Heartland Men’s Chorus Takes Momentum from Leawood Debut into Kansas City Holidays

“Packages With Beaus” will have three performances in 2017 including two at Folly Theater and one at JCCC’s Yardley Hall

KANSAS CITY, MO (Nov. 15, 2017) — Following last Friday’s debut concert at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Rick Fisher, Executive Director of Heartland Men’s Chorus (HMC), confirmed Wednesday that it was one of the largest audiences before which the chorus has ever performed. “Taking that kind of momentum into the regular season is exhilarating and helps to confirm that our mission and message resounds throughout Kansas City. We are especially thrilled to have attracted such a large crowd in that part of the metro area and right before we open our regular season,” said Fisher. HMC’s 32th season will open with its popular holiday spectacular, Packages With Beaus. One of Kansas City’s favorite non-traditional holiday traditions, Packages With Beaus has an exciting blend of familiar carols, choral classics and hilariously zany twists on beloved holiday music. It offers something for everyone and leaves you humming your favorite holiday tunes and ready to wrap all those packages!

“The first act is by turns touching and thrilling, with everything from soaring, jubilant praise, to catchy rhythms, to beautiful lines of sacred text. Throw in the fabulousness of our guest artists, Well-Strung, Claybourne Elder, and the UMKC String Quartet, and you have the perfect recipe for celebrating the holidays,” said Artistic Director Cates.

Well-Strung, the critically acclaimed singing string quartet, will be featured December 2-3, at the C. Stephen Metzler Hall in the Folly Theater; and Broadway sensation, Claybourne Elder, will take the stage with HMC, December 10th, at Yardley Hall on the Johnson County Community College campus, accompanied by the UMKC String Quartet.

Well-Strung is a string quartet with a modern twist featuring Edmund Bagnell (first violin), Christopher Marchant (second violin), Daniel Shevlin (cello) and Trevor Wadleigh (viola). The group plays well known classical pieces while singing pop music hits from the likes of Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson, and other pop stars for a uniquely engaging experience. The New York Times recently called Well-Strung, “A talented quartet of men who sing and play instruments brilliantly, fusing pop and classical music from Madonna to Beethoven.” Conceived by Marchant and Mark Cortale, the foursome formed in 2012, and have since gained international attention. They have performed at the Vatican in Rome and at a gala for President Obama. Hillary Clinton requested a special performance by Well-Strung after the release of their viral music video, “Chelsea’s Mom.” They have also performed on the The Today Show, and live onstage with artists such as Kristin Chenoweth, Neil Patrick Harris and Audra McDonald.

Claybourne Elder is a Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel and Theatre World Award nominee. He starred on Broadway as “Buck” in the original cast of Bonnie and Clyde, in Sunday in the Park with George (starring Jake Gyllenhaal) and Sondheim on Sondheim at the Hollywood Bowl. He is also known for playing Pete O’Malley on the CW Series, “The Carrie Diaries.” Additionally he worked with Stephen Sondheim as “Hollis” in Road Show, in Two by Two (alongside Jason Alexander), and A Star is Born (with Idina Menzel). Plus he’s appeared many times in Kansas City at both the Kansas City Repertory Theatre (in such performances as Into the Woods, Angels in America, Sunday in the Park With George, Santaland Diaries) and Starlight Theatre (Cinderella). Claybourne made his solo debut at Feinstein’s/54 Below, Broadway’s supper club, and his show You and Me and Sondheim has played to sold out houses around the country and London.

The holiday concert begins with Nearer My God to Thee, a powerhouse arrangement of a familiar hymn, followed by Craig Courtney’s Festival Gloria. Described as “pure praise,” it is a choral arrangement performed by only the most accomplished of choruses. Then HMC shines with One Light (A Hanukkah Song), with music based on Tua Bethlem Dref, a traditional Welsh Carol with words and arrangement by Evan Ramos.

Continuing the more traditional approach to the holidays, HMC will also feature the following in Act I:

  • One of the most popular Christmas Carols of all time, O Come All Ye Faithful (arr. Dan Forrest), originally written in Latin (Adeste Fideles) and attributed to several writers in the 1700s, it was conceived as a Christmas hymn.
  • African Noel (Andre Thomas), whose catchy words are sung in a round;
  • While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks (Craig Courtney) a new arrangement of a familiar Christmas Carol that is tender but powerful.
  • Hallelujah (from “Mount of Olives”) (Ludwig Van Beethoven/adpt. Dustin S. Cates), is an oratorio by Beethoven portraying the emotional turmoil of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to his crucifixion. The Hallelujah has been rendered the most popular of the work’s movements.
  • The Ground/Ola Gjello, “Heaven and earth are full of thy glory.”
  • Hands (arr. Dustin S. Cates), the lyrics say it all:
    If I could tell the world just one thing
    It would be that we’re all ok
    And not to worry because worry is wasteful
    And useless in times like these
    I will not be made useless
    I won’t be idled with despair
    I will gather myself around my faith
    For light does the darkness most fear
  • Go Where I Send Thee (Arr. Paul Caldwell & Sean Ivory), a traditional African-American spiritual song, it is known as “The Holy Baby” or “Born in Bethlehem” and gives a Biblical meaning to the work.

As always, audiences have come to expect Act II of HMC’s annual holiday concert to be pure joy. “With a bit of a holiday pops feel, it’s all kinds of fun,” said Cates. “The hilarious performances by members of Heartland Men’s Chorus are truly what bring this portion of the program to life!”

“Packages With Beaus” will be performed at 8 p.m., Saturday, December 2nd and 4 p.m., Sunday, December 3rd in the C. Stephen Metzler Hall at the historic Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th Street in Kansas City; and Sunday, December 10th, 4:00 p.m., at Yardley Hall in the Carlsen Center, on the campus of Johnson County Community College.

Tickets to the Folly performances are available online at http://hmckc.org/tickets/ or by calling 816-931-3338. Yardley Hall performances can be purchased through the Carlsen Center Box Office at 913-469-4445. Prices range from $18 to $43 with special student pricing at $7 (some ticket fees apply and vary by location). Come as you are, dress is casual, be ready for fun, but visit hmckc.org today!

