Summer Concert Celebrates the Music of Queen

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  “Rock You: A Wild Ride Through the Music of Queen!”
Performances June 9 and 9, 2019 at The Folly Theater

Featuring 17 of Queen’s Most Iconic Hits!

KANSAS CITY, MO (April 17, 2019) — Heartland Men’s Chorus (HMC), announced today their 33rd season continues in June with ROCK YOU: A WILD RIDE THROUGH THE MUSIC OF QUEEN! Who better to bring the music of one of the greatest rock bands in history to life than Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus!

Featuring the most iconic hits from one of the world’s most beloved bands, Rock You will be a musical extravaganza that includes a full evening of rockin’ favorites. It will take you back to the 1970’s and 1980’s and have you screaming, “We Will, We Will Rock You” before the curtain falls!

Founded in 1970 in England, Queen released their self-titled debut album in 1973 in both the UK and the US. Despite not being an immediate success, they gained popularity in England particularly with two songs of the original album, “Keep Yourself Alive” and “Liar.” With their second album released in 1974, also known as the “heaviest” rock album they created, Queen II was heavy rock with a Baroque sensibility that combined emotional themes and fantasy which would become part of their staple. It also touted an iconic album cover depicting the album’s black and white themes that would be used by the band throughout their career. Through 25 years and 40 albums, including their 1981 Greatest Hits, the best selling album of all time in the UK, Queen’s sound with their explorations in funk, opera and pretty much everything in between formed the bedrock of their success and created a wide-ranging offering like no other band before or since. And oh yes, they created 189 songs of which HMC will cover 15!

Under the baton of Artistic Director Dustin S. Cates, Heartland Men’s Chorus will celebrate all that is Queen including (but certainly not limited to) favorites like:

  1. “We Are The Champions” – One of Queen’s biggest hits and most recognizable anthems, it begs to be sung at the top of one’s lungs. It was first released on their album News of the World in 1977.
  2. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” – Written by Mercury in 1979, no Queen show is complete without it. With its rockabilly flair and easily sing able lyrics, it was Queen’s first number-one single in the UK.
  3. “Bohemian Rhapsody” – A six-minute “suite” which was unheard of at the time, the song had several sections which included an intro, a ballad, an operatic section, a hard rock passage, and a philosophical ending. Although critical response was initially very mixed, it went on to become Queen’s most popular song and is considered one of the greatest rock-n-roll songs ever written.
  4. “Killer Queen” – Again written by Mercury for their Sheer Heart Attack album, the single was Queen’s first US hit and was Mercury’s tribute to a champagne drinking prostitute!
  5. “Love of My Life” – The lyrics alone of this 1975 song tell you everything that was happening in Mercury’s life as it was written for Mary Austin, he ex-fiancée: “Love of my life, you’ve hurt me. You’ve broken my heart and now you leave me. Love of my life, can’t you see? Bring it back. Bring it back. Don’t take it away from me, because you don’t know what it means to me.”
  6. “Somebody to Love” – Written by Freddie Mercury, it debuted on the band’s 1976 album A Day at the Races and also appeared on their Greatest Hits Reputed to be Mercury’s favorite song, the lyrics reflect a man asking God why he works so hard but cannot find love. He instead finds hope and not defeat.
  7. “We Will Rock You” – This arena rock epic was written to get audiences to participate more in Queen’s concerts. Written by Brian May in 1977, the song is written mostly in a cappella form using only stomping and clapping as a percussive beat. It has become one of the most utilized stadium anthems played at sporting events around the world.

Artistic Director Cates summed up HMC’s summer concert, Rock You, best by saying, “The curtain will be rising on ‘Rock You’ with all the inspiration that Freddie, Brian, Roger and John brought to their iconic music. In the words of Freddie Mercury, ‘We’ve gone overboard on every Queen album. But that’s Queen!’ Our summer concert will have you on your feet singing every word but also leave you with a message and a song in your heart.  It will be a performance for all ages . . . anyone who loves the music of Queen will love this concert!”

