HMC Presents “Show Tune Showdown”

Perfect for the Broadway Show Junkie in All of Us!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Identify” Program Notes

The Program

ACT 1

Brothers, Sing On! (Edvard Grieg)

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

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

INTERMISSION
ACT 2

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

Shine (Timothy Snyder) FEATURING: TCGMC CHAMBER SINGERS

Our America (Ben Allaway)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About “Tyler’s Suite”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

###

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TED Talk Sensation Morgana Bailey to join HMC in Identify

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

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

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

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

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

Hotel Phillips Reopening

Model Guest Room Hotel Phillips

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

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

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

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

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

HMC 2016-2017 Season Announcement

Heartland Men’s Chorus

2016-17 Season Kicks Off with a

“Classy, Brassy and Sassy” Kansas City Christmas

Performances Dec. 3 and 4 at Folly Theater

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Parking

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

 Sponsors

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

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

Student Discounts

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

Social Media

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

 

Heartland Men’s Chorus

2016-2017 Season at a Glance

 

Kansas City Christmas (HOLIDAY SHOW)

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

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

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

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

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

 

Identify (SPRING SHOW)

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

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

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

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

 

Show Tune Showdown (SUMMER SHOW)

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

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

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

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

   

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

 

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

Tickets on Sale Now for Kansas City Christmas!

KCC16 HMC website graphicHeartland Men’s Chorus
2016-17 Season Kicks Off with a
“Classy, Brassy and Sassy” Kansas City Christmas

Tickets are on sale NOW for what is fast becoming one of Kansas City’s favorite non-traditional holiday traditions, Kansas City Christmas! In its third year, Kansas City Christmas brings an exciting blend of familiar carols, choral classics and hilariously zany twists on your favorite holiday music.

What is helping to build the audiences of Kansas City Christmas? According to critics, it’s the unusual combination of a more serious first half combined with a really eclectic second half. It features something for everyone and will leave you laughing out loud and ready for the holidays.

Artistic Director, Dustin S. Cates, recently commented on the fun task of choosing the music, “I love my job! Where else can you combine John Rutter’s Gloria with a wacky tribute to the holiday love-it-or-hate-it FRUITCAKE?”

To help take things to a feverish height, add in the Volker Brass from UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance and you have a celebration you can’t miss.
“Classy, Brassy and Sassy!”

So don’t wait! Get your tickets now . . . you have two locations from which to choose, the Folly Theater or Yardley Hall at Johnson County Community College.

“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., in Overland Park, Kansas.

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!

On the Road!

Heartland Men’s Chorus, Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus, is hitting the road again following a wonderfully successful concert tour last month of Hays and Salina. On Friday, July 1st, a touring ensemble of the Chorus will make stops in the Kansas cities of Topeka, Abilene, and Russell singing a few a cappella songs at each stop that are appropriate for the July 4th weekend. All performances are free and suitable for all ages.

The first stop will be at noon in Topeka on the front lawn of Equality House at 1200 SW Orleans Street (www.plantingpeace.org/equality). Coincidentally, this location happens to be directly across the street from the infamous Westboro Baptist Church. The singers will turn toward the church compound to ensure their voices of diversity and inclusion can be heard by those who hide behind outlandish signs and hateful beliefs.

Our second stop will be at 2:30pm in Abilene on the front steps of the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum at 200 SE Fourth Street. We look forward to singing for a cross-section of tourists who will be visiting this famous central Kansas landmark. (www.eisenhower.archives.gov).

HMC’s third stop will be at 5:00pm in Russell at the Deines Cultural Center at 820 N. Main Street (www.deinesculturalcenter.org). Russell is well known as the boyhood hometown of two United States Senators, Bob Dole and Arlen Specter. Chorus members look forward to meeting local residents preparing to start their holiday weekend with our selection of patriotic songs.

The Chorus will overnight in Colby and then continue on to Denver for the GALA Choruses International Festival where they will be performing to a sold-out crowd in the 3,000-seat Buell Theater at the Denver Performing Arts Center on July 5th.
(http://galachoruses.org/events/gala-festival)

ABOUT HEARTLAND MEN’S CHORUS – Heartland Men’s Chorus (www.hmckc.org) is Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus, now in its 30th anniversary 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 upward of 125 singers, Heartland Men’s Chorus is a vital part of Kansas City’s burgeoning arts and cultural scene. HMC has made the historic Folly Theater its performance home for the past 23 years and The Kansas City Star recently cited HMC as “one of the most beloved arts institutions in Kansas City.”

Newly Commissioned Song “I Rise” Based On Poetry By Dr. Maya Angelou

Heartland Men’s Chorus (HMC), Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus, pays tribute to the late United States Poet Laureate Dr. Maya Angelou by commissioning a song inspired by four well-known poems written by the world renowned poet and civil rights activist.

HMC is the first chorus in the nation to receive the rights from the late poet’s estate to create music that uses her poetry.

The song, titled I Rise, was created by internationally acclaimed musician and composer Mark Hayes. It is written for men’s voices, runs approximately 11 minutes in length, and includes an orchestra of 16 instrumentalists.

I Rise will make its world premiere in its entirety on Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12 as part of the Chorus’ 30th anniversary concert, also titled I Rise, at the Folly Theater in downtown Kansas City.

Four of Dr. Angelou’s poems are used as source material in the song: On the Pulse of Morning, Caged Bird, Equality, and Still I Rise.

“Maya Angelou’s name and poetry are synonymous with Civil Rights and elevating oneself and ones’ surrounding community,” says HMC Artistic Director Dustin Cates. “It’s only fitting, as Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus, to present a significant choral work for not only our own audience, but for anyone who hears it in the future, wherever they may be.”

After presenting I Rise in Kansas City, Heartland Men’s Chorus will travel to Denver for the International Gay and Lesbian Choral Festival where HMC will perform it for thousands of singers, composers and directors on Tuesday, July 5 at Buell Theater in the Denver Performing Arts Center.