Singing & Board Member – Steve Dodge

While I was born in Southeast Missouri, I lived in Michigan for seven years before my family returned to Dexter, Missouri. I graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in Speech Pathology and earned a Master’s Degree in Special Education Administration from Central Missouri University. I retired from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Section of Special Education, as a Director of Instruction. After a year of consulting, a good friend called and asked me to work in her new restaurant. She taught me about cooking, and that has become a passion of mine in retirement. After ten years at the restaurant, I decided I was ready to REALLY retire.

I previously served on the Board from 1996 – 2003. I thought I was finished with my board role when I was asked to complete the term of a member who had resigned. I agreed to do so because I feel like the chorus is poised for a period of exciting growth, and I wanted to take an active role in that growth and development.  When the day comes that I no longer sing with the chorus, I want to feel confident that I have done everything I can to ensure its wellbeing and longevity.

My first HMC concert was the holiday concert of 1995, and I have sung in every concert since that time.  My favorite part is the excitement and energy on stage as we wait for the concert to begin.

Heartland Men’s Chorus plays a vital role in the Kansas City Arts Community. For the last 34 years, the chorus has entertained with a variety of musical styles, while also being a voice for social justice and equality.  

I feel like I live my life with a music score playing in my head all the time. My friends know that I have an uncanny knack for remembering lyrics. Singing provides me with an outlet for that music that is always swirling around me. I cannot imagine life without music.

– Steve Dodge

Now’s Your Chance to Join or Come Back to the HMCKC Singing Family!

HMCKC alumni singers!
Have you missed singing and performing?
Missed the fellowship and connection?
The participation in part of a beautiful legacy and a new evolved mission and vision?
Now’s your chance to come back to the HMCKC singing family!

Sign up below for your returning singer voice check for 8/24 or 8/31 with the LINK BELOW or join us for an open rehearsal on September 7th and/or September 14th at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral- Founder’s Hall from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Returning singer voice checks will be held after open rehearsals and will include the same voice checks occurring on 8/24 and 8/31.

Schedule your audition here:
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090C49ACAB2DA4FC1-heartland

HMCKC is committed to the health and safety of our singers and we do require proof of COVID-19 vaccination prior to participation. Please bring a digital copy or paper copy of your proof of vaccination and a mask to your voice check and/or open rehearsal.

VOICE CHECK REMINDERS
Please be prepared to sing a song of your choice or a simple traditional song like Amazing Grace, America the Beautiful, etc. If you choose an excerpt on your own, please bring sheet music with the excerpt marked for our accompanist. We will do a quick and painless check for matching pitch, hearing and singing harmony, call and response aural recall, assess your level of music reading, and a vocal range check.

Questions? Visit www.hmckc.org or contact Artistic Director Shawn Cullen, at shawncullen@gmail.com.

HMCKC Announces Enhanced Safety Measures For All Members

For 36 seasons the Heartland Men’s Chorus has entertained audiences in Kansas City. In the last year, all performances moved online because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, but we are planning for in-person performances for this new season.

HMCKC is committed to our singers’ health and safety, and we do require proof of COVID-19 vaccination prior to participation for all singers and non-singing members of the chorus.

“It’s been far too long since we’ve been able to make music, create fellowship, and deliver our message of love and acceptance! The health and safety of our singing members remains our first priority and we’ll stay hyper-vigilant until we pass through this moment of our legacy. Embrace the newness of today’s world with new ways to invite joy into your life- join us!” says Shawn Cullen, Artistic Director and Conductor of the chorus. 

Heartland Men’s Chorus is utilizing enhanced safety measures for Season 36 including the wearing of masks, indoor social distanced small ensemble singing, the use of outdoor rehearsal spaces, reduced contact rehearsal protocols, truncated rehearsal times, and the use of proper HVAC air filtration in rehearsal and performance spaces. All HMCKC members are now required to show proof of being fully vaccinated with a paper or digital copy of their COVID-19 vaccination card. 

The Heartland Men’s Chorus plans three in-person concerts for Season 36, starting with our annual holiday concert, Joy, scheduled at the Folly Theater on December 4th and 5th. 

The Reasons HMCKC Members Love The Chorus

For 35 seasons the Heartland Men’s Chorus continues to build community, celebrate pride, and empower authenticity. We love to share stories from our members on how they found HMCKC and why their support is still strong.

New Member – Ryan Ledet 

“I first saw HMCKC at the ’14 pride festival and instantly wanted to join! I wanted to join HMKC because I wanted a sense of community and to sing of course! The idea of being in an inclusive set of individuals and singing, helped me build my confidence as a singer too.”

 

Legacy Member – Jason Blaisdell 

“The chorus is a beacon of friendship, love, and acceptance for me and the LGBT community in KC, the region, the country, and even the world. I am so in awe of the huge outreach and recognition that HMCKC receives wherever we perform.”

 

Board Member – Sandy Schermerhorn 

“HMCKC is a community treasure. Its concerts reach out to all, promoting inclusiveness, warmth, joy, and healing. And the performances are magical!! I was asked to join the board by a longtime friend and singer. He was aware that I attended most of the season’s concerts, since I sat in the first row at the Folly, and I clearly enjoyed the performances.”

 

HeartLight Member – Blaine Diaz 

“When I lived in California I was part of the Orange County Gay Men’s Chorus. When I moved here in 2009 it was supposed to be temporary, but after a year I decided to get involved with HMCKC after many of my former OCGMC members encouraged me to reach out. Since I joined HMCKC has afforded me the opportunity to rebuild my life.” 

 

The next HMCKC concert is Saturday, June 12th at 7 p.m. CDT on our YouTube Channel and Facebook Page.