Lanoue a part of a musical family

Special to the JournalMarch 21, 2014 

Richard Lanoue grew up in a musical family where sounds of classical, jazz, pop and big band sounds filled the house. His mother was a walking encyclopedia of classical composers and literature. His father was a recognized octamarimba virturso. At age 7, he sampled the clarinet. At age 8, it was a Cub Scout drum and bugle corps. His family had season tickets to the Kansas City Philharmonic Orchestra where he fell in love with the French horn and beautiful four part harmony. His first horn teacher was none other than his grandfather. While in sixth grade he told Sander Kalai and Russell Patterson, his horn teachers at the University of Kansas City Conservatory of Music that his goal was to be a professional horn player – a quest he achieved at age 15 with the Cincinnati Symphony.

The Kansas City Youth Symphony and university ensembles became his second homes in the elementary and junior high years. Participation in the Unity Band under the direction of Keith house was his first exposure to the Lee’s Summit area.

Early high school years were spent in Cincinnati, Ohio studying with Jim Pierce at the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and occasional sessions with Phillip Farkas at the University of Indiana. Conservatory opportunities guided my passion for opera orchestra participation. One voice with one instrument is magical. The last two years of high school found him back in Kansas City where he was blessed to have two years of music theory and composition with noted composer and music educator Claude T. Smith.

Upon high School graduation, he studied music and elementary education at the University of Central Missouri. Russell Coleman and Hugh Williams were like seemed parents to him. He played in all of the ensembles including a stage band directed by David Holsinger. He finally settled on the elementary education program but continued playing within the music department. Final degrees included a BS in Elementary Education and Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

His wife, Mary Ann, plays the trombone. They met in the UCM Marching Band and have been married for 42 years. They have three children, Emily (French horn), Heather (oboe) and Jim (trumpet). They have four grandchildren.

Mary Ann and Richard have been involved with the Lee’s Summit School District since 1972. All three of their children went through the Lee’s Summit Instrumental Music Programs where Richard and Mary Ann were involved with the music parent’s organization. Richard was vice-president and president. Working with Jim and Carla Oliver, Russ Berlin, Pam Henry and the rest of the music staff was a pleasure.

Berlin called Lanoue 13 years ago about a dream many folks shared-building a professional quality adult symphony orchestra for the people of Lee’s Summit. Russ told Richard that he and Phyllis Hamilton were laying the ground work to make the dream come true. Hamilton and Lanoue were reunited from their days together with the Lyric Opera.

According to Lanoue, many symphony members have known each other for 20 or more years. He further stated that each section operates as a loyal, cohesive unit and when combined, great things happen. His defining moment was our first rehearsal. The Symphony played the beginning of the Phantom of the Opera. Every member realized the power, intensity, and responsibility of a dream fulfilled. They were and are today, part of something special.

Outside of the Lee’s Summit Symphony Orchestra, Richard is active with the Boy Scouts, sings in the Aldersgate United Methodist choir, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Missouri Lions All-State Band. Currently, he serves as President of the Indian Council of Many Nations and substitute teaches in the Lee’s Summit District Special Education Department. He enjoys sharing his music experience and knowledge each year with students at the Missouri Music Educators Conference.

We are indeed fortunate to have Richard Lanoue as part of our Symphony family.

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