Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mid America Freedom Band announces 12th season

The Mid America Freedom Band’s 12th season honors the work of treasured divas, EGOT winners, and great concert band repertoire.
Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves
Sunday, October 19, 2014
2:00 pm
J.C. Nichols Auditorium, National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial
100 W 26th St., Kansas City, MO
Cher will be on yet another of her farewell tours so sadly she probably won’t be in attendance, but that doesn’t mean MAFB can’t use her immortal song “Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves” as inspiration for the fall concert! Styne’s Overture to Gypsy, Bizet’s Carmen Suite, and Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5 complement Saucedo’s evocative Song of the Gandy Dancers and Compello’s rollicking Gypsy Dance. Marches include those by Sousa (Charlatan March) and Walters’ Circus Spectacular. Also billed are selections from Aladdin and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. KC-based composer Ian Corbett’s Charisma receives its local premiere and EGOT-winner Richard Rodgers’ “Lady is a Tramp” from Babes in Arms, featuring Joe Duncan on tenor saxophone, rounds out the concert.
Frozen Fantasia
Sunday, December 14, 2014
2:00 pm
J.C. Nichols Auditorium, National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial
100 W 26th St., Kansas City, MO
We can’t let it go either! The lovely and talented Idina Menzel (or Adele Dazeem as John Travolta knows her) inspires the holiday concert of fantastic fantasias and the hot-off-the-presses medley  from the pen of the newly minted EGOTer Robert Lopez and his hit Disney musical, Frozen. Daniel Elder’s Fantasia receives it world premiere and Greg Bartholomew’s Far North Land gets its US premiere in this new band arrangement. Reaching back the the Baroque era, MAFB performs Bach’s Fantasia in G in Edwin Franko Goldman’s famous arrangement as well as fantasias on the popular carols “Silent Night” and “We Three Kings.” It wouldn’t be a holiday concert without Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride. Joining these popular tunes are the medleys Randall Strandridge’s Yuletide Festival and Bob Krogstadt’s Bells of Christmas. But it’s David Lovrien’s Minor Alterations that will have you giggling as this demented arrangement puts your favorite holiday selections in minor tonalities!
Just Dance
Sunday, April 26, 2015
2:00 pm
J.C. Nichols Auditorium, National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial
100 W 26th St., Kansas City, MO
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. Olav Anton Thommessen is not a household name but his Egyptian-inspired Stabsarabesk is a searing, face-peeler with a Middle Eastern vibe and a melody that will worm its way into your head. 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 work by a Missouri or Kansas composer that has yet to be selected. Marvin Hamlisch’s medley from Chorus Line fills out the season and the EGOT winners presented.   
Rehearsals for Season 12 begin Thursday, August 21 at Central Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, MO from 7-9 pm. All instrumental musicians are welcome but we do ask that you be able to read music.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Searching For New Executive Director

Position Description - Executive Director

Mid America Freedom Band is looking to fill the position of Executive Director (ED).  The ED position functions as the primary face of our organization to the community.  The position is responsible for all operational aspects of MAFB, including overseeing the Artistic Director.  The ED works closely with the Board of Directors to achieve the following: 

·         Implement high level objectives established by the Board of Directors
·         Coordinate band events
·         Secure rehearsal and performance space
·         Develop and implement fund-raising opportunities
·         Develop and implement event strategy and time-lines
·         Develop organizational budgets in conjunction with the Director of Finance
·         Manage media relations
·         Develop relationships with other LGBA bands and the LGBA organization

The following skill set is required:
College degree preferred / High school diploma or GED required
Non-profit management experience preferred
Strong communication and people management sklls
Strong organizational skills
Ability to work independently and be a self-starter
Fundraising / Donor Management knowledge preferred
Business acumen
Event planning

The ED is currently a volunteer position, pay depending on skills.

Mid America Freedom Band is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization incorporated in the state of Kansas.  We’re a member of LGBA (Lesbian & Gay Bands of America).  Our current membership totals approx. 80. Currently, we produce two formal concerts per year, a holiday concert,  informal performances (Pride, AIDS Walk), and a variety of fund-raising and Ensemble appearances.  We currently have an concert band, orchestra, jazz band and marching/pep band.

If interested, please contact the board of directors at  Please include a resume and short narrative describing how you would lead our organization.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

MAFB partners with Turn the Page KC

The Mid America Freedom Band, Kansas City’s community band of LGBT and allied musicians, is partnering with Turn the Page KC, Mayor Sly James’ initiative to promote third-grade literacy and reading readiness, on April 12 at the ensemble’s “Reading is Fundamental” concert held at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

“When the opportunity was presented to us by Emily Kuennen, one of our ensemble members and staff person at Turn the Page KC, to help encourage young readers, we jumped at the chance. It is such a logical fit for both organizations,” states MAFB artistic director, Lee Hartman.