ABOUT HEARTLAND MEN’S CHORUS – Heartland Men’s Chorus (www.hmckc.org) is Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus, now in its 31st season. Founded with 30 singers to make music, HMC quickly became a safe oasis for a community scarred by fear and hatred and plagued by a virus. Now with 130 singers, Heartland Men’s Chorus is a vital part of Kansas City’s robust arts and cultural scene. HMC has made the historic Folly Theater its performance home for 24 years, and is now expanding to Overland Park with one concert in December. The Kansas City Star has called Heartland Men’s Chorus “one of the most beloved arts institutions in Kansas City.”

Visit www.hmckc.org for more information about Heartland Men’s Chorus’ 2017-2018 season. High resolution photos of the Chorus can be obtained by contacting the chorus office at 816-931-3338.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Parking

Information for Folly Theater parking can be found online at www.follytheater.org. The parking garage, immediately west of the Folly Theater, is the primary parking garage for Heartland Men’s Chorus patrons. Event parking is $8 per car and may be purchased upon arrival (cash only at the gate). Parking is free and freely available at JCCC’s Carlsen Center.

Sponsors

HMC’s 32nd Season is underwritten by Hotel Phillips. The Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation, Missouri Arts Council, Hall Family Foundation, Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts, Arts Council of Greater Kansas City, and Neighborhood Tourist Development Foundation (NTDF) also are among the many supporters of Heartland Men’s Chorus’ 32nd season.

Student Discounts

Student tickets are available for $7 (with valid ID, one ticket per ID). They may be purchased in advance by calling the HMC box office at 816-931-3338 or at the door prior to the performances based on availability. The Box Office opens one hour prior to all performances.

Social Media

Receive updates by joining Heartland Men’s Chorus’ Page at www.facebook.com/hmckc and following @hmchorus on Twitter.

 

Heartland Men’s Chorus

2017-2018 Performances

From The Heart (Not Part of Season Subscription)

November 10, 2017 | Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, KS

Friday, Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m.
Packages With Beaus (HOLIDAY SHOW)

December 2-3, 2017 | Folly Theater, Kansas City, MO

Sat., Dec. 2, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Dec. 3, 4:00 p.m.

December 10, 2017 | Yardley Hall, Carlsen Center, JCCC, OPKS

Sun., Dec. 10, 4:00 p.m.
Single tickets to Packages with Beaus are on sale October 16th.
Wrap yourself in HMC holiday packaging and finish it off with the perfect “Beau” to kick off your holiday merriment. At the Folly Theater, December 2-3, we’re beside ourselves to announce Well Strung, the hunkiest boys with bows, will be joining us to share their world-renowned string quartet magic. On December 10, in Johnson County’s Yardley Hall, we’ll be coming back for the second year and bringing our friend and Broadway sensation, Claybourne Elder, fresh from New York in “Sunday in the Park with George.” The perfect combination of familiar carols, choral classics and hilariously zany twists on adored holiday music; Heartland Men’s Chorus has become Kansas City’s favorite non-traditional holiday tradition!


ABBA-Cadabra (SPRING SHOW)

March 24-25, 2018 | Folly Theater, Kansas City, MO

Sat., Mar. 24, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Mar. 25, 4:00 p.m.
Single tickets go on sale December 11th.

Put on your disco boots and join our dancing queens as HMC celebrates one of the greatest bands in popular music history. Featuring everything in the ABBA repertoire from “Take a Chance on Me!” to “Mamma Mia,” you’re sure to be singing at the top of your lungs before the curtain falls. We plan to be completely silly and have a great time as you say, “Thank you for the music!” Single tickets available online beginning Monday, December 11, 2017.

 

Indivisible (SUMMER SHOW)

June 9-10, 2018 | Folly Theater, Kansas City, MO

Sat., June. 9, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., June 10, 4:00 p.m.

Ever wonder about the phrase “With Liberty and Justice for All?” We certainly do and with the prejudice, inequality, bias and discrimination happening in the world around us, Heartland Men’s Chorus will present our response with, “Indivisible.” HMC will be joining forces with the National World War I Memorial and Museum to celebrate the principles of our great nation’s founding . . . that ALL are created equal. Single tickets available online beginning Monday, March 26, 2018.

 

Season tickets starting at $72 are on sale to the public through Packages With Beaus.

###

 

Please direct all media inquiries to Rick Fisher,
816-931-3338 or
hmc@hmckc.org.

HMC’s “From the Heart”

HMC’s “From the Heart:”  A virtual “greatest hits” that connects with long-time audience members and the community.

KANSAS CITY, MO (September 29, 2017) — Dustin S. Cates, Artistic Director of Heartland Men’s Chorus (HMC), announced Monday their 32nd year will start for the first time in the month of November by adding a fall performance, From the Heart, at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. A goal of Artistic Director Cates since he began in 2014 has been expanding to a fourth concert to help raise awareness of the chorus with new audiences in southern Johnson County.  

The concert is at 7:30 p.m., Friday, November 10, in the magnificent new Church of the Resurrection sanctuary under Resurrection Window, the world’s largest stained glass window. From the Heart celebrates the chorus that has made a huge impact in the LGBT community in the heartland. The performance will include audience favorites from years past, a veritable “Greatest Hits” of the Chorus. The concert will also feature Kansas City musician Mark Hayes, an internationally known and award-winning composer, arranger, pianist and conductor who has more than 1,000 publications in print. His work includes compositions for piano, orchestras, jazz combos, small ensembles and choruses of all kinds. “Creating beautiful music for the world” in his home here in Kansas City, Hayes’ local roots are a blessing for Heartland Men’s Chorus as he’s composed more music for HMC than any other composer. Hayes will perform music from his recently released piano solo album.

