The Spectacular “Garden Party” 2017

Mill Creek

As the gates at Thundering Oaks swing open, your approach along the curving driveway is a preview of the beautiful estate just down the lane. Towering oaks, a waterfall along a wooded creek, a placid lake and lovely flowers are all part of the Garden Party tableau that you’ll experience on June 17th.

Our hosts Peter Sunderman and Curt Thomas moved from their home in Kansas City a couple years ago to take advantage of the natural beauty and solitude that surrounds their completely re-modeled home on 37 acres in Independence. Now they are opening their home and property to you, our loyal supporters of Heartland Men’s Chorus!

HMC’s Garden Party has become a late-spring tradition because you value the opportunity to visit with long-time friends and make new ones while getting an insider’s view to a significant home and property in the metro area.

You will enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres from the well-known restaurant “Vivilore” as you imbibe cocktails and soft drinks served by gentlemen bartenders while wandering the grounds, sitting poolside, or dangling your toes in the lake or creek.

As a Garden Party Patron, you will arrive early at 3:00 p.m. for a private tour of Thundering Oaks, a glass of bubbly and a lapel flower as our thanks.

As a Garden Party Guest, you will arrive at 4:30 p.m. for the main event when you take in all that Thundering Oaks has to offer.

As an added value to your experience, take advantage of our Designated Driver! HMC has arranged for a chartered motor coach to transport you from the Kauffman Gardens just east of the Country Club Plaza to Thundering Oaks. Departures are at 2:30 p.m. for Patrons, and 4:00 p.m. for Patrons and Guests. Return trips will be at 6:45 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. The cost of the trip is included in Patron tickets, while guests will pay $25 per person for the round trip.

Tickets are selling fast, we already have 40 Patron couples attending, and that’s before the invitation has landed in everyone’s mailbox. You may purchase your tickets online at www.hmckc.org/garden-party or call Rick or Cliff at the Chorus office at 816-931-3338.  Ticket prices are $300 per Patron couple, or $75 per guest.

See you and your friends at Garden Party!Home

HMC Presents “Show Tune Showdown”

Perfect for the Broadway Show Junkie in All of Us!

A Broadway Mash Up of Game Show, Sing-A-Long and Show Tune Trivia, Show Tune Showdown will truly be THE HMC concert that you must see this season!

Over 100 years of Broadway’s biggest hits presented by Heartland Men’s Chorus . . . the two go together like Rogers and Hammerstein! Who better to perform pieces of more than 90 musical classics than Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus!

Under the baton of Artistic Director Dustin S. Cates, bright lights and jazz hands are just the start of the concert as we present the continuum of Broadway musicals from 1900 to today.

Starting off with tunes from “A Chorus Line,” “George M,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” and others just to get you in the mood, Show Tune Showdown leads us through the decades of Broadway favorites starting with the music of Tin Pan Alley. If you can “Button Up Your Overcoat,” you’ll sing “Hallelujah” to be able to “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody!”

We’ll visit the creations of Rogers and Hammerstein and their contemporaries from musicals like “Carousel,” “Oklahoma,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” “South Pacific,” and “The Sound of Music.” Next we’ll stopover in the Golden Years of Hollywood with tunes from musicals like “Gypsy,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Peter Pan,” “Hello Dolly,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” and so many others.

The history of Broadway wouldn’t be complete without the music of Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Schwartz, and Kansas City native John Kander, to name just a few. And just when you think we can’t come up with another tune to sing, we’ll ramp up the “Showdown,” our game show portion of the evening where audience members get to show off their own musical theater chops.

During the “Showdown,” Game Show Host, Brian Ellison, will challenge participating audience members on their knowledge of musical theater trivia and history. Contestants will play iconic TV show games with lifeline assistance from the Chorus during musical interludes. Wild wacky fun will ensue as each contestant vies for the “Showdown Championship!” Brian Ellison is a host/contributor at KCUR 89.3, where he hosts the political podcast Statehouse Blend Missouri, and is substitute host for the station’s talk shows and newscasts. He is also executive director of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians, a national organization doing education and advocacy on LGBTQ issues in church and society. Brian previously narrated the Heartland Men’s Chorus’ Modern Families concert in 2015 and added, “With this concert, I am literally fulfilling my lifelong ambition of being a game show host!”

