knows what is happening and what help is needed to make it happen.  In addition to being informative I see the news letter as an engine for interactive dialogue between members and the board.

One activity that will succeed only if members help is the Rising Symphony Stars event scheduled for October 5, 2014.  The event does not require vast amounts of volunteer time but to fund the event it will take members buying tickets and spreading the word to non-members for additional ticket sales.  Beyond tickets sales sponsorships and donations where possible will enable us to provide a classy, fun event and also raise money for the Symphony.

One of my personal objectives is to become familiar with new members and older members whom I don’t know.  This will enable me to learn why they choose to be KCSA members and how we can provide opportunities for their participation in our events.  Toward the goal of a more cohesive group I also plan to return to some after concert or similar gatherings that are social and get-to- know events for our group.

Dick Klein

Kansas City Symphony Alliance President 2014-15

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