By Carol Rothwell

This will be remembered as a season of exciting changes for the Lee’s Summit Symphony. At a time when many arts organizations struggle, this symphony is growing stronger by every measure under the innovative management of co-executive directors Bob and Candy White.

For the first time in its 16-year history, the orchestra has a co-director. Kirt Mosier, recently retired orchestra teacher at Lee’s Summit West High – also an internationally known conductor and composer/arranger – joined founding director Russ Berlin in leading rehearsals and performances this year. The two work well together, each bringing different strengths to the podium.

Another major change this season was a move to The Pavilion at John Knox Village, following more than a decade of concerts at the Performing Arts Center at Lee’s Summit High School. The Pavilion seats several hundred more people and offers space for displays, reserved tables, and a cash bar. The result is turning concert evenings into social events, with guests arriving early and having time and space to mingle and enjoy related activities.

Additionally, this year’s programs are featuring a more diverse selection of music. Without abandoning the great classics that have stood the test of centuries, the orchestra has also played an original tribute to Aretha Franklin and selections from Broadway and the movies. Principal violist Dr. Carrie Turner adds interesting information before some orchestral works, increasing the audience’s awareness and enjoyment.

More than 1,300 enthusiastic patrons attended the sold-out holiday concert, “Christmas in the Village.” The program included dancers, singers, and a visit from Santa.

The next concert, themed “Symphonic Seasons,” will be on March 23rd at 7:00 p.m. The orchestra will perform the “Russian Easter Overture,” Vivaldi’s “Spring,” “Summertime” from “Porgy and Bess,” a medley from “The Greatest Showman” and more, under the direction of Russ Berlin. Got Art will display watercolors relating to “seasons.”

The final concert of this historic season will be “USO: A Symphonic Salute.” Music and costumes reminiscent of the great stage shows performed for American troops during wartime are being assembled by co-director Kirt Mosier. The date is May 18 at 7:00 pm.

To experience the sound and excitement of the Lee’s Summit Symphony, visit or purchase tickets at Lee’s Summit Hy-Vee stores or Cosentino’s Price Choppers. While tickets may be available at the door, devoted fans will want to buy early.