In addition, HMC will perform “I Sing Out,” “Grace,” and back by popular demand “Like Dust I Rise,” commissioned for HMC’s 30th Anniversary season. Based upon four of Maya Angelou’s poems including “On the Pulse of Morning,” “Caged Bird,” “Equality,” and “Still I Rise,” the composition powerfully addresses discrimination as Angelou’s words resonate with hope and personal resilience in the face of opposition. Chorus member Steve Dodge has written “Each time we sing ‘Equality,’ I am reminded of the forces at work to take away hard earned rights of the LGBT community. As we sing her words, we stand together to send a message that no one is free until we are ALL free. ‘Equality, and I shall be free.’”

Completing the performance are works including “A Thousand Beautiful Things,” by Annie Lennox, a song that holds surprising meaning for long-time chorus member Todd Gregory-Gibbs. “It’s been an outlet for every negative feeling I’ve had, but much more importantly, it’s presented an opportunity to rejoice for ANY and EVERY reason. To rejoice even if only for being alive at this time, in this place, out of all human history.” In addition, the chorus will sing favorites “Thanksgiving Song,” by Mary Chapin Carpenter, “I Love You More,” by Ann Hampton Callaway, (from “Tyler’s Suite,” sung by soloist Nancy Nail), and “Dust in the Wind,” by Kerry Livgren, among others. Nancy Nail reminisced about singing the role of Jane Clementi (who lost her son to suicide after being cyber bullied by his college roommate). “It’s not about me…Nancy Nail … when I sing it. It’s quite emotional but such an important message. It’s about telling the ones we love how important they are, and how much we love them and support them,” said Nancy.

Tickets to the fall performance From The Heart at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection are on sale now. Purchase online at hmckc.org or call816-931-3338.

ABOUT HEARTLAND MEN’S CHORUS – Heartland Men’s Chorus (www.hmckc.org) is Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus, now in its 32nd season. Founded in 1986 with 30 singers to make music, HMC quickly became a safe oasis for a community scarred by fear and hatred, while plagued by a virus. Now with 120 singers, HMC is a vital part of Kansas City’s robust arts and cultural scene, making the historic Folly Theater its performance home for 24 years. HMC also presents regional outreach concerts in a five-state area and has performed nationally and internationally in joint concerts with other GALA choruses. The Kansas City Star has called Heartland Men’s Chorus “one of the most beloved arts institutions in Kansas City.”

Visit www.hmckc.org for more information about Heartland Men’s Chorus’ 2017-2018 season. High-resolution photos of the chorus can be obtained by contacting the chorus office at 816-816-931-3338.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Parking at HMC Venues

Information for Folly Theater parking can be found online at www.follytheater.org. The parking garage, immediately west of the Folly Theater, is the primary parking garage for Heartland Men’s Chorus patrons. Event parking is $8 per car and may be purchased upon arrival (cash only at the gate).  Parking at COR is readily available and free to the public. Parking is also free and freely available at JCCC’s Carlsen Center.

Sponsors

HMC’s 32nd Season is underwritten by Hotel Phillips. The Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation, Missouri Arts Council, Hall Family Foundation, Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts, Arts Council of Greater Kansas City, and Neighborhood Tourist Development Foundation (NTDF) also are among the many supporters of Heartland Men’s Chorus’ 32nd season.

Student Discounts

Student tickets are available for $7 (with valid ID, one ticket per ID). They may be purchased in advance by calling the HMC box office at 816-931-3338 or at the door prior to the performances based on availability. The Box Office opens one hour prior to all performances.

Social Media

Receive updates by joining Heartland Men’s Chorus’ Page at www.facebook.com/hmckc and following @hmchorus on Twitter.

Heartland Men’s Chorus

2017-2018 Full Season at a Glance

From The Heart (FALL SHOW)

November 10, 2017 | Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, KS

Friday, Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m.

Packages With Beaus (HOLIDAY SHOW)

December 2-3, 2017 | Folly Theater, Kansas City, MO

Sat., Dec. 2, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Dec. 3, 4:00 p.m.

December 10, 2017 | Yardley Hall, Carlsen Center, JCCC, OPKS

Sun., Dec. 10, 4:00 p.m.
Single tickets to Packages with Beaus are on sale October 16th.
Wrap yourself in HMC holiday packaging and finish it off with the perfect “Beau” to kick off your holiday merriment. At the Folly Theater, December 2-3, we’re beside ourselves to announce Well Strung, the hunkiest boys with bows, will be joining us to share their world-renowned string quartet magic. On December 10, in Johnson County’s Yardley Hall, we’ll be coming back for the second year and bringing our friend and Broadway sensation, Claybourne Elder, fresh from New York in “Sunday in the Park with George.” The perfect combination of familiar carols, choral classics and hilariously zany twists on adored holiday music; Heartland Men’s Chorus has become Kansas City’s favorite non-traditional holiday tradition!

ABBA-Cadabra (SPRING SHOW)

March 24-25, 2018 | Folly Theater, Kansas City, MO

Sat., Mar. 24, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Mar. 25, 4:00 p.m.
Single tickets to are on sale December 4th.

We hope you’ll put on your disco boots and join our dancing queens as HMC celebrates one of the greatest bands in popular music history. Featuring everything in the ABBA repertoire from “Take a Chance on Me!” to “Mamma Mia,” you’re sure to be singing at the top of your lungs before the curtain falls. We plan to be completely silly and have a great time to say, “Thank you for the music!” Single tickets available online beginning Monday, December 11, 2017.

Indivisible (SUMMER SHOW)

June 9-10, 2018 | Folly Theater, Kansas City, MO

Sat., June. 9, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., June 10, 4:00 p.m.

Ever wonder about the phrase “With Liberty and Justice for All?” We certainly do and with the prejudice, inequality, bias and discrimination happening in the world around us, Heartland Men’s Chorus will present our response with, “Indivisible.” HMC will be joining forces with the National World War I Memorial and Museum to celebrate the principles of our great nation’s founding . . . that ALL are created equal. Single tickets available online beginning Monday, March 26, 2018.

