Kansas City Symphony musicians perform for prisoners

Posted on: May 26, 2015

“Six musicians from the Kansas City Symphony traveled to Lansing State Prison this week for an hour-long classical music concert for the inmates at the Kansas prison,” writes Lisa Gutierrez in Saturday’s (5/23) Kansas City Star. “As the music began, the prisoners fell silent and remained that way for the next hour.… Tom Smeed … owner of Healthcare Practice Management [based in Overland Park, Kansas], is a Symphony donor who also volunteers at the Lansing prison…. Smeed started hatching the plan for a Symphony-prison relationship awhile back…. A prison concert … fit the mission of the Symphony’s own Community Connections Initiative, which sends players to perform in venues outside the concert hall—performances organized by the musicians themselves…. Smeed was encouraged when one inmate told him that he really liked Brahms…. Viola player Jessica Nance … jumped at the chance to play the prison when she got [KSO Principal Flutist Mike] Gordon’s email soliciting volunteers…. ‘For me, the real significance … is that we can play for people who otherwise would not get to hear us play … nursing homes, schools, places where you can’t fit a whole orchestra,’ she said…. Several times during the concert, inmates burst into boisterous, spontaneous applause.” The article includes video and photos of the Lansing State Prison performance.

Posted May 26, 2015

Pictured: Kansas City Symphony musicians (from left) John Klinghammer, Jessica Nance, and Alex East arrive at Lansing Correctional facility on Tuesday (May 19) for a classical music concert for inmates. Photo by David Eulitt for the Kansas City Star