Wednesday, July 1, 2015

"Butch. Jayne Butch." Join the Mighty Mo Combo for KC Fringe 2015

"Butch. Jayne Butch." Join Mid America Freedom Band's jazzy Mighty Mo Combo as they perform a rainbow riff on tunes & tropes from popular spy series including James Bond, Austin Powers, Peter Gunn, and Get Smart. Get ready for campy escapades, clandestine affairs, and shady subterfuge as our hero goes toe-to-toe with a dastardly nemesis and a sultry femme fatale. You'll need a drink after all the excitement, just remember to keep it shaken, not stirred.

"Casino Royale" features the vocal stylings of guest artist Julie Amen. Jen Kiper stars as Jayne Butch.

There are four opportunities to experience "Casino Royale" at the 2015 KC Fringe Festival

Saturday, July 18, 
7:30 pm

Tuesday, July 21, 7:30 pm
Friday, July 24, 9:00 pm
Saturday, July 25, 6:00 pm

All performances at

City Stage at Union Station

30 W. Pershing Rd., Kansas City, MO

Tickets are $10 with the one-time purchase of $5 KC Fringe button. Tickets available at

Selections for "Casino Royale" are drawn from the following list:

Spies R Us (excerpts) arranged by Mike Story
Charade by Henry Mancini, arranged by Mark Taylor
James Bond Theme by Monty Norman, arranged by Tom Davis
Skyfall words and music by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth, arranged by Roger Holmes (vocal soloist Julie Amen)
It Had Better Be Tonight music by Henry Mancini, English lyrics by Johnny Mercer, arranged by Mark Taylor (vocal soloist Julie Amen)
Get Smart by Irving Szathmary, arranged by Roger Holmes
Peter Gunn by Henry Mancini, arranged by Paul Murtha
Live and Let Die by Paul & Linda McCartney, arranged by Robert Curnow
The Pink Panther by Henry Mancini, arranged by Mike Tomaro
Soul Bossa Nova by Quincy Jones, arranged by Mike Lewis
Diamonds are Forever by John Barry and Don Black, arranged by Jesper Riis (vocal soloist Julie Amen)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Nicole Murphy Commissioned by Mid America Freedom Band

The Mid America Freedom Band has commissioned Nicole Murphy to compose a new piece scheduled to receive its premiere in the ensemble’s 13th season.

An Australian, Murphy was unanimously selected by an eight-person panel after reviewing the submissions resulting from the Mid America Freedom Band’s Call for Proposals from female composers. 

Submissions were received from a talented pool of composers from across the globe including those from Australia, China, England, Iran, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Uruguay, and numerous entries from the United States. She will write a new piece for concert band based on Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-word memoirs by famous and obscure writers (ed. Smith Magazine, pub. Harper Perennial) to be premiered at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in the J.C. Nichols Auditorium by the Mid America Freedom Band.

“Nicole’s proposal stood out for its originality and evocative nature. Coupled with her compelling music, stunning timbral combinations, and command of idiomatic writing, the Mid America Freedom Band is excited to work with Nicole on her first piece for concert band,” writes Mid America Freedom Band Artistic Director Lee Hartman.

This new work will join pieces by Julie Giroux, Jessica Rudman, Whitney Houston, and Cécile Chaminade on “Stories We Share,” the final concerts of the Mid America Freedom Band’s 13th season of all female composers and songwriters on Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1, 2016. Paul Mesner Puppets also joins Mid America Freedom Band for these performances for an immersive concert experience.

MAFB Call for Proposals from Female Composers Results

Selected ComposerNicole Murphy

Finalists (in alphabetical order):

For more information, visit


Australian composer Nicole Murphy is the recipient of various awards, including the Theodore Front International Orchestral Prize (2013), the Definiens C3 International Composer’s Award (2011), the Alan Lane Award for Composition (2004), the Collusion/QCGU Composition Prize (2004), and the A.G. Francis Prize for Composition (2001).

Her music has been performed at festivals in various countries, including the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival (Connecticut, USA), the 30th Asian Contemporary Music Festival (Tel Aviv, Israel), the Gamper Contemporary Music Festival (Maine, USA), the Soundstream New Music Festival (Adelaide, Australia), the Dallas Festival of Modern Music (Texas, USA) and the Atlantic Music Festival (Maine, USA).

Nicole has been commissioned by eminent arts organisations including the Australian Ballet, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Wild Rumpus (San Francisco), Chamber Sounds (Singapore) and the Definiens Project (Los Angeles). Her music has been performed by ensembles such as the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Ars Nova (Dallas), Halcyon (Sydney), Soundstream (Adelaide) and Chronology Arts (Sydney).

