The University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory, founded in 1906, is an educational community of over 700 students that advances creativity, performance, scholarship, and learning in the arts. The New York Times has praised the Conservatory as “one of the country’s liveliest academies.”
Over the last fifteen years the Conservatory Wind Symphony, under the leadership of Steven D. Davis, has been and continues to be recognized as one of the finest wind ensembles in the world, with Pulitzer Prize-winning composers such as John Corigliano, Jennifer Higdon, and Zhou Long praising their attainment in performance. Alumni have won positions in leading professional orchestras and military bands, and numerous graduates currently hold university faculty appointments.
The Conservatory Wind Symphony has collaborated with over 30 composers in premiering compositions specifically dedicated to the ensemble, and artists such as Bobby Watson, Jens Lindemann, and the PRISM Quartet have been featured. They have been invited to perform at international music festivals such as the Beijing Modern Music Festival and have presented ground-breaking performances at all of the major wind ensemble conferences in North America.
A core mission of the Conservatory Wind Symphony is collaboration and creation of immersive audience experiences. The ensemble repeatedly partners with dancers, actors, and lighting designers, as well as with countless other non-musical genres. The ensemble regularly performs at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and the Folly Theater in Kansas City. Additionally, the Conservatory Wind Symphony embraces a philosophy of meeting audiences where they gather, in venues such as eateries, parks, and schools that foster access and equity of live music for all intersections of society.