Artistic Director Cates summed it up best, “The curtain will be rising on Show Tune Showdown in June to a mash-up of Broadway, sing-along and game show as we invite our loyal audience members to the stage. Our concerts have something for everyone and will always leave you with a message or a song in your heart. This time they can leave with prizes, too, as they compete with their knowledge of musical theater trivia. It will be a concert for all ages . . . anyone who loves Broadway musicals will love this concert!”

Show Tune Showdown will be performed at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 10th and 4 p.m. Sunday, June 11th at the historic Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th Street in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

Tickets to both performances are available online at http://hmckc.org/tickets/ or by calling 816-931-3338. Prices range from $18 to $43 with special student pricing at $7. Come as you are, dress is casual, and visit hmckc.org today!

“Identify” Program Notes

The Program

ACT 1

Brothers, Sing On! (Edvard Grieg)

Tyler’s Suite
1. Meditation (John Corigliano)
2. I Have Songs You Haven’t Heard (Nolan Gasser) TYLER: DONALD CROWL
3. A Wish (Lance Horne)
4. The Unicycle Song (Craig Carnelia) TYLER: DANIEL ALFORD
5. Just A Boy (John Bucchino) TYLER’S FATHER: MICHAEL L. DE VOE
6. Brother, Because of You (Stephen Schwartz) TYLER’S BROTHERS: BOB KOHLER & BRANDON SHELTON
7. The Tyler Show (Stephen Flaherty)
8. I Love You More (Ann Hampton Callaway/arr. Tim Sarsany) TYLER’S MOTHER: NANCY NAIL
9. The Narrow Bridge (Jake Heggie) SOLO: MICHAEL SCHNETZER

Light (arr. Charles Beale) SOLOS: BENJAMIN L. DUBOIS, KEITH WIEDENKELLER, BRIAN SIXBURY, R. ELISE POINTER

INTERMISSION
ACT 2

TWIN CITIES GAY MEN’S CHORUS
Kin (Timothy C. Takach)

Shine (Timothy Snyder) FEATURING: TCGMC CHAMBER SINGERS

Our America (Ben Allaway)

HEARTLAND MEN’S CHORUS
The Music of Living (Dan Forrest)

You Have More Friends Than You Know (Warren & Marx) FEATURING: HMC CHAMBER ENSEMBLE

Cornerstone (Shawn Kirchner) SOLOS: ADAM BROWN & TODD GREGORY-GIBBS

COMBINED CHORUSES
I Love You/What a Wonderful World (arr. Craig Hella Johnson) SOLO: STEVE THERRIEN

Give ‘Em Hope (Joseph Martin) SOLO: DAVID WOOD

From the Artistic Director – on the creation of “Identify” and the life of Tyler Clementi:

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, cisgender, questioning, white, black, Hispanic, evangelical, Muslim, liberal, conservative … the terms that we use to identify ourselves and others is ever-growing. If you are anything like me, you may have to turn to Google to define each letter in: LGBTQIA. Despite the challenges with remembering terminology, the significance and weight of these words are undeniable. They are used to unite a community and divide a country.

Our ability to embrace our true identity has lasting impacts. Tyler Clementi understood the importance of embracing one’s unique individual qualities. A music lover, Tyler began playing the violin in the third grade. He also loved riding his bike and eventually learned how to ride a unicycle. In a full demonstration of two of his unique talents, Tyler taught himself to ride the unicycle while playing the violin.

The summer after his high school graduation, Tyler began the process of coming out to his family and friends. In August 2010, Tyler began attending Rutgers University. He was excited to play the violin in the university’s top orchestra and to begin his college experience living as an openly gay man.
Just a few short weeks after starting school, Tyler was the victim of a horrible act of cyber-bullying. One night when Tyler had a date, he asked his dorm roommate for some privacy. His roommate agreed, but before leaving the dorm he secretly turned on his webcam and pointed it toward Tyler’s bed. The camera captured Tyler and his date in an intimate act, which the roommate wrote about on social media. Through his roommate’s Twitter feed, Tyler discovered that he had become the object of ridicule and harassment across campus. Days later, Tyler ended his life by jumping off New York City’s George Washington Bridge. He was 18 years old.

