Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Night at the Symphony - Typecast

The Kauffman Center really is a stunning addition to downtown Kansas City.  We'll see if the the exterior architecture stands the test of time.  The primary public spaces inside have a lot of energy.  The view is wonderful both inside and through the windows out on the skyline.

But the performance space is the main attraction.  Hannah's violin teacher is a sub for the Kansas City Symphony and had the chance to play in the Helzberg Hall while it was in final construction.  The musicians love the space.  Even in the nose bleed seats all the way at the top you can hear someone on stage talking in a normal voice.

We had seats in the choral riser right behind the stage and under the organ.  Other than padding sacrificed to the acoustics gods in these bench seats, the experience is wonderful.  We went to the grand opening open house and sampled multiple sections - really, there are no bad seats.


  1. Sounds like a nice night was had by all, Dwayne. Excellent use of the orchestra placement sheet too, btw. That's the beauty of using a typewriter. You get to recycle interesting bits of paper that would otherwise get trashed.
    As for caffiene for fourteen year-olds, hell, I'm Italian. Fourteen is considered a little late.

  2. Great idea with the music theory. Liked the post, although sometimes a bit hard to read (when written on words). Coffee: 14 is okay, but I prefer tea.

  3. The orchestra arrangement comes courtesy of a 1980s visual dictionary found at a thrift store suffering from a broken spine and torn cover. I have been selectively harvesting pages to scan and use for typecasts. Ideally, that entails reducing saturation to reduce interference with typed entries.

    Well, that is the ideal, anyway. Last night I gave in to the urge for expediency in getting a blog entry live. If only I had a time turner or 30 hours in a day...

    Perhaps I need more than one machine equipped with black/red ribbons. I would love to get hold of blue or the purple ribbons recently used at Retrotechgeneva.

    As for coffee and fourteen year olds, Hannah became completely, but selectively hooked after 8 hours in flight delays in getting to the Duke TIP 7th Grade Talent Search Grand Recognition ceremony early this summer. We had a tour scheduled at the Duke Lemur Center, so 4 hours of sleep and big cups of coffee had to suffice. Most of her prior experience had been on concert mornings. Maybe it helps with the vibrato ;-)

    This morning, she was so dazed she forgot to have her coffee. Hopefully, the preview performance for the Principal goes well this morning as does the Veteran's Day concert tonight. She is first chair and needs to be at least vaguely coherent.

  4. As a professional symphonic French horn player, I was fascinated by this post.

    I have a good friend (also a horn player) who lives in Leawood KS and I've always been very impressed with the high level of culture in KC whenever I've visited. Good music education and lots of bands and orchestras, too. He calls KC "The best-kept Secret".

  5. Cameron: First, I regret your section being excluded. It was on the facing page and I have a violinist in the house. On to the next topic...

    Perhaps KC isn't such a secret anymore. Frommer's rated it in the top ten destinations for 2012. Yeah, I about dropped when I heard the news a couple of weeks ago.

    The Kansas City art scene is a lot of fun. The old freight house district near the train station is the home to many artists and studios. First Fridays in the Crossroads is great for people watching, art and buskers galore. The Kauffman is right on top of the hill overlooking the Crossroads.

    The Nelson-Atkins museum has a new director who has amped up programming and special exhibits. Member weekend starts tomorrow night with a mix of member only and public events.

    And the Kauffman's acoustic design really is all that. I'd like to see someone do the pin drop test. I hope you get to experience the space at some point, but not necessarily in the midst of a grueling tour schedule.

    Downside: The Kansas City schools have been failing since I attended them in the 1970s. We are among the many families that live in the southern suburbs for the schools. Once the children are grown and gone, we might consider converted warehouse living. In the mean time, I will have driven downtown for events at least three times in one week.


Dang. My blog was hit by Spam comments. Comment moderation has been turned on for some time yet to be determined.