Apr 6, 2006    #040
Contact: Wandra Brooks Green

Known as the Primary Campus for the Visual and Performing Arts,

In 1906, future performer Josephine Baker was born in St. Louis; several Kansas City skyscrapers were built, including the Commerce Bank at 10th and Walnut; and John Cowan opened the Conservatory of Music and Art.

On April 20-22, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Conservatory of Music will host its 100th Anniversary Grand Finale Weekend, a culmination of the Conservatory’s yearlong celebration, and you are invited.

“The Conservatory feels incredibly honored to celebrate 100 years of music and dance in Kansas City,” Conservatory Dean Randall Pembrook said. “The Conservatory’s 100th anniversary celebration not only gives us this great opportunity to honor our rich heritage in Kansas City, but also gives us a chance to celebrate the exciting future that is ahead of us. It is truly amazing to think of the possibilities for Kansas City’s Conservatory in the 21st century.”

The festivities will take place at the UMKC Performing Arts Center, 4949 Cherry Street. Included are alumni recitals with members coming from at least 15 states; alumni dinner featuring Bobby Watson; historical trolley tour; dance studio performance/lecture; and the finale reception with fireworks.

After almost 60 years and several name changes later, the Conservatory of Music became part of the University of Missouri System with the merger of University of Missouri and University of Kansas City in 1963. The Conservatory faculty or alumni are recognized as prominent figures in the Arts community and include founders and/or leaders in numerous Kansas City arts organization, such as the Kansas City Ballet, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and the Kansas City Symphony. In recent years, the Conservatory’s faculty and students have earned acclaim for their accomplishments:
• Alumnus and Stanislav Ioudenitch received the gold medal in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2001;
• In 2005, composition professor Chen Yi was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and
• The Concert Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Bobby Watson was invited to perform at the Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals in Europe in July of 2006.

Complete Weekend Value Packages start at $150. Tickets for individual events start at $10. For tickets, call the Central Ticket Office at (816) 235-6222. Order tickets online at

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban affairs.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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