Rock You: A Wild Ride Through the Music of Queen! will be performed at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 8th and 4 p.m. Sunday, June 9th in the C. Stephen Metzler Hall 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. Or come dressed as Queen! 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 33rd 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 26 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. 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 2018-2019 season. High-resolution photos of the 2018-2019 Season can be obtained by contacting the chorus office at 816-816-931-3338.

Interim Artistic Director Announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Rick Fisher

816.931.3338

hmc@hmckc.org

For Tickets: 816.931.3338 or hmckc.org

Heartland Men’s Announces
Interim Artistic Director

Interim to Direct 2019-2020 HMC Season While Nationwide Search Commences


 KANSAS CITY, MO (April 10, 2019)

Last month, Artistic Director Dustin Cates announced: “I have accepted a position at Temple University as Assistant Professor of Choral Music Education and will not be returning in my role as Artistic Director of Heartland Men’s Chorus next season. Raymond also accepted a position this week at Einstein Medical Center where he will serve as Associate Director of Pediatric Residency and Director of the hospital’s PRIDE program which will include starting a clinic for children who identify as transgender. We will be moving to Philadelphia shortly after the Rock You! concerts.”

Keith Hohly, Chairman of Heartland Men’s Chorus’s Board of Directors, announced Tuesday that Shawn Cullen, Director of HMC’s community engagement ensemble, Burnt Ends, would assume the role of Interim Artistic Director upon the close of the 2018-2019 Season. Hohly said, “Shawn has been such a fantastic resource to the Chorus over the last two years since he joined us. He was the logical choice to continue our mission of changing lives through music.” A national search will commence next fall for a permanent Artistic Director to begin in HMC’s 35th season in 2020.

As an educator, conductor and artistic director, Shawn Cullen has earned a reputation for his dedication to musical excellence and striving to make a difference within the communities in which he belongs. During his 8-year tenure as Artistic Director/Conductor with Reveille Men’s Chorus in Tuscon, Arizona, Cullen worked to inspire growth in membership and audiences alike while striving to produce musically excellent, mission-based programming with humor and heart. Mr. Cullen conducted Reveille in 16 local productions, numerous community OUTreach performances, two quadrennial GALA (Gay and Lesbian Association) Chorus festivals and travelled internationally to perform with the Puerto Vallarta Gay Men’s Chorus. Mr. Cullen also led Reveille to make their debut performance with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra in 2013 for “Broadway Rocks!” as the first LGBTQ chorus to perform with a professional symphony orchestra in the state of Arizona. He joined Desert Voices Chorus as Artistic Director/ Conductor in 2013 helping to develop it’s new mission of “Fostering Community through Song,” making him one of the few conductors nationally to serve in artistic leadership for two GALA (Gay and Lesbian Association) Choruses simultaneously. In January 2017 Mr. Cullen accepted a three-year term as a national Board of Director for GALA Choruses helping to lead the North American LGBTQ and LGBTQ-allied choral movement and was the 2017 Fine Arts Teacher of the Year for Tucson Unified Schools and the 2018 RMC Community Leadership award recipient. Cullen joined the artistic team of Heartland Men’s Chorus in Kansas City in 2017.

In the education world, Cullen has held positions as an award-winning director of bands & choral music, performing arts mentor teacher and professional development coordinator in the Tucson Unified School District, Adjunct Faculty in University of Arizona’s Fred Fox School of Music, University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, as well as the UMKC School of Education. Recognized for his skills as a versatile and collaborative musician, Cullen served as principal conductor for the Arizona Repertory Theater (2011-2017), housed within the University of Arizona’s School of Theater, Film and Television with nine production credits including “Into the Woods”, “Avenue Q”, “The Full Monty”, and “EVITA”.

Cullen is currently an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Teaching Fellow in Music Education and Curriculum & Instruction at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. His current research includes academic success for music students, conducting pedagogy, and the training of future music educators. Most recently his research was selected for presentation at the Desert Skies International Symposium of Research in Music Education. He holds a Bachelor’s of Music Education and a Master’s of Music in Conducting from the University of Arizona and is a member of the American Choral Director’s Association, the National Association for Music Education and serves on the national board of directors for GALA Choruses.