Season tickets starting at $72 are on sale to the public through Packages With Beaus. All season subscribers receive free tickets to From the Heart.

 

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Please direct all media inquiries to Rick Fisher, 816-931-3338 or hmc@hmckc.org.

 

Heartland Men’s Chorus Presents “Identify!”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Rick Fisher

816.931.3338

hmc@hmckc.org

For Tickets: 816.931.3338 or hmckc.org

 

Heartland Men’s Chorus

Presents “Identify,”

An inspirational performance uniting voices against bullying,
Created to change hearts and minds.

Performances March 25 and 26, 2017 at the Folly Theater

  • Featuring “Tyler’s Suite” by Stephen Schwartz et al,
  • TED Talk Sensation Morgana Bailey,
  • Soprano Nancy Nail, &
  • Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus

KANSAS CITY, MO (Feb 20, 2017) — Dustin S. Cates, Artistic Director of Heartland Men’s Chorus (HMC), announced Monday their 31th season will continue in March with Identify!  Part choral concert, part TED Talk; Identify celebrates living lives of authenticity. Heartland Men’s Chorus will present two completely different experiences in one special performance. They’ll be joined by special guests including 80 voices from Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus, TED Talk sensation Morgana Bailey, soloist Nancy Nail, and Jane Clementi, mother of the late Tyler Clementi and chairman of the Tyler Clementi Foundation.

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

An 18-year-old college student at Rutgers University, Clementi was sharing an intimate moment with another man as his roommate surreptitiously recorded it and put word of it on the internet.  The resulting humiliation led Clementi to leap off the George Washington Bridge.

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.’”

Composed in 2016, “Tyler’s Suite” will make its Great Plains premier 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 . . . 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 take part in a pre-concert panel to listen and to share, “Conversations help illuminate and elevate issues, and help people to better understand. 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.” One hour before each concert, there will be a panel discussion sponsored by GLSEN (Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network) open to any concert ticketholder. Moderated by Kansas City Broadcast Journalist Mitch Weber, the panelists will be Jane Clementi, Morgana Bailey Bee, Andy Schuerman from the GLSEN Board, and Debi Jackson, mother of 9-year-old Avery Jackson, the first transgender person to appear on the cover of National Geographic Magazine.

“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.

The second portion of “Identify” begins with the Twin Cities Gay men’s Chorus, an award-winning chorus that has built a solid reputation for musical excellence and dynamic programming. The Chorus is under the direction of Artistic Director Dr. Ben Riggs. They join Heartland Men’s Chorus to celebrate diversity, using music as a way to transform, educate and heal, working toward the elimination of homophobia and intolerance through community outreach and song. TCGMG will be singing a series of songs about hope. They will be followed by HMC singing “The Music of Living,” by Dan Forrest, “You Have More Friends Than You Know,” by Warren & Marx, Arranged by HMC Artistic Director Dustin S. Cates, and “Cornerstone,” by Shawn Kirchner. “Following the emotional journey of ‘Tyler’s Suite,’ Act 2 of our concert will celebrate the hope found in living lives of authenticity.”

TED Talk sensation Morgana Bailey had been hiding her true self for 16 years. Coming out in front of an audience of her co-workers, Morgana became a human resources and human rights activist. In her brave TED Talk, she utters four words that had been paralyzing her, realizing 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, clearly understanding the irony of her fear. At State Street, she directs the Global Human Resources data management team, maintaining records for approximately 29,000 employees. Now married to wife, Cicely Bee, Morgana 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.

Artistic Director Cates concluded, “We close our concert with the combined voices of TCGMC and HMC singing Craig Hella Johnson’s arrangement of ‘I Love You/What a Wonderful World’ and ‘Give ‘Em Hope,’ a piece based on the words of the late gay rights activist Harvey Milk.” 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. Panel discussions begin one hour prior to each concert in the theater.

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). Come as you are, dress is casual, but visit hmckc.org today!

ABOUT HEARTLAND MEN’S CHORUS – Heartland Men’s Chorus (www.hmckc.org) is Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus, now in its 31st season. Founded in 1986 with 30 singers to make music, HMC quickly became a safe oasis for a community scarred by fear and hatred, while plagued by a virus. Now with 120 singers, HMC is a vital part of Kansas City’s robust arts and cultural scene, making the historic Folly Theater its performance home for 24 years. HMC also presents regional outreach concerts in a five-state area and has performed nationally and internationally in joint concerts with other GALA choruses. They regularly perform at GALA Choruses International festivals. In 2009, HMC was featured at the national convention of The American Choral Director Association in Oklahoma City, and in 2003 at the national conference of Chorus America in Kansas City. In 2011, the Chorus received the OUTMusic Award for OUTStanding Male Chorus and in 1998 the GLAAD Leadership Award. The Kansas City Star has called Heartland Men’s Chorus “one of the most beloved arts institutions in Kansas City.”

Visit www.hmckc.org for more information about Heartland Men’s Chorus 2016-2017 season. High-resolution photos of the 2016-2017 Season can be obtained by contacting the chorus office at 816-816-931-3338.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Tyler Clementi Foundation website: http://tylerclementi.org

Morgana Bailey Bee’s TED Talk can be found at: http://www.ted.com/talks/morgana_bailey_the_danger_of_hiding_who_you_are

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Parking

Information for Folly Theater parking can be found online at www.follytheater.org. The parking garage, immediately west of the Folly Theater, is the primary parking garage for Heartland Men’s Chorus patrons. Event parking is $8 per car and may be purchased upon arrival (cash only at the gate).

 Sponsors

HMC’s 31st Season is underwritten by Hotel Phillips. Other sponsors include the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation; Missouri Arts Council; Hall Family Foundation, Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts, Arts Council of Greater Kansas City, and the Kansas City Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund (NTDF).

Student Discounts

Student tickets are available for $7 (with valid ID, one ticket per ID). They may be purchased in advance by calling the HMC box office at 816-931-3338 or at the door prior to the performances based on availability. The Box Office opens one hour prior to all performances.

