Kansas City Symphony

Kansas City, MO   |


The Kansas City Symphony's vision is to transform hearts, minds and communities through the power of symphonic music, accomplished by great performances for greater audiences.

Ruling year info


President & CEO

Mr. Daniel Beckley

Main address

1644 Wyandotte Street

Kansas City, MO 64108 USA

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NTEE code info

Symphony Orchestras (A69)

Music (A68)

IRS filing requirement

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Concert Series

The Symphony's Classical Series offers 42 performances of 14 different programs that combine timeless classics with pivotal modern works and groundbreaking contemporary pieces, mixing internationally-renowned soloists with rising stars. The four-concert Pops Series draws a diverse audience through programs offering a wide variety of musical styles and nationally-known guest performers. The Family Series consists of shorter concerts in a format that appeals to the young imagination. 
The free Happy Hour Series consists of several short programs designed to present an informal taste of chamber music.  Our Film + Live Orchestra Series presents classic movies with the score performed live. Holiday programming includes Handel's "Messiah" and Christmas Festival. We also offer numerous special concerts each year featuring top artists.

Population(s) Served

Symphony education programs enable thousands of students to learn, create and become inspired through orchestral music each year. Through our Instrument Petting Zoo program, thousands of pre-school and elementary children learn about the orchestra and have the opportunity to create sounds on various musical instruments. More than 20,000 young people and chaperones learn about orchestral music in our KinderKonzerts (K-3) and Young People’s Concerts (grades 3-6), which are designed specifically for these age groups. More than 2,000 middle and high school students are inspired by hearing virtuosic guest artists and orchestral masterworks at the Symphony’s Open Rehearsals. The highly successful Support School Music program brings the Symphony to area schools for rehearsals, classes and a performance which raises money for the school district’s music programs. And we are pleased to continue offering the Carnegie Hall-designed program Link Up, an interactive music program that reaches over 9,000 elementary students and teachers each year. Petite Performances are designed for our littlest listeners, ages 0-6, introducing them to orchestral instruments in a fun, interactive program onstage at Helzberg Hall. The Symphony nurtures students of all ages through many opportunities to experience the full spectrum of orchestral music.

Population(s) Served

Among our most popular community engagement programs is the Mobile Music Box, a portable stage that travels to neighborhoods throughout Greater Kansas City, facilitating free outdoor chamber music concerts. Since its launch in September 2020, we've presented nearly 350 concerts in 82 ZIP codes for more than 48,000 people. Our community engagement activities also include the annual Bank of America Celebration at the Station, a free, outdoor, family-oriented concert performed during the Memorial Day weekend in front of historic Union Station that draws more than 35,000 each year and is televised across Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska; an annual Cabaret Concert serving the North Kansas City area; and more than 100 Community Connections concerts and programs each year in numerous locations throughout the region. In addition, recordings of performances from the Symphony's Classical Series are broadcast weekly on Classical KC, Kansas City's full-time classical radio station.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work


Affiliations & memberships

League of American Orchestras 1984

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Kansas City Symphony seeks to transform hearts, minds and our community through the power of symphonic music. The Symphony's objectives include the growth and diversification of our audience, advancing the Symphony's profile in the Kansas City area and beyond, and enhancing the orchestra's artistic achievements and financial stability. Those success indicators will mark the level of engagement and transformation achieved. The arts describe and define us. The core values of a culture are communicated through its art. Music has a unique place among the arts – ephemeral in nature and yet enduring in effect. With symphonic music as one of the crowning achievements of western civilization, the Kansas City Symphony is privileged to share its transformative efforts with people throughout the region and far beyond.