ABOUT HEARTLAND MEN’S CHORUS – Heartland Men’s Chorus (www.hmckc.org) is Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus, now in its 33rd season. Founded in 1986 with 30 singers, 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 25 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. 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’ 2018-2019 season. High-resolution photos of Shawn Cullen can be obtained by emailing hmc@hmckc.org.

HMC Presents “Stonewall 50”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Rick Fisher

816.931.3338

hmc@hmckc.org

For Tickets: 816.931.3338 or hmckc.org

Heartland Men’s Chorus’ 33rd Season Continues

With “Stonewall 50: All of Us” Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Gay Rights Movement.
Performance to include Quiet No More
commissioned by 20 Gay Choruses Nationwide.
HMC to Perform World Premiere March 23-24, 2019 at Folly Theater


KANSAS CITY, MO (January 29, 2019) — Dustin S. Cates, Artistic Director of Heartland Men’s Chorus (HMC), announced Friday that HMC would indeed premiere the work, Quiet No More: A Choral Celebration of Stonewall 50, commissioned by the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, Heartland Men’s Chorus and 17 other GALA Choruses throughout the United States. “Even with all the show stopping productions we’ve done,” said Cates, “in our 33 years, we’ve not done something THIS BIG,” he said with emphasis. “Produced by two dozen gay choruses, including THE BIGGEST gay choruses in the U.S., and WE get to perform it FIRST! It’s quite an honor. We are basically telling the story of the Gay Rights Movement through song, poetry, pictures and videos.” But HMC’s Spring Concert, called “Stonewall 50: All of Us,” is more than the story of the six days of Stonewall. It is also a show created to change hearts and minds through an uplifting celebration of life.

“Stonewall 50: All of Us” – March 23-24, 2019 at The Folly Theater

Scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, March 23-24, 2019, in the newly renovated Folly Theater, HMC will begin the concert with a celebration for “All of Us!” “With a variety of song styles and production elements, this concert is designed to help you forget the weird wild world we all get to experience every day and celebrate what it means to be alive,” said HMC Executive Director Rick Fisher.

The moving concert opens with a crowd and chorus favorite, “This is Me,” arranged by Tim Sarsany. The perfect beginning for “Stonewall 50,” “‘This is Me’ is a powerful story of self-acceptance; it’s an anthem for the marginalized, disenfranchised, the bullied and the outcast,” said Fisher. “’This Is Me’ is all about standing up for yourself, being proud of who you are, and accepting yourself with all your insecurities,” continued Cates. “It’s about stepping out from the shadows, not with hesitation, but bravely, boldly, proudly.” “There’s a defiance in this song,” furthered Cates, “that signifies the start of that journey towards self-acceptance. You get a real sense in this song that after years of being ground down and mistreated, it’s about reaching a point where you’re not going to take it anymore. This is not about trying to change you, but changing how you feel about yourself and your place in the world. We felt there couldn’t be a better message to kick off our celebration of Stonewall.”

The first act continues with similar songs of celebration and inspiration to continue the fight . . . songs like:

The Song We Sing by Jake Narverud

Sanctuary by Ola Gjeillo
You Will Be Found by Pasek & Paul
Music in the Air Arr. Ryan Murphy

1000 Beautiful Things, Arr. Tim Sarsany

Way Ahead of My Time, Arr. Jake Narverud

Also joining HMC in this celebration of inclusion are two LGBTQ+ choral groups in Kansas City, Choral Spectrum and “Heartsong,” a subgroup of Kansas City Women’s Chorus.

