Lee’s Summit student musicians get a taste of big time

rpulley@lsjournal.comMarch 17, 2017 

The Lee’s Summit West High School Orchestra performed at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Choirs, bands and orchestras from West and from Lee’s Summit North High School performed March 12.

KATHY ASEL — Photo provided byKathy Asel of Fascination Photography

Music students from Lee’s Summit North High School and Lee’s Summit West High School experienced how they sound on a world-class stage when they played at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

The March 12 concerts of choirs, orchestras and bands from Lee’s Summit North High School and Lee’s Summit West High School was collaboration between the Kauffman Center, businesses and the schools’ music directors and band parents.

Keith Asel, a music parent and incoming chairman of Ensemble, a membership group that supports Kauffman Center, said the event was incredible for students and parents.

“I was back stage, if you could have seen the look in the students’s faces as they took the stage and saw the hall, it was almost overwhelming for them,” Asel said. “And the sound, there were parents with tears in their eyes.”

More than 1,200 people were at each school’s concerts in Helzberg Hall, said Janice Phelan, Lee’s Summit School District spokeswoman. Groups from Lee’s Summit West High School performed in the afternoon and the Lee’s Summit North High School groups performed that evening.

Businesses provided sponsorship funds covering the rental cost of the hall, so that the Kauffman Center could return all of the net ticket proceeds to the schools’ Music Parents organizations as a fundraiser. Phelan said Music Parents officials estimate each school would get close to $10,000 to benefit their music programs.

Hawthorn Bank was a major sponsor for the concert, with additional support from Meyer Music; Brad and Sandy Cox; B&B Theaters; Gale Communities; Henderson Engineers; Rockhill Orthopaedics; Stinson Leonard Street; and Unemployment Insurance Services.

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