Social Media

Receive updates by joining Heartland Men’s Chorus’ Page at www.facebook.com/hmckc and following @hmchorus on Twitter.

 Heartland Men’s Chorus

2016-2017 Full Season at a Glance

Kansas City Christmas (HOLIDAY SHOW)

December 3-4, 2016 | Folly Theater, Kansas City, MO

Sat., Dec. 3, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Dec. 4, 4:00 p.m.

December 10, 2016 | Yardley Hall, Carlsen Center, JCCC, OPKS

Sat., Dec. 10, 8:00 p.m.

Identify (SPRING SHOW)

March 25-26, 2017 | Folly Theater, Kansas City, MO

Sat., Mar. 25, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Mar. 26, 4:00 p.m.

Part choral concert, part TED Talk, Identify celebrates living lives of authenticity. Joined by special guests, Twin Cities Gay men’s Chorus, TED Talk sensation Morgana Bailey, Soloist Nancy Nail, and Jane Clementi, mother of the late Tyler Clementi, we lift up the importance of being you. Single tickets available online beginning Monday, December 15, 2016.

 Show Tune Showdown (SUMMER SHOW)

June 10-11, 2017 | Folly Theater, Kansas City, MO

Sat., June. 10, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., June 11, 4:00 p.m.

What happens when Broadway collides with Heartland Men’s Chorus? It’s the Show Tune Showdown! It’s literally part game show and part sing-a-long! Channel your best Ethel Merman as you sing with the guys to some of your favorite Broadway hits, then hop on stage and show off your knowledge of musical theatre trivia! Single tickets available online beginning Monday, March 27, 2017.

 

Visit www.hmckc.org/press for more info.

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Please direct all media inquiries to Rick Fisher, 816-931-3338 or hmc@hmckc.org.

HMC 2016-2017 Season Announcement

Heartland Men’s Chorus

2016-17 Season Kicks Off with a

“Classy, Brassy and Sassy” Kansas City Christmas

Performances Dec. 3 and 4 at Folly Theater

And at the new venue, JCCC’s Yardley Hall, Dec. 10

 

KANSAS CITY, MO (Oct. 24, 2016) — Dustin S. Cates, Artistic Director of Heartland Men’s Chorus (HMC), announced Monday that the 31th season will open with what is fast becoming one of Kansas City’s favorite non-traditional holiday traditions, Kansas City Christmas! In its third year, Kansas City Christmas has an exciting blend of familiar carols, choral classics and hilariously zany twists on your favorite holiday music. It truly features something for everyone and will leave you in the holiday spirit because it’s “Classy, Brassy and Sassy!”

The Classy start to the evening begins with Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence. Based on a French folk tune, it tells the biblical story of the birth of Christ. Then Classy HMC shines with John Rutter’s Gloria. Written by British born Rutter in 1974, this 17-minute, three-movement work instantly became a favorite among American choruses. “It is by turns touching and thrilling, with everything from soaring, jubilant phrases to catchy rhythms among the beautiful lines of ancient sacred text, and then throw in the power of the brass ensemble with timpani, percussion and organ, and you have the perfect recipe to wow audiences,” said Artistic Director Cates.

Rutter described its origins to Jeremy Siepmann of Naxos Records in 2011, “‘The Gloria was the first of my works to be commissioned in America. I received a letter from a choral conductor in Omaha, Nebraska. His name was Mel Olson, an excellent musician. Among much else, he suggested a sacred work, equally suitable to both churches and concert halls, with a Latin text. So I thought of the Gloria—just about the most famous little piece of Latin that there is. For my instrumental group, I chose a brass ensemble, supplemented by organ, timpani and percussion. And that was the beginning. *
Gloria is sung completely in Latin.

HMC has received special permission from John Rutter himself to perform this unpublished version of his Gloria for men’s voices. Since brass is such an essential aspect of the composition, the production is being performed in collaboration with the Volker Brass Quintet from the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance and will be conducted by Cates.

Continuing the more serious, traditional approaches to the holidays, HMC will present Ose Shalom (arr. John Leavitt), a traditional Hebrew text that translates: “The One who makes peace in the heavens, He makes peace for us, for all of us, and let us say Amen.”  Staying with the traditional slant, HMC will perform Deck the Hall (arr. Eddy Clement), a new arrangement of a traditional English Christmas Carol, The First Noel (arr. Dan Forrest), a new arrangement of a traditional English Christmas Carol, and I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm (arr. Patrick Sinozich), an Irving Berlin holiday favorite set in a swing style. All three pieces will be accompanied by the Volker Brass from UMKC … In other words . . . Brassy!!

The program continues with a World Premiere, Winter Mantra, commissioned by HMC for Kansas City Christmas and written by composer and University of Missouri–Columbia Freshman, Hans Heruth, with original text by Wesley Sexton. The piece, that also features the Volker Brass Ensemble, speaks of Winter. “The season on the surface may seem dark and cold but, when framed correctly, is full of life,” says Sexton. Heruth and Sexton met at the University of Missouri and started writing together.

What audiences have come to expect out of the second half of Kansas City Christmas is pure entertainment. “With a bit of a holiday pops feel, it’s all kinds of fun,” said Cates. “The hilarious performances by members of Heartland Men’s Chorus are truly what bring this portion of the program to life!” On the program are Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, a holiday favorite made popular by Judy Garland arranged by Kansas City composer and friend of HMC, Mark Hayes, O Holy Night (arr. Scott Warrender), traditional carol for soloist and choir with a big twist, The Little Drummer Boy (arr. Lari Goss), an HMC favorite back by popular demand which features a drum line comprised of local high school band students. There’s also a wacky tribute to the holiday elephant-in-the-room… Fruitcake! Lots of other fun songs will fill out the second half to keep you laughing and wanting more (music, not fruitcake!).

“Kansas City Christmas” will be performed at 8 p.m. Saturday, December 3rd and 4 p.m. Sunday, December 4th at the historic Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th Street in Kansas City, and Saturday, December 10th, at Yardley Hall in the Carlson Center, on the campus of Johnson County Community College.