Newly formed in 2018, Choral Spectrum is a mixed chorus for both male and female voices that serves the LGBTQ+ community, including straight allies, and performs all types of music from classical to pop to spiritual to secular.  “Heartsong” of Kansas City Women’s Chorus is a special a cappella group of singers whose main purpose is to serve as ambassadors to the community. They also perform as part of KCWC’s main stage concerts. Kansas City Women’s Chorus was founded in 1999 and today performs with 100+ women from diverse ages, ethnicities and religious backgrounds. According to Choral Spectrum Artistic Director and Conductor, Dr. Michael Robert Patch, “LGBT choirs came from a need for social activism. Many of those same issues still persist today. LGBT choirs are also a place of community. They are a place where people can be who they truly are. In some ways, the music is secondary to the power that is ignited when people of like minds come together for a cause. The music is the vehicle for that power. We can use music to touch people in meaningful ways. And, the stories we tell through song can help to guide the audience to learn and grow while also being entertained.”

WORLD PREMIERE EVENT – “Quiet No More”

The second half of the concert features the WORLD PREMIERE of Quiet No More: A Choral Celebration of Stonewall 50. This eight-movement work is co-commissioned by LGBTQ+ choruses from across the U.S., including project co-founders, Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles and New York City Gay Men’s Chorus. It is the largest collaboration in the history of LGBTQ choruses. The New York performance at Carnegie Hall on June 27th, 2019, will be one night before the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and will include more than 400 singers gathering from 20 choruses across the country on stage in Carnegie Hall.

Quiet No More was written to commemorate the Stonewall rebellion, widely seen as one of the most pivotal moments in LGBTQ+ history. It not only tells the story of the Stonewall Inn that took place in New York City on June 28, 1969, but more importantly, celebrates the vast legacy and worldwide change that started from those events that June. The protests at Stonewall lit the fire for PRIDE, the effects of which are still as vital today as they were 50 years ago. Quiet No More honors the courage of those pioneers for social justice and equality; it encourages each of us to join in the renewed spirit of resistance for the future; and, most importantly, it sings for all of us. Stonewall may have sparked an uprising, but the movement continues to this day, not just for LGBTQ+ individuals, but for all victims of bullying, hate, intolerance, and violence.

Quiet No More features the voices of six diverse LGBTQ composers, including:

  1. Michael Shaieb – Co-Founder of FatLab, composer of Through a Glass Darkly and Composer for theatre, film, TV
  2. Our Lady J – American classical pianist, TV writer, singer & song-writer of Pose & Transparent
  3. Julian Hornik – Composer of Dear Evan Hansen, lyricist & librettist based in Brooklyn, NY
  4. Ann Hampton Callaway – Jazz singer, songwriter, actress
  5. Michael McElroy – Broadway Inspirational Voices, Composer, Tony Nominee & College Professor
  6. Jane Ramseyer Miller – Artistic Director of GALA Choruses & One Voice Mixed Chorus

The work will have some classical elements but will also feature musical theater, jazz and other popular styles, with women and other minority composers central to the project. One movement will contain a newly composed anthem that all choruses involved in the project will sing and record on YouTube with the goal of creating a national social media campaign to take place in May and June 2019. In addition, some members of HMC will travel to Los Angeles and New York in June 2019 when the two co-commissioners present the work to create the multi-choir massed performances in both cities. “We’ve had a number of our members indicate their desire to be a part of the Carnegie Hall performance. We anticipate the entire “Stonewall” song cycle to be an extremely moving and uplifting experience for all of us, individually and certainly collectively,” said Fisher.

Quiet No More:  A Choral Celebration of Stonewall is the keynote happening of the first ever World Pride month in New York, and has been publicized as “the Pride Month event you can’t miss.”

Stonewall 50: All of Us combines the Stonewall story with previously unheard voices and the latest historical insights. It will be balanced with the stories of The Stonewall Inn’s lasting impact, combining the work with messages of love, acceptance, joy and celebration, in a collaborative effort whose size has never before been experienced in the LGBTQ+ community.

