A University of Missouri-Kansas City graduate is helping stage the opening ceremony of the XXII Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
An alumnus of UMKC’s Conservatory of Music and Dance, Bryan Pinkall, is one of just two Americans on the 250-member team producing the opening ceremony, which kicks off the 22nd Winter Games at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 7, on NBC.
“I have always been interested – or more like obsessed – with the Olympics,” Pinkall told the Great Bend newspaper, calling his selection by the Organizing Committee a dream come true. “It is an event celebrating what is best about humanity, and the artistic possibilities are nearly limitless. I was on the Olympic website one day two years ago and saw the position opening and applied for it. Six months passed and I received an email asking me to do a Skype interview with someone in Europe at 1 a.m. that night.”
Pinkall is a voice instructor at Kansas State University’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance in Manhattan. He recently received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Conservatory, where he was a Kauffman Scholar. Pinkall was a featured soloist at the grand opening of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in 2011, and is a professional singer in the Kansas City Chorale.
The selection process for the Olympics team involved two years of interviews and testing. It began with Pinkall learning about the opportunity online.
Read more about Pinkall’s journey on the Kansas City Star’s website.