MAFB requests that concertgoers bring a book appropriate for K-3 school-age children, to donate to Turn the Page KC. Turn the Page KC staff members will be in attendance to collect and collate the donations for distribution. In appreciation, all attendees who donate will be given a raffle ticket for a chance to win an assortment of prize baskets.

“I’m thrilled that the Mid America Freedom Band, a progressive organization founded on principles devoted to unity and inclusiveness, has embraced Turn the Page KC,” said Mayor Sly James, Chairman of the Board for Turn the Page KC. “I am so thankful to the group for being a partner in this endeavor and look forward to see the fruits of these efforts.”

Now in its eleventh season, MAFB’s “Reading is Fundamental” concert is programmed with selections of music based on works of literature. Among the pieces to be performed are Robert W. Smith’s “Inferno” from the Divine Comedy which draws inspiration from Dante’s 14th-century epic, Tchaikovsky’s take on Shakespeare’s immortal tale of star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, Paul Creston’s Kalevala, inspired by the Finnish national poem and its off-kilter 5/4 meter, Johan de Meij’s “Gandalf” from his Lord of the Rings Symphony which encapsulates the great wizard’s spirit and that of his horse, Shadowfax. Also included are popular tunes from Les Misérables (based on Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel) and the Wizard of Oz from L. Frank Baum’s immortal series along with William Schuman’s seminal When Jesus Wept, David Del Tredici’s tender “Acrostic Song” from Final Alice, and John Williams’s blockbuster score to Jurassic Park

MAFB’s “Reading is Fundamental” is Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 2:00 pm in the Atkins Auditorium of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Name-your-price tickets are available at For more information about Turn the Page KC, visit

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Call for Proposals from Missouri and Kansas Composers

The Mid America Freedom Band is accepting proposals for a new work for concert band, 7-8 minutes in length, from composers living, working, or studying in Missouri or Kansas of any age or nationality to be performed on the ensemble’s 12th season’s concert, “Just Dance” in spring 2015. MAFB is Kansas City’s community ensemble of LGBT and allied musicians with 50+ 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.       Composers must be residents of or study or work in Missouri or Kansas.
2.       Composer can be of any age or nationality.


1.       Cover letter with name, address, email, phone number, website (if possible). If address is not in Missouri or Kansas, please provide proof of working in or studying in one of those states (Student ID, Employment verification, etc.).

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, 2014, 11:59 p.m. CST.


1.       After May 1, 2014 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, 2015.

5.       MAFB will provide the composer with at least a $200.00 stipend upon completion.

6.       MAFB will rehearse and perform the work in Spring 2015. The composer is encouraged to attend rehearsals and the performance, 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 Oboe
3 B-flat Clarinets
1 Bass Clarinet
1 Bassoon
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)
2 Percussion (no pitched percussion)
1 Mallet Percussion (Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Chimes)
(1 optional Piano/Synthesizer)
(1 optional String Bass)

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 concert, entitled “Just Dance,” as these tentatively programmed works: Thommessen: Stabsarabesk; Williams: Symphonic Dance No. 3, “Fiesta”; Gliere: Russian Sailors’ Dance; Sibelius: Valse triste; Hamlish: Chorus Line; Balmages: Three Celtic Dances; among others. It should complement and offer variety to the above selections.

Send any questions to

Monday, January 27, 2014

Reading is Fundamental-April 12,2014 Concert

Reading is Fundamental

Saturday, April 12, 2014
2:00 pm
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
4525 Oak St., Kansas City, MO

The library is open!  Put on your reading glasses, crack open a good book, and hear how composers through the ages have transformed amazing stories into music. Robert W. Smith’s “Inferno,” from the Divine Comedy, draws inspiration from Dante’s 14th-century epic. Suitably fiery with its blazing brass and demonic percussion, the work is made complete by a part for chains! On the opposite end of the spectrum, Tchaikovsky draws from the themes of love and sorrow in Shakespeare’s immortal tale of star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, with a score that is romantic to the extreme. Paul Creston’s Kalevala uses the Finnish epic poem—and its off-kilter 5/4 meter—as his source of inspiration. J.R.R. Tolkien was also captivated by the Kalevala stories, especially by the mysterious and all-powerful Sampo, which can be seen as direct inspiration for the One Ring in his monumental Lord of the Rings trilogy. Gandalf is a central figure to Tolkien’s stories, and Johan de Meij encapsulated the great wizard’s spirit and that of his horse, Shadowfax, in “Gandalf” from his Lord of the Rings Symphony. Popular tunes from Les Misérables (based on Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel) and the Wizard of Oz from Frank L. Baum’s immortal series take center stage in medley format; along with William Schuman’s seminalWhen Jesus Wept, David Del Tredici’s tender “Acrostic Song” from Final Alice, and John Williams’s epic score to Jurassic Park.