Pre-Show Talk Featuring Stuart Hinds

30 minutes prior to each performance of “Stonewall 50,“ Stuart Hinds, Assistant Dean for Special Collections and Archives at UMKC, and the Curator of the GLAMA (Gay & Lesbian Archive of Mid-America) Collection, will discuss the surprisingly pivotal role of Kansas City in the national struggle for gay and lesbian civil rights before the 1969 Stonewall uprising. He will also touch on Kansas City’s very active social scene during the same period. This interesting talk is offered at no additional charge to those having purchased a concert ticket.

Tickets to Stonewall 50: All of Us at the newly renovated Folly Theater 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.

HMC Presents Indivisible

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
“INDIVISIBLE”
Featuring Songs of Resistance & Remembrance plus the World Premiere of “We, The Unknown,”
A Choral Commission in Cooperation with
The National World War I Memorial & Museum,
Plus Special Guests
The Men of the U.S. Army Soldiers’ Chorus


Performances June 9 and 10, 2018 at The Folly Theater

 

KANSAS CITY, MO (March 26, 2018) — Heartland Men’s Chorus (HMC), announced Monday their 32nd season continues in June with INDIVISIBLE: SONGS OF RESISTANCE & REMEMBRANCE.

 

With the prejudice, inequality, bias and discrimination happening in the world around us, Heartland Men’s Chorus will present our response in song. Joining forces with the National World War I Memorial and Museum and the men of the United States Army Soldiers’ Chorus, “Indivisible” will celebrate the principles of our great nation’s founding . . . that ALL are created equal.

 

The first half of the concert features the World Premiere of a new choral work titled, We, The Unknown (WETU). The WETU project tells the “story” of how the Unknown Soldier of WWI was selected. WETU celebrates the importance and significance of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, both as a literal resting place for those unknown who paid the ultimate sacrifice and as a symbol of the nation’s sacred honor to remember their service. HMC was inspired to commission this piece because 2018 is the centennial of our nation’s involvement in World War I and because Kansas City is home to the National World War I Museum and Memorial. The WETU project has been endorsed by the National World War I Centennial Commission. We are also honored that the men of the United States Army Soldiers’ Chorus, an ensemble of the U.S. Army Field Band, will be joining us in performance.

 

We, The Unknown was conceived by Rob Hill, a Heartland Men’s Chorus member and Board member, retired Army Lieutenant Colonel and third-generation soldier whose paternal grandfather served in World War I and retired as a Brigadier General. The idea came to him after hearing how America’s Unknown Soldier was selected. Hill wondered, “What if the person selected was gay or African-American or someone who was afraid to go to into battle?” Initially, Hill considered almost every other format possible to tell the story. But when Hill joined Heartland Men’s Chorus, he decided that a choral work for men’s voices was the best medium to pay tribute not only to the Unknown Soldier but all who have served, many in silence.

 

“Remembering and honoring the dead is easier when they are known, when their names are spoken aloud. The purpose of the WETU Project is to honor the unknown, not only the unknown soldiers of WWI, but all who—in some way—have served and been forgotten, or serve but are forced to hide their authentic selves, or are missing in action,” said Hill.

 

Rather than use existing music, HMC’s artistic director, Dustin S. Cates, recommended a new commission and suggested composer Timothy C. Takach for the job. Takach, who co-created the theatrical production All is Calm: the Christmas Truce of 1914, with Peter Rothstein and sang with Cantus, one of the U.S.’s premier men’s vocal ensembles, is quickly becoming among the most sought-after choral composers in the nation.

 

“Working on We, the Unknown has been an exciting process for me,” said Takach. “My main collaborative partner during most of the creation was Robert Hill, who conceived the project and was one of the librettists. The first and main part of my creative process involved the words and the storytelling we wanted to tell, so Rob and I talked at length about the characters in the piece, their individual stories, and how best to bring them to life. Just as each character has a unique story to tell, I wanted to make sure that the musical character was different for each of them, too. The next step involved planning the pacing of the piece, who sings or plays when, and making sure the texture shifts and changes of character help keep the listener not only musically engaged, but emotionally, too. Certainly there are moments of sadness in these stories. But there are also the moments of pride, of doubt, of fear, and of love. This piece takes an anonymous person, whomever lies in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and conjectures about who they could have been. It takes the unknown and makes them known. Bringing these people to life has been a joy.”

