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.

From the Heart: Huge Success!

Following Heartland Men’s Chorus’ debut concert, November 10, 2017, at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Rick Fisher, Executive Director of Heartland Men’s Chorus (HMC), confirmed that it was one of the largest audiences the chorus has ever enjoyed. “Taking that kind of momentum into the regular season is exhilarating and helps to confirm for staff and chorus member alike that our mission and message is resounding throughout Kansas City. We are especially thrilled to have attracted such a large crowd in a new area of the community and right before we open our regular season,” said Fisher.

The magnificent new sanctuary at The Church of the Resurrection with The Resurrection Window (that stretches nearly 100 feet across and three stories high) served as a beautiful backdrop to the 90-minute concert. The concert featured a veritable “greatest hits” of the Chorus, including favorite “Like Dust I Rise.” Based upon four Maya Angelou poems (“On the Pulse of Morning,” “ aged Bird,” “Equality,” “Still I Rise”) the work was composed by internationally renowned composer and resident Kansas Citian, Mark Hayes, who was on hand to perform with the Chorus as well as several of his own pieces from his recent album. The Angelou poem, “Still I Rise,” was “spoken” by Angelou herself to excerpts of her writings flashings across the 100-foot screen.

According to Mike Alley of KCMetropolis, “There were several times I was brought to tears as the evening progressed. In those moments, sometimes it was the beauty of the melodies, and sometimes it was the sentiment in the lyrics, introductions, or spoken-word narratives. At other times, it was probably due to hearing such music within the vibrant sanctuary, with its amazing one-hundred-foot stained glass sculpture above the choir loft; or the projections of colorful sunsets, volcanoes, ocean waves, and excerpts from Maya Angelou’s inspiring poems flashed at exactly the right time during a song. But in the end, it is the seamless merge of the tenor, baritone, and bass parts, and the clarity of the phrasing and enunciation by the Chorus’ 80 voices under Cates’s baton that made the 14 songs and medleys performed work. Trust me, folks: hearing this level of proficiency, hearing the harmonies, dynamics, and crisp lyrics all working together this well in live performance by 80 voices is something very, very special.”

To view photos of the concert, click here to link to Photographer Susan McSpadden’s photo gallery.

Todd Gregory-Gibbs on “1,000 Beautiful Things”

Todd Gregory Gibbs

Beginning rehearsals for musical documentary “Modern Families” (presented March 2015), I didn’t anticipate the relationship I was about to have with Annie Lennox’s remarkable song “A Thousand Beautiful Things” (“Bare” 2003).

I first joined HMC in 1990 and a lot can happen in 27 years. My chorus family has been beside me through many milestones; both triumphs and tragedies

It was early 2015 and I was navigating a rough patch. As we rehearsed, I felt drawn to “A Thousand Beautiful Things,” arranged for HMC by Tim Sarsany.

Explaining any direct correlation between how I was feeling (lost, sad, angry…) and the song itself would be tough, but I felt “Thousand” – especially the way HMC sang it under Dustin’s direction – was unique and powerful, important. I auditioned for the solo and was gifted with the opportunity and privilege of singing it for “Modern Families,” which for me became a profoundly meaningful (not to mention cathartic) experience.
I assumed we were finished with “Thousand,” and naturally said goodbye to singing the solo. I was thrilled when Dustin asked if I’d sing it again for HMC’s 30th anniversary concert “I Rise” (presented June 2016), and I jumped at the chance.

I can’t describe it fully, but it’s something like being a superhero, with 200 of your best superhero friends by your side, taking down injustice and ignorance. Then there’s the sound from the chorus itself: awe-inspiring; dramatic, glorious! Who wouldn’t want to do that again?

During rehearsals for “I Rise,” I learned we’d perform “A Thousand Beautiful Things” again that summer, for GALA Choruses 2016 Festival in Denver. Again, thrilled: imagine being a superhero with 200 of your best superhero friends by your side taking down injustice and ignorance before an audience of thousands MORE superheroes who ALSO take down injustice and ignorance, every day!

Before GALA, we also included “Thousand” in HMC’s “Testimony Tour,” an outreach effort presented throughout the state of Kansas. We were welcomed graciously everywhere we sang, particularly at the Equality House in Topeka (truly a beautiful thing).

“A Thousand Beautiful Things” has indeed been a privilege to sing with HMC. 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. That’s the nearest I can come to describing what it means to me.

