Kansas City Chamber Orchestra: Entertaining Audiences Since 1987
Bruce Sorrell founded the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra in 1987. The KCCO is the region’s only professional resident chamber orchestra. Over 30 seasons, the KCCO has garnered considerable critical acclaim and a loyal and enthusiastic audience.
The term ‘chamber orchestra’ is used to define the size orchestra which was available to such composers as Bach, Mozart, Handel, Vivaldi, Haydn, and Beethoven. The KCCO uses 10 to 33 musicians, depending on the music being performed. A traditional symphony orchestra has 80 to 100 musicians.
One of the primary goals of the KCCO has always been to provide additional income and playing opportunities for professional musicians in Kansas City. Their players are members of the Kansas City Symphony, music faculties of the University of Kansas and the Conservatory at UMKC, or free-lance professionals. Frequently, regular members of the KCCO are asked to serve as soloists in concertos, offering them an important outlet for showcasing their amazing skills here in Kansas City.
Collaborations have also been an important element of the KCCO’s history. The past season included a major collaboration with the Friends of Chamber Music for a very popular Bach Festival. This season includes a collaboration with Hope Lutheran Church. Past partners have included Paul Mesner Puppets, Owen/Cox Dance, Village Presbyterian Church, UMKC’s Conservatory of Music, and the Kansas City Chorale, to name a few.
Education has been a key element of activities, almost since the beginning. Maestro Sorrell has always given a pre-concert talk immediately preceding every concert. Over the past ten years, they have provided free 50-minute educational concerts to students and schools who might not otherwise have access to professional live classical music.