BENEFITING: KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION
Choral Studies Kansas State University
7 years ago we began the planning for our very first RHAPSODY event at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. It's been an amazing journey to have now completed the 3rd Annual Rhapsody event. Through your support, this annual gala concert has generated over $150,000 and concert attendance has grown significantly each year. Kansas State University is the only college to have been invited to perform in the Kauffman Theater and the forces on stage this year included over 270 students and professionals. One of the missions of the Kansas State University Choirs is to provide an opportunity for every student on campus to learn and experience the unique experiences, knowledge, and impact that only music can provide. In the last 8 years, participation in the Choral program has increased to over 300 students in 8 ensembles. When we watch football - we are thrilled to over 50,000 people filling Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Though football does enjoy a prominent place in our culture - we believe that 'art music' (which has been around for quite a bit longer) hasn't done enough to reach broad enough appeal. Just as the Rhapsody concert was a long time in the making; we had an idea 20 months ago that we though had very significant potential. As the production of this year's Rhapsody was in the final phases - we began to increase exploration into this intriguing and important project. As we considered the question of how to bring more interest to the non-concert going public, we realized that there was in fact a potential bridge to that mass of people. A bridge that would allow us to demonstrate the reality that concert music is already an important part of our daily lives. At the National Collegiate Choral Conference in 2012, I presented a concert session that was based on Picasso’s famous paintings “Guernica” including incorporating the painting in the concert program and setting the story to music. Combining multiple art forms (visual art, poetry, music) created very potent effect for the audience and was very powerful.