Season of giving

UMKC contributes to Dec. 11 benefit concert

From creating entrepreneurial programs to participating in Tulips on Troost, UMKC has supported Kansas City's Troost Avenue corridor transformation. This holiday season, UMKC will support the re-establishment of St. Mark Hope and Peace Lutheran Church as a beacon of arts and culture in the Troost neighborhood.

UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton and other community leaders will speak at "Lessons and Carols" -- a benefit concert for St. Mark Hope and Peace Lutheran Church from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11 at St. Mark's on 3800 Troost Ave. Octarium, a local vocal ensemble that includes a UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance student and alumnus, will perform. Tickets are $15 for students and seniors, and $20 for general admission. To purchase tickets, visit

Organized in 1867 and serving the Troost corridor since 1915, St. Mark's once had a membership of more than 1,000, a community soup kitchen and an active neighborhood arts program.

The event is sponsored by Tulips on Troost and Friends of St. Mark, which Roxana Shaffe’, UMKC School of Law Solo and Small Firm Incubator program manager, chairs.

"Lessons and Carols" was inspired by the annual "Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols" at King's College, Cambridge. In addition to Chancellor Morton, the following leaders will read lessons: Rockhurst University President Rev. Thomas B. Curran, Kansas City Art Institute President Dr. Jacqueline Chanda, De La Salle Education Center's Exec. Dir. Mark Williamson, Fr. Paisius Altschul, the Rev. Donna Simon, Alice Ellison, Brenda Thomas and Mary Kay McPhee.



Quick Five: Amy Waldron, Conservatory of Music and Dance alumna and Octarium soprano  

1. When did you attend the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, and what degree did you receive?

I attended from the fall of 2008 through summer of 2011. I received a Master of Music degree in Conducting.

2. How has your experience at the UMKC Conservatory helped your career?

My classes were very good, but nothing prepared me more for working with choral ensembles than working with Bella Voce and the Conservatory Singers [UMKC choral ensembles].

3. What UMKC organizations were you involved in?

The choral department at UMKC is very active and the graduate students are relied on heavily to run ensembles, coordinate collaborative concerts and facilitate events alongside the faculty. While it wasn't a formal organization, my involvement with the department was my biggest commitment after my studies. I was also a member of the UMKC chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, which is a very active chapter.

4. What are some of your favorite UMKC memories?

Friday morning meetings with coffee and doughnuts; singing the "Brahms Requiem" under visiting conductor Joe Flummerfelt; working with undergraduates in Friday Symposium; and the excellent discussions in my Romantic Music History class.

5.This event at St. Mark's is just one example of UMKC's dedication to community outreach. What are your thoughts on UMKC's community service programs, and what UMKC community service programs have you contributed to?

I felt a very strong sense of community service at the Conservatory. The music department performed twice each year to benefit two organizations: Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation and Harvesters: the Community Food Network.

I was also aware of a program called Musical Bridges, which provides instruction in music and dance to talented kids who wouldn't otherwise have the chance to take private lessons. I was always happy to hear news of the School of Education touching the lives of Kansas City, Missouri's underprivileged youth.


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Can't attend the concert? Listen to Octarium Radio here!