Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kansas Carries On, Continues with 2011 Collegiate Symphony Tour to Raise Funds for College Music Programs

After the groundbreaking and universally successful 2010 KANSAS Collegiate Symphony Tour, legendary rock band KANSAS is not only continuing, but expanding the tour for the fall of 2011. The 2011 KANSAS Collegiate Symphony Tour will again help raise funds and awareness for college and university music programs.

Original member and drummer, Phil Ehart had this to say about last year’s concerts. “KANSAS and all the school symphonies just hit it off big time! The only people having more fun than us were all the students playing on stage with us! And considering all the money that was raised to help the music departments, everyone considered it a real success! We know this year will be bigger and better!”

The 2010 tour, which was inspired by their DVD “There’s Know Place Like Home,” saw KANSAS joined by conductor Larry Baird, and performing concerts with symphonies from the University of Alabama; University of Texas, San Antonio; Wichita State University; Oklahoma State University; Hardin-Simmons University; and Truman State University. Eugene Dowdy, Music Director and Conductor at University of Texas, San Antonio raved, “This was the biggest show my students have ever played – there were people everywhere! This is a visionary collaboration that resonates on every level…it is fantastic!” Presenting sponsor D’Addario & Company will once again be joining KANSAS in their effort to raise funds and awareness for college and university music programs. D’Addario, the world’s largest musical products accessory manufacturer, brings products to market under the brand names D’Addario; Planet Waves; Rico Reeds; and Evans/PureSound/HQ percussion products. Jay Bulen, Chair of the Truman State University Music Department explains, “The support from D’Addario is tremendous. In the fall of 2011, we will have two new scholarships for incoming string players because of this. It will help us build our music program.”

“D’Addario & Company is excited, once again, to be the presenting sponsor for the 2011 KANSAS Collegiate Symphony Tour,” commented D’Addario Vice President of Sales & Marketing, David Via. “Last year’s concerts were exciting, once-in-a-lifetime, events for the participating institutions and their students. Our scholarship and product donation is but a small way we can assist, along with KANSAS, in providing some much needed funding assistance to schools who are faced with departmental cut-backs,” Via stated.

With their self-titled first album released in 1974, KANSAS went on to become one of the decade’s most popular rock acts – issuing classic rock albums such as 1976’s ‘Leftoverture’ and 1977’s ‘Point of Know Return,’ along with the hit singles “Carry on Wayward Son” and “Dust In the Wind,” and “Point of Know Return.” The band – which in addition to Ehart, is comprised of singer/keyboardist Steve Walsh, guitarist Rich Williams, bassist Billy Greer, and violinist David Ragsdale – continue to tour in front of large and enthusiastic audiences and to this day remain a fixture on classic rock radio.