Kansas City Symphony

Kansas City, MO   |  www.kcsymphony.org


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


Principal Officer

Mr. Daniel Beckley

Main address

1703 Wyandotte Street Suite 200

Kansas City, MO 64108 USA

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NTEE code info

Symphony Orchestras (A69)

Music (A68)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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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. The Classics Uncorked Series offers orchestra concerts that explore repertoire in a casual atmosphere with the opportunity for relaxed social interaction. 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

The Symphony's community engagement activities 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 50,000 each year and is televised across Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska; an annual Cabaret Concert serving the North Kansas City area; and more than 170 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 KCUR-FM, Kansas City's NPR-affiliated radio station.

Population(s) Served

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.


Kansas City Symphony

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


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Kansas City Symphony

Board of directors
as of 06/23/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Patrick McCown

Retired CEO and Founder, McCownGordon Construction

Term: 2019 - 2021

Michael Fields

Retired Chairman, Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts

Robert Kipp

Hallmark Cards, Inc.

William Lyons

Retired President and CEO, American Century Investments

William Taylor

Retired Partner, Ernst & Young LLP

Ann Baum

Community Volunteer

Spencer Heddens

Former Kansas City Market President, Bank of America

Michel Minor

President, KCS Auxiliary Council

Kelli Glynn

Senior VP and Market Leader - Kansas City, U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management

Irvine Hockaday

Retired President and CEO, Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Kristin Velicer

Kansas City Symphony Musician; Chair, Musicians' Committee

Beryl Raff

Chairman and CEO, Helzberg Diamonds

TK DeWitt

Kansas City Symphony Musician, Chair, Artistic Leadership Committee

James Reed

VP, Senior Portfolio Manager, BMO Private Bank

Joshua Rowland

Vice Chairman; Lead Bank

Kent Sunderland

Vice Chair and Secretary; Ash Grove Cement Company

Linda Taylor

Founder; Of Counsel, Inc.

Ursula Terrasi

Owner; Scandia Home and Terrasi European Collections

Elena Lence Talley

Kansas City Symphony musician

Patrick McCown

CEO, McCownGordon Construction

James Heeter

Retired President and CEO, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce

Terry Bassham

President and CEO, Evergy, Inc.

Elizabeth Gerson Hjalmarson

Brand Manager, Lone Elm Studios, The Gerson Companies

Bebe Kemper Hunt

Community Volunteer

John Klinghammer

KCS Musician

Abigail Wendel

Chief Strategy Officer, UMB Bank

Gena Williams

Director of Operations Support, Network Service, Sprint

Dan Fromm

President and COO, Barkley

Dean Rodenbough

VP - External Affairs, Hallmark

Marny Sherman

Community Volunteer

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/23/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


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