Tyler’s tragic story is a rallying cry. All of us, regardless of how we identify, deserve the opportunity to live authentic lives free from bullying, ridicule and fear. We must reject rhetoric that uses our differences to divide us. We must love.
“Though the bridge may seem narrow, if we walk it together, it is plenty wide.”
Dustin Cates

About “Tyler’s Suite”

Tyler’s Suite, conceived by famed Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin) is a nine movement choral masterpiece dedicated to the memory of Tyler Clementi, a talented young musician who committed suicide after being cyber-bullied by his college roommate.

After hearing about the tragedy, Schwartz gathered a team of renowned composers to raise awareness about bullying. Tyler’s Suite is based upon hundreds of hours of interviews with the Clementi family, and explores the lives and experiences of Tyler and his family, shining a light of hope on such a devastating tragedy.

“The story of Tyler Clementi, who clearly had so much to offer the world, reminds us that every life lost because of bullying and bigotry is a specific individual tragedy,” said Schwartz. This is why I, and this group of gifted collaborators who have joined me, feel privileged to bring our time, energy and talents to the creation of Tyler’s Suite.” Each of the nine songs takes on the perspective of a different family member in Tyler’s life.

Composed in 2014, Tyler’s Suite makes its Great Plains premiere here on the stage of the Folly Theater. It is the music of nine of today’s top composers including Mark Adamo, Ann Hampton Callaway, Craig Carnelia, John Corigliano, Stephen Flaherty, Nolan Gasser, Jake Heggie, Lance Horne, and Stephen Schwartz. “This collection of songs shines a light of hope for a safer, kinder world in line with the mission of the Tyler Clementi Foundation,” according to the foundation website.

Jane Clementi, Tyler’s mother, will be on hand to further the work of the foundation that was founded to prevent bullying through inclusion, assertion of dignity and acceptance. “Curious and adventurous, creative, smart, articulate, cheerful, a wonderful easy going personality, Tyler always had a smile on his face … it’s how he hid himself from the world … behind a smile,” says Mrs. Clementi. “Tyler was a peacekeeper, private, didn’t seek attention … he was comfortable blending in, but he loved to perform, his true passion was music. He was a gifted violinist.”

This powerful collection of songs with lyrics by Pamela Stewart, moves audiences and singers alike and ultimately shines a light of hope for a safer, kinder world in line with the mission of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, which works to end all forms of online and offline bullying in schools, workplaces, and faith communities.
Lisa Hickok

“Tyler’s Suite” Explores Bullying & Bigotry Through the Talents of Stephen Schwartz

In our next performance, Identify, Heartland Men’s Chorus begins with “Tyler’s Suite,” the tragic story of Tyler Clementi. Conceived by famed Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz (Wicked), “Tyler’s Suite” is a nine-piece choral movement dedicated to the memory of Tyler Clementi. Clementi was a talented young musician who committed suicide after being bullied by his freshman roommate. An 18-year-old college student at Rutgers University, Clementi was having sex with another man when his roommate surreptitiously recorded it and put word of it on the Internet.  The resulting humiliation led Clementi to kill himself by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. After hearing about the tragedy, Schwartz gathered a team of renowned composers to raise awareness about anti-gay bullying. “Tyler’s Suite” is based upon hundreds of hours of interviews with the Clementi family after Tyler died, and explores the voices and experiences of Tyler and his family, shining a light of hope on tragedy.

Stephen Schwartz says of the project, “The story of Tyler Clementi, the story of loss of one young man who clearly had so much to offer the world, reminds us that every life lost because of bullying and bigotry is a specific individual tragedy. This is why I, and this group of gifted collaborators who have joined me, feel privileged to bring our time, energy and talents to the creation of ‘Tyler’s Suite.’”

“Tyler’s Suite” explores the voices and experiences of Tyler and his family through the music of nine of today’s top composers including Mark Adamo, Ann Hampton Callaway, Craig Carnelia, John Corigliano, Stephen Flaherty, Nolan Gasser, Jake Heggie, Lance Horne, and Stephen Schwartz. “This collection of songs shines a light of hope for a safer, kinder world in line with the mission of the Tyler Clementi Foundation,” says the foundation website. Jane Clementi, Tyler’s mother, will be on hand to further the work of the foundation created to prevent bullying through inclusion, assertion of dignity and acceptance. “Curious and adventurous, creative, smart, articulate, cheerful, a wonderful easy going personality, Tyler always had a smile on his face . . . its how he hid himself from the world . . .  behind a smile,” says Mrs. Clementi. “Tyler was a peacekeeper, private, didn’t seek attention . . . he was comfortable blending in, but he loved to perform, his true passion was music. He was a gifted violinist.” Mrs. Clementi will also be there to listen and to share, “Conversations help illuminate and elevate issues, and help people to better understand topics. By bringing topics out into the light, it takes away the stigma of shame and embarrassment . . . and allows people to know that there’s nothing wrong with who they are or who they love.”