 

Hill drafted the libretto based on a number of sources, particularly historical narratives about the role of Sargent Edward F. Younger in choosing the Unknown Soldier. Younger’s task was to select one coffin among four and the libretto gives voice to the four lives represented by the coffins:

  1. The first speaks of his fear and trepidation facing battle, but also the comradeship he feels for his fellow Soldiers.
  2. The second, an African-American, speaks of his desire to be seen as equally committed to his country and equally deserving of respect and honor.
  3. The third speaks of his love for another Soldier, hoping to see a better tomorrow for them both.
  4. The fourth, spoken through his mother, representative of Gold Star Mothers (those whose sons have died in battle), conveys a coming-of-age and how, even in war, beauty is still possible.

The libretto is a mix of original lyrics, poetry and narrative of the WWI era, including Alan Seeger’s I Have a Rendezvous with Death and John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields. Once he completed the draft, Hill felt a poet’s touch was needed. After some research, he reached out to Pat Daneman, past director of Hallmark Card’s writing studio, whose refinement of the lyrics gives each character their unique, very human voice. Hill said of Daneman, “Pat Daneman was the perfect writer to bring to this project. I discovered her poetry online and it resonated with me immediately. All I can say is that she transformed my crude characterizations of the four Unknowns into fully rounded individuals. Each Unknown became more authentic and vivid. Without question, Pat elevated the libretto to inspired and heartfelt art.”

 

We, the Unknown, the World Premiere, will take place 8:00 p.m., Saturday, June 9th, in the C. Stephen Metzler Hall at The Folly Theater. It is a theatrical telling of a choral work for men’s voices, soloists and chamber ensemble with 12 songs describing the stories of the Unknown. Single tickets available online beginning Monday, March 26.

 

The second half of our summer concert, Indivisible: Songs of Resistance and Remembrance, explores the dynamic, both positive and negative, that occurs between patriotism and protest in a democracy. Sometimes, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. showed us, protest becomes a means of expressing one’s patriotism or love of country. Similarly, those who have fought and died for our nation, particularly those in uniform, do so in order to preserve one of democracy’s fundamental rights . . . that of free expression, including protest. Heartland Men’s Chorus hopes to shine a positive light on protest and share a message of inclusivity, equality and social justice for this season ending performance. The repertory will include:

 

  1. Uprising of Love| Arr. Pakk Hui – This “anthem” was written by singing/songwriter Melissa Etheridge to support the safety and dignity of all people in the LGBTQIA community.
  2. Man in the Mirror| Arr. Ed Lojeski – The iconic Michael Jackson song that encourages each of us to look inside ourselves to create meaningful change in the world.
  3. Tell My Father| Arr. Andrea Ramsey – An emotional piece about the perils of combat arranged by Kansas City-based composer and friend of HMC, Andrea Ramsey.
  4. This Grass| Jacob Narverud – A world premiere of a piece written by Jacob Narverud, with text by UMKC director of Choral Studies, Dr. Robert Bode, to honor the lives lost in the senseless racially charged events in Charlottesville.
  5. A Set of Songs Performed by the United States Army Soldiers Chorus
  6. Homeland| Z. Randall Stroope – A soaring piece that is based on melody by Gustav Holst – “Homeland, the country that I love, hold out your arms to me. I strive for you, and give you the best I hope to be.”
  7. Seven Last Words of the Unarmed| Joel Thompson – A gripping work using the last words of seven unarmed black men who were shot by police officers.

 

  1. Kenneth Chamberlin
  2. Trayvon Martin
  3. Amadou Diallo
  4. Michael Brown
  5. Oscar Grant
  6. John Crawford
  7. Eric Garner

 

  1. Glory| Arr. Eugene Rogers – This Academy Award and Grammy Award Winning song, originally performed by rapper Common and singer John Legend, was written by Legend for the motion picture, Selma, which portrays the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches. It will serve as a powerful ending to another incredible season of HMC concerts, spreading love and acceptance in a world of turmoil and hate.

