Charles Bruffy is named the Conservatory’s 2016 Alumni Achievement Awardee
Five-time Grammy award-winning conductor Charles Bruffy has always known music was his destiny. Charles graduated in 1988 with his master’s in vocal performance and is currently the artistic director of the Kansas City Chorale since 1988 and the Phoenix Chorale since 1999, chorus director for the Kansas City Symphony Chorus since 2008 and music director at Rolling Hills Church since 1994. He conducts workshops and clinics across the U.S., including teaching at the Westminster Choir College Summer Conducting Institute since 2006.
“As a child, I realized I had a gift for music and began playing the piano at the very early age of about four, while my feet were still dangling from the bench. I guess I could say I have spent my whole life involved in music somehow.”
Originally from Savannah, Missouri, Bruffy graduated from Missouri Western State University with a degree in secondary education with an emphasis in piano. The call of the city drew Bruffy to Kansas City and he soon connected with the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
“My desire to study with Inci Bashar made my enrollment choice at UMKC a no-brainer,” Bruffy said. “Inci Bashar was my voice teacher. It is my work with her, first turning me into a singer, that has perhaps had the biggest impact on the sound of my choirs.”
R. ANDREW LEE (MM ’06, DMA ’10) AND DAVID MCINTIRE (DMA ’09)
RECEIVE THE 2015 SPOTLIGHT AWARD
Dr. R. Andrew Lee and Dr. David McIntire have garnered national attention in the world of classical music. The two formed Irritable Hedgehog Music in 2010 having met as graduate students at UMKC in 2005. It was a risky – and entrepreneurial – move. The music industry had been in decline for many years, and small, independent record labels rarely succeeded. David and Andy broke that trend and the Hedgehog label has established itself as a significant voice in minimal and electroacoustic music. To date, they have released 11 physical albums. Their recording of Dennis Johnson’s “November” was named the best recording of the year by Steve Smith of “Time Out New York.” Influential classical music critic Alex Ross of “The New Yorker” chose their “Eva-Maria Houben: Piano Music” recording for inclusion in his 2013 Top Ten List. And their recording of William Duckworth’s “The Time Curve Preludes” was named a 2012 Critics Choice by “Gramophone,” a London-based magazine that is the gold standard in classical music reviews. Andy is Associate University Minister for Liturgical and Sacred Music at Regis University in Colorado and David is Assistant Professor of Music Technology at Missouri Western State University.
The two were honored at the 2015 Alumni Awards luncheon with more than 650 other alumni and friends. Click here to see the tribute video produced for the celebration.