Tickets to the Folly performances are available online at http://hmckc.org/tickets/ or by calling 816-931-3338. Yardley Hall performances must be purchased through the Carlsen Center Box Office at 913-469-4445. Prices range from $18 to $43 with special student pricing at $7 (some ticket fees apply and vary by location). Come as you are, dress is casual, be ready for fun, but visit hmckc.org today!

 

ABOUT HEARTLAND MEN’S CHORUS – Heartland Men’s Chorus (www.hmckc.org) is Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus, now in its 31st season. Founded with 30 singers to make music, HMC quickly became a safe oasis for a community scarred by fear and hatred and plagued by a virus. Now with 130 singers, Heartland Men’s Chorus is a vital part of Kansas City’s robust arts and cultural scene. HMC has made the historic Folly Theater its performance home for 24 years, and is now expanding to Overland Park with one concert in December. The Kansas City Star has called Heartland Men’s Chorus “one of the most beloved arts institutions in Kansas City.”

Visit www.hmckc.org for more information about Heartland Men’s Chorus 2016-2017 season. High resolution photos of the 2016-2017 season can be attained by contacting the chorus office at 816-816-931-3338.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Parking

Information for Folly Theater parking can be found online at www.follytheater.org. The parking garage, immediately west of the Folly Theater, is the primary parking garage for Heartland Men’s Chorus patrons. Event parking is $8 per car and may be purchased upon arrival (cash only at the gate). Parking is free and freely available at JCCC’s Carlsen Center.

 Sponsors

Presenting sponsor of Heartland Men’s Chorus is Hotel Phillips.

The Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation; Missouri Arts Council; Hall Family Foundation, Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts, Arts Council of Greater Kansas City, and Neighborhood Tourist Development Foundation (NTDF), also are among the many supporters of Heartland Men’s Chorus’ 31st season.

Student Discounts

Student tickets are available for $7 (with valid ID, one ticket per ID). They may be purchased in advance by calling the HMC box office at 816-931-3338 or at the door prior to the performances based on availability. The Box Office opens one hour prior to all performances.

Social Media

Receive updates by joining Heartland Men’s Chorus’ Page at www.facebook.com/hmckc and following @hmchorus on Twitter.

 

Heartland Men’s Chorus

2016-2017 Season at a Glance

 

Kansas City Christmas (HOLIDAY SHOW)

December 3-4, 2016 | Folly Theater, Kansas City, MO

Sat., Dec. 3, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Dec. 4, 4:00 p.m.

December 10, 2016 | Yardley Hall, Carlsen Center, JCCC, OPKS

Sat., Dec. 10, 8:00 p.m.

 

Identify (SPRING SHOW)

March 25-26, 2017 | Folly Theater, Kansas City, MO

Sat., Mar. 25, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., Mar. 26, 4:00 p.m.

Part choral concert, part TedTalk, Identify celebrates living lives of authenticity. Joined by special guests, Twin Cities Gay men’s Chorus, TedTalk sensation Morgana Bailey and Jane Clementi, mother of the late Tyler Clementi, we lift up the importance of being you. Single tickets available online beginning Monday, December 15, 2016.

 

Show Tune Showdown (SUMMER SHOW)

June 10-11, 2017 | Folly Theater, Kansas City, MO

Sat., June. 10, 8:00 p.m.

Sun., June 11, 4:00 p.m.

What happens when Broadway collides with Heartland Men’s Chorus? It’s the Show Tune Showdown! It’s literally part game show and part sing-a-long! Channel your best Ethel Merman as you sing with the guys to some of your favorite Broadway hits, then hop on stage and show off your knowledge of musical theatre trivia! Single tickets available online beginning Monday, March 27, 2017.

   

Visit www.hmckc.org/press for more info.

 

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Please direct all media inquiries to Rick Fisher, 816-931-3338 or hmc@hmckc.org.

HMC Presents “Perfect Pitch”

With a little less piano and a whole lot of heart, Heartland Men’s Chorus, Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus, presents “Perfect Pitch,” a concert that celebrates the power and beauty of the human voice.

Singing mostly a cappella arrangements, the 135-voice chorus will perform songs featuring intricate arrangements of contemporary popular music including “The Good Life” by OneRepublic, “Stitches” by Shawn Mendes, and the Pentatonix arrangement of the Imagine Dragons hit “Radioactive.”

Some classics will also be offered with the same distinctive sound of Heartland Men’s Chorus, including “Ave Maria,” “Home on the Range,” and “Loch Lomond.”

“Only at an HMC concert can you hear the beauty of “Ave Maria” on the same bill as “Radioactive,” says HMC Artistic Director Dustin Cates. “We respect the serious music while bringing an exciting edge to the stage with some very popular numbers.”

As is customary with an HMC concert, the first half is more subtle and sublime, while the second half kicks it up a few notches with songs that will have the audience and the singers moving to the music and laughing to some wonderful surprises.

Guest artists include the amazing sounds of local beatboxer artist Luke Harbur who will open the ears and eyes of audience members with his unique sounds and rhythm. We’ll also be joined on stage by “Kansas City A Cappella,” a group of area high school students who bring youthful excitement to the a cappella art form.

Heartland Men’s Chorus welcomes new and returning audience members of any age to experience what The Kansas City Star calls “one of the most beloved arts institutions in Kansas City.”

“Perfect Pitch” will be performed at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 19th and 4 p.m. Sunday, March 20th at the historic Folly Theater at 300 W. 12th Street in Kansas City. Tickets 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, be ready for fun!

Heartland Men’s Chorus Turns 30

Heartland Men’s Chorus (HMC) has announced its upcoming season, the 30th anniversary for Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus.

The season will begin with Kansas City Christmas, December 4-6, 2015. The title of the concert is an intentional holdover from last year’s record-breaking holiday concert.

“Our holiday concert is considered an annual tradition by so many in our audience,” says artistic director Dustin S. Cates. “The music is different every year, but the combination of sacred holiday music and campy comic numbers never changes. We will be keeping the title Kansas City Christmas every year to underscore the concert’s place as a Kansas City tradition.”

