Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Kansas City Kansas Community College choir prepares for multimedia concert

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- Choirs from Kansas City Kansas Community College and Shawnee Mission North High School are presenting a multimedia concert next week.

“This is the first-time that we have put together a multimedia concert of this nature,” said John Stafford, Director of Choral Activities at KCKCC. “You usually see a choral concert or an electronic music concert. It is very unusual to have them both together, so this will be a very unique performance. I think the community will get a lot out of it.”

The concert is at 7 p.m. March 12 at Trinity Community Church, 5010 Parallel Parkway in Kansas City, Kan. The concert is free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted.

The concert, entitled “The Electronic Spiritual,” will feature Contemporary American choral music, specifically African-American Spirituals and Gospel Music. Along with the vocals will be audio and video elements.

In addition, the concert will feature the music of nationally-known composer, Michael Engelhardt. A piece he wrote for the KCKCC Chamber Choir will be premiered during the concert.

Engelhardt is known for creating pop, jazz, choral and electronic music, sometimes at the same time. He has many self-published pieces as well as pieces published by Walton Music and Hinshaw Music. His work has been performed and recorded by the Kansas City Chorale as well as a number of professional, college and high school choirs.

Stafford said he has a piece commissioned for the KCKCC Chamber Choir every year. He said once the piece has been published, KCKCC’s name appears on the sheet music, further increasing the college’s visibility not only locally, but throughout the United States.

“Whoever has the piece of music commissioned the name of the choir and the director are on the print. It is a way for people to learn about the program and the college in general,” he said. “In much the same way, performing with the high school students also increases our visibility. It allows them to work with our students, exposing them to KCKCC and helping them to learn the type of program we have at our institution.”

Engelhardt will be on the KCKCC campus March 9-12 working with the choirs in preparation for the concert. Stafford said the experience allows students to rehearse with the composer and learn about what goes into creating a piece of music.

“They will get to meet him, learn a bit about his personality and have the opportunity to hear about what went into writing the music,” he said. “It will also let students feel more connected to the piece they will be performing, which is incredibly helpful.”

More information on “The Electronic Spiritual” can be found on the Facebook event page at