Nicole completed a Master of Music degree at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 2011, under the tutelage of Gerardo Dirié. During her undergraduate degree she studied under Gerard Brophy, graduating in 2004 with a Bachelor of  Music (Composition) with First Class Honours. She is represented as an Associate Artist by the Australian Music Centre and holds the position of Composer-in-Residence at the Queensland Academy for Creative Industries. She is currently completing a PhD at the University of Queensland.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Call for proposals from female composers

The Mid America Freedom Band is accepting proposals for a new work for concert band from composers identifying as female of any age or nationality. The 6-7 minute long piece should use fables, mythology, folktales, common literature, etc. as a source of inspiration. This new work will be performed on the ensemble’s 13th season’s concerts, “Stories We Share” in Spring 2016. In an exciting collaboration, Paul Mesner Puppets may create and perform puppetry with this piece. MAFB is Kansas City’s community ensemble of LGBT and allied musicians with 60+ playing members. MAFB provides opportunities for instrumental music lovers to share their passion of performance with the diverse community of Kansas City. It strives for excellence while promoting equality, fostering education, and celebrating the joy shared through music.


1.       Composer must identify as female.
2.       Composer can be of any age or nationality.


1.       Cover letter with name, address, email, phone number, website (if possible).
2.        Brief biography (approximately 250 words).
3.       Written proposal for new work addressing how it will fit with the theme and the ensemble’s mission. A brief sketch of musical materials may be included but is not required. PLEASE DO NOT SEND COMPLETED WORKS.
4.       Two sample .pdfs of recent works. Preference is for large ensemble works and those involving winds and percussion instruments. Sound samples or realizations of the works submitted are also encouraged but not required. A permanent, direct link to a specific .pdf or soundfile is also permitted.
5.       There is no fee to submit materials.
6.       Submit all materials electronically to by May 1, 2015, 11:59 p.m. CST.


1.       After May 1, 2015 a five-person panel of the MAFB artistic director, board, musicians, and outside voices will review the materials.
2.       A shortlist of finalists will be compiled mid-May, at which time additional materials may be requested of shortlisted composers.
3.       By June 1 the committee will select one composer with which to collaborate on a new piece for band.
4.       The new work and parts must be completed by January 1, 2016.
5.       MAFB will provide the composer with at least a $500.00 stipend upon completion.
6.       MAFB will rehearse and perform the work in Spring 2016. The composer is encouraged to attend rehearsals and the performances, but not required.


1.       Piece must be scored for a concert band with the following instrumentation. Parts will have multiple players in most cases. Brief solos by any required instrument are permitted.

2-3 Flutes (optional piccolo)
1-2 Oboes
3 B-flat Clarinets
(1 optional Alto Clarinet)
1 Bass Clarinet
1-2 Bassoons
2 Alto Saxophones
1-2 Tenor Saxophones
1 Baritone Saxophone
3 B-flat Trumpets
2-4 F Horns
3 Trombones
1-2 Euphoniums
1-2 Tubas
1 Timpani (4 drum maximum)
1 Mallet Percussion (Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Chimes)
2-3 Percussion (no pitched percussion)

2.       Piece should be graded approximately a high 3 to low 4 on Alfred Music’s scale (

3.        Any deviation from the above items must be approved by the Artistic Director.

4.       Piece will be played on the same concerts, entitled “Stories We Share,” as these tentatively programmed works: Jessica Rudman: Through the Looking Glass; Julie Giroux: Symphony of Fables, Cécile Chaminade: Concertino for Flute, among others. It should complement and offer variety to the above selections.

Send any questions to

2015 - Derek Jenkins Kolo (Kansas/Missouri Composers)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Just Dance Concert April 26, 2015

On April 26, 2015 at 2 pm come join the Mid America Freedom Band at the Liberty Memorial for the Spring Concert, Just Dance.

Mother monster Lady Gaga has some killer dance moves and the repertoire of dance pieces is endless. Clifton Williams’ "Symphonic Dance No. 3 ;Fiesta'" is one of the standards and the Latin flavor and throbbing rhythms will get your blood pumping and toes tapping. For contrast, Sibelius’ "Valse triste" complements in this the 150th anniversary of his birth. Two other band transcriptions of Gliere’s popular “Russian Sailor’s Dance” and Copland’s lush “Promise of Living” from "The Tender Land" are programmed with selections from the Renaissance era’s Tielman Susato’s "Danserye". Brian Balmages wrote a showstopper with "Three Celtic Dances." MAFB will also give the premiere of a new commissioned work by Derek Jenkins. Marvin Hamlisch’s medley from "Chorus Line" fills out the season and the EGOT winners presented.