As I’m writing, we’re rehearsing for HMC’s first-ever fall offering, “From the Heart.” I’m grateful and pleased we’re singing “A Thousand Beautiful Things” one more time, in a new (to us) venue, hopefully for an audience of many old and new friends!

Rev. Carol Stubbs Smith on “I Sing Out”

Carol Smith2

When I chose to fund Heartland Men’s Chorus’ commissioning of composer Mark Hayes to create a piece that would support HMC’s vision statement, I had no idea how perfect his work would be, that with every crescendo it would enlighten, inspire, heal and empower… and then some!

Times have changed, thank goodness, for LGBT men and women and their family and friends, letting their truth be known… it didn’t used to be and still isn’t in some faith communities and certain parts of our country.

I’ve had the privilege of listening to their stories through counseling and in many advocacy trips both near and far. Many others have been thrown out of their homes into the streets to fend for themselves. One extreme case was shared. After coming out to his parents a young man’s pastor-father placed a gun in his son’s room and said “you know what to do with it.” That’s beyond the pale. But there also are millions who say the accept their son or daughter but emphasize that homosexuality is a sin and many take that insult in order to keep a relationship with family.

But there is an alternative. My son’s story is happily different. Twenty five years ago he got up the courage to come out to his father and me. As gay positive as I thought I was, I cried. It’s an automatic reaction. In that moment, a mother may feel as if s the hasn’t known her son or daughter and grieves that he hasn’t felt like telling her before. My son actually nurtured me in that moment, asking me to explain. I did, and the moment passed in brief time. His father also accepted him unconditionally as did his sister and the rest is a happy family history.

Carol SmithEven if the coming out experience is in adulthood it is vital to the quality of life for any LGBT person and loved ones.

HMC strives to support LGBT persons in living an honest and full life. Not only in concerts but in long trips and to local schools they reach out to all ages voicing their encouragement.

Mark Hayes has penned a song that does this beautifully, showing in music that “there’s got to be a better way.”

If you are in the closet, you are living the life of a former prejudiced time, you are missing out on an open and honest life. Your are hiding. If you are a parent or family member or friend the same is true. If quietly supporting them, or worse, not supporting at all… now is the time to get off the bench and openly be there for them.  SING OUT!

“Life gets better, the future’s brighter, burdens are lighter when with our voices we sing out.”

Gay or straight, I urge you to find ways to stand up for inclusion in this retro-political era of leaders who strive for exclusion.

Join the chorus or one of the many fine Kansas City organizations advocating for what is right. What is the alternative? Hiding in the closet you have built for yourself or loved ones? I ask you to Sing Out! Bless you in your continued journey.

Nancy Nail on “I Love You More”

Nancy Nail

HMC Guest Soloist Nancy Nail Shares Thoughts on What Singing the Role of Jane Clementi in Tyler’s Suite Has Meant to Her.

Singing “I Love You More” from Tyler’s Suite has been life changing for me. I have always, always enjoyed singing with HMC but this song has become very special. After getting the call to sing in Identify with HMC in March of 2017 from Dustin Cates, I have to admit that I knew nothing about Tyler Clementi or Tyler’s Suite. Shame on me. But what I found out was mind-blowing.

Tyler was a talented young musician who committed suicide after being bullied by his freshman roommate. An 18-year-old college student at Rutgers University, Tyler was being intimate with another man when his roommate surreptitiously recorded it and put word of it on the Internet.  Humiliated, Tyler killed himself by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. After hearing about the tragedy, Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz gathered a team of renowned composers to raise awareness about anti-gay bullying. Tyler’s Suite is based upon hundreds of hours of interviews with the Clementi family after Tyler died, and gives voice to the experiences of Tyler and his family, shining a light of hope on tragedy. One of the songs written, “I Love You More,” represents the voice of his mother, Jane Clementi.

Through all of my research, I wanted to learn more about Tyler. But more importantly, for my role with the Chorus, I wanted to learn about Jane. In college, I majored in acting and have always approached singing from an “actor’s” point of view.  It was important to me to understand Jane Clementi. What I found was that Jane, through such a horrible tragedy, had chosen to take her pain and start a foundation in the name of Tyler. Jane created a place for conversations, a place to elevate issues, to help people understand, to bring topics out into the light, to take away shame and embarrassment. What an incredibly strong woman!

