Kansas City’s Classical Revolution

Typically, venues that play classical music don’t attract many 20-somethings, but one Kansas City group is trying to change that.

Classical Revolution KC (CRKC), an organization founded by UMKC alumni and siblings Alyssa and Nick Bell, strives to attract a younger, more diverse crowd to classical music concerts.

Nick Bell, one of the founders of classical revolution, conducting at a dress rehearsal for a concert.

Nick Bell, one of the founders of classical revolution, conducting at a dress rehearsal for a concert.

According to a 2012 study by the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest rate of attendance for classical music concerts was among 65 to 74 year olds.

“It’s sort of an ordeal to go to a symphony concert,” Alyssa Bell said. “You have to plan the evening beforehand, and you feel like you need to dress up. Some people feel sort of self-conscious at a symphony concert. That is why we want to expand our venues beyond [restaurants like] Californos.”

Currently, Classical Revolution works with a network of performers, including classical musicians and local bands like Claire and the Crowded Stage. And most of them perform for free.

“Generally people do it because there is a gap in the repertoire that we get to play in school,” Nick Bell said. “You either play in large ensembles like orchestra or you play in things like quartets and quintets. Classical Revolution fills in that gap.”

Not only does CRKC provide more opportunities for Kansas City’s classical musicians, it provides more opportunities to expose classical music to new audiences.

“When people stumble in from the restaurant and are blown away by what is going on, that is what CRKC is all about,” Alyssa Bell said.

For those interested in being a part of CRKC’s mission, the organization is currently looking for additional help.

“If we had someone who was really focused and involved in the admin world or in the marketing world, we would welcome them with open arms,” Nick Bell said.

CRKC’s next performance is at 7:30 p.m. on Monday at the bistro inside Californos at 4124 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, Missouri.

Classical guitarist Adam Levin performing at a CRKC concert in the Californos Ball Room.

Classical guitarist Adam Levin performing at a CRKC concert in the Californos Ball Room.

“Kansas City is a wonderful place,” Alyssa Bell said. “There’s a sense of camaraderie in KC that is unlike any other place.”

3 Comments

  1. Aaron

    March 22, 2016 at 9:18 AM

    “That is why we want to expand our venues beyond [restaurants like] Californos”

    – I really don’t think this article was written very well – I don’t understand why he writes the sentence above. Since it is my venue, this is disturbing. Please consider an edit, this does nothing for business, they way you’ve portrayed our venue sounds like we do not attract 20-somethings, which contradicts the whole point of the article. – UMKC Alum – Aaron

  2. Alyssa Bell

    March 24, 2016 at 6:30 AM

    This article is missing some important information due to its length requirements. I apologize for any confusion:

    Part of the quote referring to Californos is missing and or condensed. CRKC playes at Californos each 4th Monday of the month for our regular monthly, free performances. In the near future we want to expand our performance venues to include other types of venues such as libraries, art galleries, and places in other parts of the city; however, you will always be able to catch us at Californos!

    Replace the word in the article, “Californos” with “the concert hall,” and you’ve got what were about!

    Sorry for any confusion about CRKC’s mission!

    • Alyssa Bell

      March 24, 2016 at 5:43 PM

      Plays*

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