Name-your-price tickets available here:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

MAFB announces 13th season

The Mid America Freedom Band’s 13th season is dedicated solely to the works of female composers and songwriters. In Spring 2016 MAFB will partner with Paul Mesner Puppets for a new collaboration. Clara Schumann, Germaine Tailleferre, Julie Giroux, Julia Seeholzer, Lynn Ahrens, Clare Shore, Anne McGinty, Jessica Rudman, Cécile Chaminade, Elena Roussanova Lucas, and many more are among the programmed composers.

Sunday, October 25, 2015
2:00 pm
J.C. Nichols Auditorium, National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial
100 W 26th St., Kansas City, MO

Underrepresented for far too long on concert stages, a vast of array of works by female composers are featured on MAFB’s fall concert, “Roar.” Guest soloist mezzo-soprano Kristee Haney performs new arrangements of Clara Schumann lieder. Germaine Tailleferre, the lone woman of Les Six, is exemplified by her Ouverture in an arrangement by legendary bandmaster John Paynter. Julia Seeholzer is composing a new work for MAFB before starting a Fulbright Scholarship in Poland. Tatarian Dances by Elena Roussanova Lucas is one of the staples of wind band repertoire. The “Female John Philip Sousa” Helen May Butler’s Cosmopolitan America was used as a campaign song by Theodore Roosevelt. Highlights from Ragtime by songwriting pair Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty bring a bit of Broadway. Joni Green’s Moonscape Awakenings takes listeners to a lunar landscape and Julie Giroux’s Vigils Keep brings audiences down South with snippets of “Wayfaring Stranger.”

All I Want For Christmas Is You
Sunday, December 13, 2015
2:00 pm
J.C. Nichols Auditorium, National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial
100 W 26th St., Kansas City, MO

Pop and classical meet with great results in MAFB’s winter concert, “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” Modern holiday favorites from Eartha Kitt and Mariah Carey complement traditional classical fare from Clare Shore, Anne McGinty, Gloria Shayne, and Julie Giroux. Your toes will tap for the jazzy Three Wise Men and the kids will love Julie Giroux’s mash-up of popular holiday cartoon themes.

Stories We Share
Saturday, April 30, 2016
7:30 pm
Sunday, May 1, 2016
2:00 pm
J.C. Nichols Auditorium, National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial
100 W 26th St., Kansas City, MO

MAFB and Paul Mesner Puppets collaborate for “Stories We Share”—a concert event with live puppetry. The world-renowned imaginative Paul Mesner Puppets create new puppetry to be performed with Julie Giroux’s Symphony of Fables, a musical collection of Aesop and morality tales, Jessica Rudman’s Through the Looking Glass, and a new work commissioned for this concert by Nicole Murphy. Also slated for performance are Cécile Chaminade’s Concertino for Flute (with Brian Logan as soloist) and a medley of Whitney Houston’s most famous numbers!

Season and individual tickets go on sale April 27, 2015 at Name-your-price tickets are available with a suggested donation of $10.

Repertoire List 2015–16 Roar Germaine Tailleferre: Ouverture Julia Seeholzer: New Work Clara Schumann: Lieder Helen May Butler: Cosmopolitan America Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty: Selections from Ragtime Joni Greene: Moonscape Awakenings
Elena Roussanova Lucas: Tatarian Dances Julie Giroux: Vigil's Keep
All I Want For Christmas Is You Clare Shore: Midwinter Julie Giroux: All through the Night Julie Giroux: Stockings Full of Composers Julie Giroux: Three Wise Men Julie Giroux: Christmas Toons Anne McGinty: Twas in the Moon of Wintertime
Joan Javits: Santa Baby Gloria Shayne: Christmas Fantasy on "Do You Hear What I Hear" Mariah Carey Christmas

Stories We Share Jessica Rudman: Through the Looking Glass Nicole Murphy: TBA
Julie Giroux: Symphony of Fables
Cécile Chaminade: Concertino for Flute Whitney Houston's Greatest Hits

The Mid America Freedom Band is a community ensemble of LGBT and allied instrumental musicians with 70+ playing members. MAFB provides opportunities for instrumental music lovers to share their passion of performance with the diverse community of Kansas City. It strives for excellence while promoting equality, fostering education, and celebrating the joy shared through music. For more information, visit

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