“Tyler’s Suite” will be performed with local artist Nancy Nail as the voice of Jane Clementi. Each of the nine songs takes on the perspective of a different family member in Tyler’s life. Tickets can be purchased at https://hmckc.org/tickets or by calling 816-931-3338.

* “Tyler’s Suite” was commissioned by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and premiered in 2016.

TED Talk Sensation Morgana Bailey to join HMC in Identify

Morgana Bailey had been hiding her true self for 16 years. Overnight, coming out in a TED Talk, sponsored by her internationally reputed employer in front of an audience of her co-workers, Morgana became a human resources and human rights activist. In her brave TED Talk, she uttered four words that had been paralyzing to her, “I am a Lesbian.” But why speak up? Because she realized that her silence had personal, professional and societal consequences. “I am in human resources, a profession that works to welcome, connect and encourage the development of employees,” says Morgana. At State Street, she directs the Global Human Resources data management team, who maintains records for approximately 29,000 employees worldwide.  Morgana collaborates with people across State Street as corporate policies, regulatory requirements and related employee data requirements continually evolve. Her career experiences have confirmed that the only constant is change, and one’s ability (or inability) to adapt can generate profound long-term outcomes. “I want to see the diversity of society reflected in the workplace.”

Now married to wife, Cicely Bee, Morgana Bailey Bee will join Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus and Heartland Men’s Chorus in the powerful conclusion to “Identify,” reflecting on what it means to fear the judgment of others, how it makes us judge ourselves and encourage all of us to live lives of authenticity, a life of feeling comfortable about who we are.

Morgana will also participate as part of the Pre-Show Panel, moderated by Mitch Weber, a Kansas City broadcast journalist. Sponsored by GLSEN, the panels will begin one hour prior to curtain at both performances in the theater. Aimed at high school and college students, the panel will discuss navigating life, trying to fit into communities we call home and roles we’re expected to play, all while being true to ourselves and thriving in the world around us.

“Identify” will be performed at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 25th and 4 p.m. Sunday, March 26th at the historic Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th Street in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

Tickets to both performances are available online at http://hmckc.org/tickets/ or by calling 816-931-3338. Prices range from $18 to $43 with special student pricing at $7 (some ticket fees apply). Visit hmckc.org today!

Hotel Phillips Reopening

Model Guest Room Hotel Phillips

The iconic Hotel Phillips, in downtown Kansas City, reopens its doors after completing a $20 million renovation, offering Kansas City residents and visitors the opportunity to experience a variety of eclectic food and beverage destinations, unique arts and culture programs, 1930’s art deco design, and modern guest rooms.

While the 20-story iconic hotel offers 216 exquisite guest rooms and suites that combine historic charm with modern-day amenities and comforts, Hotel Phillips also offers exceptional dining – Italian restaurant, Tavernonna Italian Kitchen, cocktail parlor, P.S. Speakeasy and coffee bar, Kilo Charlie – and entertainment options, unlike any Kansas City hotel has ever seen.

Combining its love for Kansas City and the arts, Hotel Phillips created its unique ArtLight program, which supports ongoing arts and culture, and partners with a variety of local and national visual and performing arts groups throughout the year, to bring intimate cultural experiences to Kansas City. The program features a dedicated Art Concierge, who provides recommendations for local arts and cultural activities, as to highlight the best that Kansas City has to offer.

Additionally, Hotel Phillips will also host ‘pop-up’ exhibits and performances, where hotel guests might find themselves singing along with a choir member, or getting a sneak-peek of a new ballet.  In fact, the Heartland Men’s Choir’s is a proud participant in the Hotel Phillips’ ArtLight program.

As visitors begin to flock to Hotel Phillips for its exceptional hospitality, and food and beverage and entrainment programs, you can learn more about upcoming events and details of the hotel’s many offerings, by visiting: www.hotelphillips.com.