The Symphony will continue to offer an extensive array of concerts across the full spectrum of musical genres, a wide variety of education programs for all ages, and numerous opportunities for community members to engage with the orchestra. Within each strategy, we will strive for excellence in concept, design, and presentation such that the Symphony becomes the arts organization of choice in our community. It is only through experiencing the Symphony that our transformative mission can be accomplished. Through Classical Series programs featuring orchestral masterworks from the past two centuries as well as world premieres of newly-commissioned works to Pops and Special concerts highlighting talented artists of our time, the Symphony’s programming is designed to appeal to people of all backgrounds, interests, and levels of experience with symphonic music. In addition, by exploring new presentation formats and pricing, we aim to maximize accessibility for the broadest possible audience. Our engaging Education programs are designed to help students meet state/federal competencies and to spark the imagination for a lifetime of learning and enjoyment. Overall, the Kansas City Symphony will continue to be the engine for the performing arts in Kansas City and the surrounding region.

With a 39-year history of success, the Kansas City Symphony is well-poised to carry out our challenging programs. From a dedicated 25-member board of directors comprised of community leaders to the 28-member professional staff, the Symphony has the leadership and administrative expertise to succeed. Of course, the artistic leadership provided by Music Director Michael Stern has transformed the orchestra into one of the leading ensembles in the United States. Each of the 80 full-time musicians is an artist, committed to performing at the highest possible level. The Symphony's 700 volunteers are devoted to the organization's success and raise more than $1 million each year to support the Symphony's programs. Nearly 5,000 donors believe in the Symphony's mission and capacity, making gifts that have a far-reaching impact. And more than 250,000 people attended or participated in Symphony programs in 2018/19, affirming broad community interest and belief in the relevance of their experience. “It is a true pleasure to read about the health and harmony that reigns at the Kansas City Symphony. The Symphony is balancing its budget and just signed a three-year contract with its musicians. It cannot be easy to achieve balance in the orchestra world today. But clearly, it can be done.” Michael Kaiser former president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Our accomplishments include sold-out concerts of superb quality, a Grammy award, new recordings released to critical acclaim and others in post-production, a PBS special televised nationwide to a cumulative audience of 10 million people, extending the musicians' contract through 2023, achieving small operating surpluses for the past several years, thriving education programs, sustaining a vibrant social media presence, and successfully completing the Masterpiece Endowment Campaign. Still to be accomplished: making the Kansas City Symphony the performing arts organization of choice throughout our community, every student in Greater Kansas City hearing the Symphony live at some point during their school years, and further diversifying concert options so that more people can experience the Symphony in Helzberg Hall.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?


Kansas City Symphony

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Kansas City Symphony

Board of directors
as of 01/25/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Patrick McCown

Retired CEO and Founder, McCownGordon Construction

Term: 2019 - 2023

Michael Fields

Retired Chairman, Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts

William Taylor

Retired Partner, Ernst & Young LLP

Valerie Chow

President and Co-Founder, Lakewood Anesthesia, P.C.

Spencer Heddens

Former Kansas City Market President, Bank of America

Susan Newburger

President, KCS Auxiliary Council

Andrea Feinberg

Former Chief Health Officer for Innovation, Geisinger Health System

Kristina Lynn Fulton

Kansas City Symphony Musician, Chair of the Artistic Leadership Committee

Kristin Velicer

Kansas City Symphony Musician; Chair, Musicians' Committee

Shannon Finney

Kansas City Symphony Musician

Michael M. Gentry

Managing Director, Prairie Capital Management, LLC

James Reed

VP, Senior Portfolio Manager, BMO Private Bank

Kenneth V. Hager

Former Vice President, CFO and Treasurer, DST Systems, Inc.

Ursula Terrasi

Owner; Scandia Home and Terrasi European Collections

Porter Wyatt Henderson

Kansas City Symphony Musician

Patrick McCown

CEO, McCownGordon Construction

Jill Marchant

Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Elizabeth Gerson Hjalmarson

Brand Manager, Lone Elm Studios, The Gerson Companies

Bebe Kemper Hunt

Community Volunteer

Abigail Wendel

President of Consumer Banking, UMB Bank

Gena Williams

Former Director of Operations Support, Network Service, T-Mobile

Marny Sherman

Community Volunteer

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/25/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data