Among the more traditional offerings will be four movements from Benjamin Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols.” Comic highlights include an arrangement of “Text Me Merry Christmas,” a song which became a viral video sensation for Straight No Chaser in 2014. One holdover from last year’s edition will be “Christmas in Kansas City,” which Cates hopes will be an annual fixture.

March 19 and 20, 2016, the group presents Perfect Pitch, a largely a cappella concert featuring intricate arrangements of contemporary popular music. Among the songs included will be “The Good Life” by OneRepublic, “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars, and the Pentatonix arrangement of the Imagine Dragons hit “Radioactive.”

Deke Sharon, producer of “The Sing Off” and arranger/vocal producer for Universal’s Pitch Perfect & Pitch Perfect 2, will help prepare the chorus for the performance, serving as a clinician during the rehearsal process.

Special guests included in the program will be local beatboxer Luke Harbur and KC A Cappella, Kansas City’s high school a cappella ensemble.

The chorus closes the season with I Rise, an inspirational program and celebration of its anniversary season, June 11-12, 2016. The concert will feature guests from HMC’s 30-year history, including chorus alumni and Dr. Joseph Nadeau, the group’s artistic director from 1998-2014.

The program will feature songs long associated with the chorus, such as Fred Small’s “Everything Possible,” as well as new works, including a new commission by Mark Hayes based on the life and work of Maya Angelou.

After the season ends, the chorus will tour an abridged version of I Rise to towns in central and western Kansas, and the GALA Choruses Festival in Denver, Colorado.

The chorus will welcome new members when rehearsals begin on September 8, 2015. Cates expects the group to perform with 120-130 men this season.

All season performances take place at the Folly Theater, 300 West 12th Street, Kansas City, Missouri. Season tickets from $72.00 – $114.00 are available now by phone at (816) 931-3338 and online at http://hmckc.org.

 

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HMC Takes on Fringe Festival with Big Gay Sing

Big Gay SingHeartland Men’s Chorus usually takes the summer months off, but this year the group is poised to launch a new event as part of the Kansas City Fringe Festival. The Chorus will present Big Gay Sing, an interactive sing-along variety show for four performances, July 17-19, 2015.

“It will be more of a party atmosphere, as opposed to a concert atmosphere,” says artistic director Dustin S. Cates. “And it’s all about audience participation.”

Lyrics for the songs will appear on the screen for audience members to sing along. The repertoire will feature songs familiar to audience members, including television theme songs (from “Friends,” “The Golden Girls” and “The Brady Bunch,” among others), disco hits from ABBA and The Village People, and karaoke favorites like “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Sweet Caroline.”

Kansas City’s favorite drag entertainer, Daisy Buckët, will emcee the shows and will sing with the Chorus on several numbers. Other drag entertainers, including Summer Tryst, are scheduled to appear and some audience members will be “drafted into drag” live on stage.

Big Gay Sing was a concept originally developed by the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus in 2009. The high-energy, informal, party-like atmosphere of the event made it an audience favorite and reinvigorated NYCGMC’s artistic program. Big Gay Sing became and annual event and brought the group’s music to a wider audience.

Heartland Men’s Chorus will present Big Gay Sing at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 17, 6:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Saturday, July 18, and 3:00 p.m. Sunday, July 19. All performances will take place at H&R Block City Stage at Union Station. Tickets are $10 (plus a $5 Fringe Festival button, required for admittance to any Fringe events), and are available in advance at http://kcfringe.org.

About Heartland Men’s Chorus

Proudly singing out in Kansas City since 1986, Heartland Men’s Chorus is a not-for-profit, volunteer chorus of gay and gay-sensitive people who are making a positive cultural contribution to the entire community. HMC performs a varied repertoire of music, including jazz, Broadway, popular and classical works, and regularly performs with more than 130 singers. The chorus performs a three concert season at the historic Folly Theater to an annual audience of more than 7,000, and performs dozens of community outreach performances each year throughout the Midwest.

About the Kansas City Fringe Festival

KC Fringe Festival is an annual 11-day performing and visual arts extravaganza. It straddles a thin, frayed line between mass appeal and eclectic tastes. Fringe links these two worlds together, showing that it is the bridge you take to be inspired and entertained no matter what your taste may be.

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HMC Gets Wicked with Summer Concerts Celebrating Composer Stephen Schwartz

A Little Bit WickedHeartland Men’s Chorus will present “A Little Bit Wicked,” a concert devoted to the music of composer Stephen Schwartz, June 13 and 14, 2015, at the Folly Theater. Featuring songs from his Broadway and film musicals, the repertoire will span more than 40 years of work by the prolific composer.

“Stephen is one of the rare modern Broadway composers who straddles the line between musical theatre and popular music,” says Dustin S. Cates, HMC artistic director. “Songs like ‘Corner of the Sky’ and ‘For Good’ have become popular favorites because they are so accessible, but his music and lyrics are so dramatically rich they resonate deeply with audiences.”

Winner of three Academy Awards®, four Grammy Awards® and four Drama Desk Awards, Schwartz is one of the most popular musical theatre composers of all time. During the 1976-1977 Broadway season, he had three shows (“Pippin,” Godspell” and “The Magic Show”) running on Broadway simultaneously.

In 2008, when his blockbuster “Wicked” reached its 1901st performance on Broadway, he became the only songwriter in Broadway history to have three shows run more than 1900 performances.

The concert will include songs from Schwartz’s Broadway hits, as well as songs from his film musicals “Enchanted,” “Pocahontas” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

The Chorus will also present a recent piece by Schwartz called “Testimony.” With lyrics taken directly from videos recorded for the It Gets Better Project, which aims to prevent LGBT youth suicide, “Testimony” is a powerful composition that reflects the resilience of LGBT people in the face of harassment, violence, and discrimination.

“A Little Bit Wicked” is the final concert in HMC’s 29th season. The group regularly performs with more than 120 singers and draws the largest audience for choral music in the region.