 

 

Artistic Director Cates summed it up best saying, “Bringing people together is at the center of why Heartland Men’s Chorus exists.  Particularly in today’s polarized political climate, our hope is that this concert will offer an opportunity to consider and empathize with experiences different than our own, to celebrate the path to many of the freedoms we enjoy today, and to remember the sacrifices that were made on our behalf. We called this concert Indivisible because it is our aim that, through our music, storytelling and moving theatrical staging, our audiences leave feeling more united than divided—that we are one in working for the causes of liberty and justice for all!”

 

Indivisible will be performed at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 9th and 4 p.m. Sunday, June 10th in the C. Stephen Metzler Hall 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, or come in full military uniform. 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 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 25 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. 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 2017-2018 Season can be obtained by contacting the chorus office at 816-816-931-3338.

Heartland Men’s Chorus Presents “ABBA-Cadabra!”

Put On Your Disco Boots and Channel Your Inner Dancing Queen as HMC Celebrates One of the Greatest Bands in Pop Music History!
Performances March 24 and 25, 2018 at The Folly Theater

Featuring 17 of ABBA’s Most Iconic Hits!

KANSAS CITY, MO (February 12, 2017) — Heartland Men’s Chorus (HMC), announced Monday their 32nd season continues in March with ABBA-Cadabra!  Who better to bring one of the greatest pop phenomenons in the history of music back to life than Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus!

Featuring the most iconic hits from one of the world’s most beloved bands, ABBA-Cadabra will be a musical extravaganza that includes a full evening of toe-tapping ABBA favorites. It will take you back to the 1970’s and have you screaming, “Thank you for the music” before the curtain falls.

The ABBA phenomenon began in 1974 in Brighton, England, where “Waterloo” became the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest. That hit song was truly the break through for the quartet, made up of Swed’s Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersoon and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, who, with their short skirts and headbands, would go on to sell more albums than any other group second only to The Beatles. They ruled the international disco music market for a decade with their long blonde hair and their long list of chart topping music.

Under the baton of Artistic Director Dustin S. Cates, Heartland Men’s Chorus will be donning platform shoes and bell-bottom pants to celebrate all that is ABBA including (but certainly not limited to) iconic favorites like:

  • “Does Your Mother Know” – This 1979 single was atypical but a fun piano-driven, boogie-disco song that will truly be performed “HMC style” with tons of fun!
  • “Super Trouper” – One of ABBA’s biggest hits that begs to be sung at the top of one’s lungs, it opens with a cappella magic then finds the addictive staccato chorus.
  • “Mamma Mia” – Undoubtedly set in history by the Broadway play and the movie led by Academy Award Winner Meryl Streep, no ABBA show is complete without it.
  • “Dancing Queen” – No ABBA concert produced by a gay men’s chorus would be complete without the iconic “Dancing Queen.” It is the masterpiece that’s outlasted the disco era to become a standard of modern-day dance music that can get a room moving with its opening notes.

Artistic Director Cates summed it up best saying, “The curtain will be rising on ‘ABBA-Cadabra’ with more sparkle than a disco ball! We’re even choosing audience members to come backstage and be made over like Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni. Our concerts always have something for everyone and will leave you with a message and a song in your heart.  It will be a performance for all ages . . . anyone who loves the music of ABBA will love this concert!”

ABBA-Cadabra will be performed at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 24th and 4 p.m. Sunday, March 25th in the C. Stephen Metzler Hall 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. Or come dressed as ABBA! 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 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 25 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. 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 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 32nd 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

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 9, 2017 | Yardley Hall, Carlsen Center, JCCC, OPKS

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

ABBA-Cadabera (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.

We hope you’ll put on your disco boots and channel your inner dancing queen 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 now.

 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, “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.

###

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

 

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.

 

###

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.

 

###

 

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!