Meet the new HMCKC Board Chair Eric Aufdengarten

Sponsor Spotlight – Aspis Consulting

Aspis Consulting joined as a sponsor during Season 37 and has continued to support the chorus in so many ways. The cybersecurity consulting firm also became part of our Disney Producer’s Circle that helped HMCKC produce and bring to the stage at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, ‘Disney Pride in Concert.’

Aspis Consulting’s values include community and diversity. There is no greater joy for us than when our values align with a worthy community organization. By sponsoring a local arts organization such as the chorus, we live our values and display our authentic selves out loud.  We view our partnership as an investment into a shared mission of building community, celebrating pride, and empowering authenticity.” 

 

Jeff Wagner, Aspis

Meet New HMCKC Board Member: Danny Shervington-Bair

The HMCKC Board of Directors welcomed two new members starting in August. One of those is very familiar with the chorus because he is also a singing member. Danny Shervington-Bair is no stranger to the stage and also to Kansas City. Danny joined HMCKC in January of 2022 and his first concert was ‘Whitney’ in March of 2022. 

“I joined the HMC Chorus and the board because it has helped me find my voice within the LGBTQ+ community. Singing with this vibrant group not only rekindled my passion for music but also provided a creative outlet that I had been missing for years. Moreover, being part of this community work has helped me build my confidence and become more actively involved in making a positive impact,” says Shervington-Bair.

See Danny and the rest of the chorus in ‘A Very Merry Christmas Pageant’ December 2nd and 3rd at the Folly Theater and December 10th at Yardley Hall. Tickets at hmckc.org.

Dudley’s Dish: Holiday Concerts, Season Tickets Still Available, & Cabaret!

Welcome to Season 38!

The Heartland Men’s Chorus Kansas City is thrilled to be preparing for the first concert of the 38th season of building community, celebrating pride, and empowering authenticity! Our concert lineup is stellar – with three main stage concert productions, HeartAches cabaret show, and outreach performances throughout the community.

We are working hard here at HMCKC to upgrade systems – and that includes being able to provide digital e-tickets! Season ticket holders and individual ticket purchasers now have the option of choosing the e-ticket option when reserving your seats. We hope this option allows further convenience for our audiences who choose this option! And season tickets are still available! Call or email me at the number and email address below if you need to join as a season ticket holder.

I can’t believe that this is the 38th year that the Chorus has been singing to inspire a world of love and acceptance in Kansas City and the region – because I’ve been around for most of them! This year we will once again take the Chorus to the GALA Choruses Festival in Minneapolis and share with the LGBTQIA+ Choral World what we are so proud of here in Kansas City – The Heartland Men’s Chorus – truly one of the best choruses in the movement and beyond. During this season we will also begin planning for our Ruby Anniversary – our 40th year – in 2025-2026. It will be here before you know it, and we’ve got all kinds of things in the works. You won’t want to miss it.

As always, we count on your support in order to advance our mission and vision. Please visit hmckc.org to donate at whatever level is comfortable for you. Giving is available in many ways, including one-time donations, stock gifts, legacy giving, and ongoing gifts. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call or email me at 816-931-3338 or dudley@hmckc.org.

See you at the concerts!

Dudley

Meet Lamar Sims Celebrating 20 Years With HMCKC

Season 38 brings quite the milestone we will be recognizing all season. HMCKC accompanist, Lamar Sims is celebrating his 20th year with the chorus. 

Such well-deserved recognition! We are so grateful for the commitment and talent Lamar has brought to our mission and vision. 

Lamar is also the principal accompanist for OUTside Voices KC, among other ensembles.

You can hear Lamar next in our holiday concerts on December 2, 3, 5, and 10th. More info at hmckc.org.

HMCKC HeartAches Return!

For two decades now, the Heartland Men’s Chorus has utilized a small group of singers to perform different styles of music while representing the chorus when all 90-150 members weren’t available. From difficult acapella barbershop music, classical chamber selections, or Broadway-style theatrical moments, the HMC small ensemble was often the first boots on the ground delivering the mission of HMCKC into the KC community.