So every time I sing “I Love You More” I am doing so as “Jane.” My strength to sing comes from her. To sing it in any other way, at least for me, would do the song an injustice. It’s not about me … Nancy Nail … when I sing it. It’s about Jane and her family. It’s quite emotional, but the song brings such an important message. Make sure to tell the ones we love how important they are, and how much we love them and support them. As a mother of two children, I can’t imagine having to go through what Jane endured. I must admit, when learning the solo at home, I could NOT make it through to the end for several weeks, as I would start to cry and have to walk away. As every emotion of losing a child would sweep over me, I literally could not continue.

Singing “I Love You More” at the Folly last March and getting to meet and know Jane Clementi was really amazing. Then to be asked to “understudy” Ann Hampton Callaway at Lincoln Center in May with DCINY and Dr. Tim Seelig conducting! Well it was truly one of those “Ah Hah” moments that I will never, ever forget. The song has absolutely changed me. I told Jane Clementi as I have told others that have asked how I get through the song without crying. I can’t quite explain it because I did not know Tyler, but I feel him around me every single time I sing it. I know that Tyler is with me every step of the way.

Brian William on “Everything Possible”

Brian Williams I fell in love with Fred Small’s beautiful lullaby, “Everything Possible,” when I first heard it on The Flirtations maiden album in 1990.  Chills still run down my spine whenever I hear it sung by Heartland Men’s Chorus.

“Everything Possible” is a parent’s song of unconditional love and affirmation, and of unlimited possibilities for living a genuine and authentic life. The parent’s offer, in the opening verse, to “sing you a song no one sang to me,” makes me wonder how different my growing up, and my life, would have been if my parents had sung a similar song to me.  Tears well up in my eyes when the lullaby affirms:

You can be anybody you want to be,

You can love whomever you will.

You can travel any country where your heart leads

And know that I will love you still.

I grew up in a fairly conservative, white, Protestant, rural community.  Conformity to social norms was strictly enforced at school, at church, and at home.  If you wanted the friendship and respect of your peers, and if you wanted to succeed in school and in life, you had to look and behave just like everyone else.  Nonconformists were taunted as “sissies” or “tomboys” or “queers”, and no one could be friends with someone like that.  In response, the song counsels:

Brian & SteveDon’t be rattled by taunts, by games,

But seek out spirits true.

If you give your friends the best part of yourself,

They’ll give the same back to you.

If only that could have been true, both for me and for untold numbers of LGBT youth who learned to hide and deny our true selves in order to conform.  It is unfathomable how much energy is wasted by trying to conform and “pass”’; unimaginable how many young gay lives have been lost to teen suicide or maimed by bullying and harassment.

The ultimate moral of the lullaby is grounded in love.  After opening the world of possibilities and encouraging the listener to pursue their dreams and to be true to their authentic selves, the song exhorts:

And the only measure of your words and your deeds

Will be the love you leave behind when you’re done.

My late partner, Steve Metzler, and I loved the powerful message of this song so much that I asked Heartland Men’s Chorus to sing it at his funeral.  So many of our friends came up later to ask about “that song,” and how moved they were by it.  This song embodies the HMC vision:  “Our voices enlighten, inspire, heal and empower.”

 

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.

 

Are you stunned? We’d like to politely suggest you should be!

This morning the Associated Press reported on the ongoing fallout from President Trump’s unpatriotic proposal to ban open military service for transgender Americans – and we are stunned at what we read:

“Discussions [among Pentagon personnel] illustrate that Trump’s aides aren’t writing off his three-tweet salvo last week as an isolated outburst but as guidance for an upheaval in one of the military’s most sensitive equal rights questions.”

Trump’s off-the-cuff decision to announce a major policy change via Twitter – a policy change that Department of Defense officials were apparently not aware of, a policy change that 58% of Americans oppose, a policy change that top military veterans and Republican leaders reject – is being taken seriously, and attempts to implement this discrimination are being made right now.

Transgender people had been serving openly in the military for 392 days between the Pentagon’s June 2016 landmark announcement and Trump’s tweets. For 392 days, the military – the largest employer of LGBT people in the country – had ended its shameful history of discriminating against people simply because of their gender identity.

No employer, including the United States government, should be able to wake up one day and terminate thousands of LGBT people by firing off a few tweets.

That’s what we sing for. We envision a country where LGBTQ people are fully protected from discrimination in every area of life – employment, housing, public accommodations.

That’s why we sing. Won’t you come join us and give Heartland Men’s Chorus a try? Attend one of our first two rehearsals on September 5 or September 12, 7 PM at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral in downtown Kansas City. For more information, visit hmckc.org.

The Spectacular “Garden Party” 2017

Mill Creek

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you and your friends at Garden Party!Home