The Kansas City Wind Symphony was founded in November of 1998 as a volunteer ensemble of professional and accomplished amateur musicians selected by competitive audition. Musicians come from throughout the Kansas and Missouri region to perform in the organization dedicated to the study and performance of classic band works and transcriptions of orchestral masterworks in a concert setting.
The Kansas City Wind Symphony’s first season featured performances of a wide repertoire that included Vaughan Williams English Folk Song Suite, Beethoven Egmont Overture, Wood Mannin Veen, Sousa The Stars and Stripes Forever, Copland Fanfare for the Common Man and Variation on a Shaker Hymn from Appalachian Spring, Dvorak Finale from Symphony from the New World, and Kalinnikov Finale from Symphony No. 1. The season concluded with a gala concert by the Kansas City Wind Symphony and The Heartland Men’s Chorus that featured Randall Thompson’s Testament of Freedom.
Later seasons have been every bit a match for the musicality of the first season, adding Shostakovich Festive Overture, Verdi La Forza Del Destino, Nelhybel Trittico, Liszt’s Les Preludes, Borodin Polovetsian Dances, Brahms Academic Festival Overture, and Saint-Saens Organ Symphony to the group’s repertoire. At the end of the 2000/2001 season, the Kansas City Wind Symphony, under the direction of Associate Music Director Pam Smith-Kelly recorded Claude T. Smith: A Daughter’s Tribute, a collection of the works of her father.
From 2001 until 2017, Dr. Phillip C. Posey served as the principal conductor for the Kansas City Wind Symphony, expanding its repertoire considerably.
The 2017-2018 season brought a new face to the podium, Dr. Langston Hemenway. Dr. Hemenway earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Michigan, his Master’s degree in Conducting from the University of Kansas, and a Bachelor’s in Music Education from the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Hemenway will continue his leadership of the Kansas City Wind Symphony for the 2018/2019 season.