The first small ensemble of HMC was called “Heartbeat”, created under the leadership of Reuben Reynolds III in the Spring of 1992. Under the leadership of Joe Nadeau, “The Heartaches” were born and stayed together through his final performance in 2014. The ensemble then changed its name to “The Burnt Ends” with Artistic Director Dustin Cates and kept that name through 2019, the start of Artistic Director Shawn Cullen’s tenure with HMCKC. After the COVID-19 Pandemic, HMC reemerged with 77 singers, and the focus was on building back the full ensemble, but now, 140 strong, Artistic Director Shawn Cullen has resurrected the small ensemble, embracing the name of the longest tenure of success, “The Heartaches”. Auditioned this past July 2023, 16 members of HMC have been chosen as members and made their debut performance with Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway at this season’s Evening of Note.

Look for The Heartaches during this season’s holiday production and save the date(s) February 8, 9, and 10 as The HeartAches perform their stand-alone cabaret, “What’s Love Got To Do With It” at the Black Box Theater, just in time for Valentine’s Day 2024.

Cullen’s Corner

What a year last year was! From the largest ticketed holiday show in HMC history to the sold-out “After All- 60 Years of Cher” spring show to the epic Disney Pride in Concert- we took a big leap in musical excellence, theatrical presentation, and audience growth! One of the biggest challenges I face each and every season is answering the question that everyone asks- “So, how are you gonna top that?” Even though I have over 50 original career productions under my belt, the pressure to produce something that singers and audience members alike will love is sometimes completely overwhelming. 

Creatives often use a process at the beginning of their career rooted in imitating others. Through the learning process, programming moves naturally to assimilation and finally into the final stage of creative producing, innovation. No matter what, each time a producer or writer creates something for the stage, it takes a massive amount of vulnerability and trust grounded in experience and skill (still, always terrifying). 

This season we are taking a fresh, innovative approach to our holiday show by creating an original theatrical storyline with characters and a plot to guide our audiences on a holiday adventure. “A Very Merry Christmas Pageant” is an original musical production that follows all members of HMC as they represent various parts of Kansas and Missouri and compete for the title of “Mister Merry Christmas”. You’ll find out the backstory of a few contestants as they partake in several elements of competitive pageants, all while being judged by three guest judges from the KC arts community. This hilarious and heartwarming production will keep you giggling in your seat as you listen to 140 voices performing an eclectic mix of music to get you in the holiday spirit. You’ll hear everything from “My Grown Up Christmas List” and “Do You Hear What I Hear” to non-holiday pop songs through a holiday lens, like Laura Branigan’s 80’s hit- “Gloria”! Now we just need to figure out how to fit all these singers on the Folly and Yardley Stage! As usual, myself and our leadership team stay so very grateful for the community support of HMC, and we can’t wait to bring our music with a message to Kansas City once again this 38th Season!

Shawn Cullen

HMCKC Time Capsule – Gala Festival 2016

Meet New HMCKC Board Member: Chris Madden

Two new board members joined the HMCKC Board of Directors during Season 38. One of them is Chris Madden, who is no stranger to music. He is the Assistant Professor of Piano Pedagogy and Director of Undergraduate Studies at the UMKC Conservatory.

Chris is thrilled to join the board. He says, “Their mission to “build community, celebrate pride, and empower authenticity” is evident not only in the high artistic level of their performances but also in the many ways in which they serve the Kansas City community.  These include sponsorship of a scholarship at the UMKC Conservatory as well as their Schools with Heart program, both of which demonstrate the chorus’s commitment to LGBTQ+ youth in the Kansas City metro.  As a member of the Kansas City arts community myself, I look forward to supporting the organization in whatever way I can during my time on the board.”

Chris started his three-year board term in July of 2023.

Don’t Overpay For HMCKC Show Tickets

At the Heartland Men’s Chorus, we want to keep our ticket prices as affordable as possible to ensure everyone has the chance to experience our performances. Tickets for most of our Season 37 performances range from $25 to $50.

Recently, we had people ask us why are tickets have gone up hundreds of dollars. They haven’t! This is your reminder DO NOT simply just search in your browser for “Heartland Men’s Chorus tickets” to purchase tickets! Several ticket companies could look like they’re connected to HMCKC, but they are not. They will charge you more and buy tickets directly from our website.

It’s easy to purchase tickets and pay regular prices. ONLY buy from www.hmckc.org.

If you have any questions, please email us at hmc@hmckc.org or call (816)931-3338.