Heartland Men’s Chorus will present “A Little Bit Wicked” at 8:00 p.m. June 13, and 4:00 p.m. on June 14. All performances are at the Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th Street, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets range in price from $15-$40 and are available at http://hmckc.org or by calling 816-931-3338.

 

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Heartland Men’s Chorus and the Lawrence Children’s Choir celebrate America’s modern families

Modern FamiliesHeartland Men’s Chorus will celebrate the diversity of the American family in its spring concert “Modern Families,” March 28 and 29, 2015, at the Folly Theater. The concert is the latest in the group’s series of “musical documentaries” that use music, narration and multi-media elements to illustrate a particular social issue.

Artistic director Dustin S. Cates has a personal connection to the topic. He and his husband are the parents of a 3 year-old son.

“I wanted to celebrate the love and dignity that all families deserve,” said Cates. “There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ family. It seems every person defines the word family in slightly different way.”

As expected from a gay men’s chorus, HMC will present a number of songs and stories specific to LGBT families, but Cates expects the concert to appeal to people from all types of families. The music included is diverse, including classical works, contemporary pop songs and rap.

Lawrence Children’s Choir will begin the concert with a set of four songs. Heartland Men’s Chorus will join them for “The Weaver,” a new commission by local composer Jacob Narverud. HMC will finish the first act with musical selections celebrating love and family, including “Luminescence,” a song written by Dr. Andrea Ramsey commemorating the birth of Cates’s son, Emmaus.

The musical documentary comprises the concert’s second act, and includes “Not My Father’s Son” from the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, Annie Lennox’s “A Thousand Beautiful Things” and Rene Clausen’s “Set Me as a Seal.” The chorus will reprise two songs by composer Robert Seeley that have been popular in previous performances: the marriage equality anthem “Marry Us” and the plaintive “In My Mother’s Eyes.”

For the first time in its history, the chorus will perform a contemporary rap number, Ryan Lewis and Macklemore’s “Same Love,” featuring a guest appearance by local rap artist EvoKlone Alex.

Narration linking the songs together comes from the stories of individual chorus members, as well as stories collected from members of the Midwest Alternative Family Alliance (MAFA), a local nonprofit group that acts as catalyst for social action on behalf of LGBT families.

Nancy Bean, a Kansas City adoption social worker and member of MAFA, will facilitate a pre-show discussion on the topic of family building in the LGBT community beginning 20 minutes prior to each performance.

To further illustrate the diversity in contemporary families, audience members are invited to submit photos of their “modern families” via the chorus’s website, to be shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #OurModernFamilies. To date, more than 50 photos have been received.

“Modern Families” is the second concert in the HMC’s 29th season. The group regularly performs with more than 120 singers, and draws the largest audience for choral music in the region.

Heartland Men’s Chorus presents “Modern Families” at 8:00 p.m. March 28, and 4:00 p.m. on March 30. All performances are at the Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th Street, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets range in price from $15-$40 and are available at http://hmckc.org or by calling 816-931-3338.

 

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Heartland Men’s Chorus Is Home for the Holidays

Kansas City ChristmasHeartland Men’s Chorus will celebrate all things Kansas City in its holiday concert, appropriately titled “Kansas City Christmas,” December 5-7, 2014, at the Folly Theater. The first concert of the group’s 29th season is also the first under the direction of its new artistic director Dustin S. Cates.

“Pride in our city and our community is at an all-time high,” says Cates. “It seems like every week Kansas City is included on a ‘Top Ten List’ of the best places to live, to work or to visit. And the performance of the Kansas City Royals in the World Series has renewed pride in our city like I’ve never experienced before. I wanted my first concert as artistic director to reflect the spirit, flavor and music of my hometown.”

The program will contain a merry mix of traditional carols, sacred music, and the outrageous humor for which the chorus has become known. The Saturday performance will feature a “sly” surprise, with the appearance of a special guest artist known to every Kansas City resident.

Music written and arranged by local composers will be highlighted throughout the concert.

The chorus will sing “Gloria,” written by Eugene Butler, a prolific composer with a long history in Kansas City. Two other local composers will be represented with two songs each. The chorus will perform works arranged by Mark Hayes (“I’ll be Home for Christmas” and “Variations on Jingle Bells”) and John Leavitt (“Bashana Haba ‘ah” and “Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming”).

New commissions by Kansas City’s Lyndell Leatherman (“I Saw Three Ships”) and Jacob Narverud (“Three Messiah Settings for Men’s Chorus”) will be debuted at the concert.

Several guest artists will appear on the bill, coming from the diverse worlds of local politics, pop music, classical music and the alternative theatre scene. The Sunday performance will feature a guest appearance by Mayor Sly James. A long time supporter of the arts in Kansas City, the mayor will croon the solo in “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”

Up and coming “indie” pop sensation Dustin Rapier will join HMC to perform “Christmas in Kansas City.” Soprano Sarah Tannehill Anderson will be featured as a soloist in the “Messiah” choruses. Local audiences have heard her work with the Lyric Arts Trio, Kansas City Chorale, Kansas City Symphony and the Bach Aria Soloists.

Two performers from the world of drag will be among the highlights of the second act. DeDe Deville will join HMC in a tribute to the ubiquitous Disney film Frozen, and Genewa Stanwyck will appear as “Angie, The Christmas Tree Angel.”

Rounding out the guest artist roster is the Park Hill South High School Drumline, who will provide a choreographed interlude to “The Little Drummer Boy.”

The concert marks the start of the 29th season for HMC, Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus. The group regularly performs with more than 120 singers, and draws the largest audience for choral music in the region.

Heartland Men’s Chorus presents “Kansas City Christmas” at 8:00 p.m. December 5 and 6, and 4:00 p.m. on December 7. All performances are at the Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th Street, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets range in price from $15-$40 and are available at http://hmckc.org or by calling 816-931-3338.

 

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High resolution photos of the chorus may be downloaded at http://hmckc.org/photos