Arts on Broadway season to kick off with fundraiser on Saturday

07/29/2012 12:00 AM

08/08/2014 10:33 AM

Arts on Broadway, the nonprofit organization that debuted earlier this year, has planned its first full season: a 2012-2013 lineup that includes three Wichita concerts, two of which feature international performers.

The season opens with a concert by Canadian Brass on Nov. 9.

“They’re probably the premier brass quintet in the world,” said Russ Widener, director of Wichita State University’s School of Music.

Wichita organist Brett Valliant will give a Christmas concert on Dec. 18 as part of the series, which will end March 16 with a performance by Voces8, a mixed-gender a cappella group from the United Kingdom.

Arts on Broadway debuted in February by hosting the Vienna Boys Choir.

Sandra Cusack, one of the organization’s founders, said the first season was intentionally short to give organizers a chance to deliver a full second season.

“The first season was just about structuring and putting things together,” she said. “Our goal is to bring two to three artists in per year.”

The season kicks off with the organization’s first public fundraiser at 7 p.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church, 330 N. Broadway. The “Broadway on Broadway” event will feature members of Music Theatre of Wichita’s chorus singing various show tunes. Hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served, and door prizes and an auction will round out the event. Tickets to the fundraiser are $60 — $30 of which is tax deductible — available by calling 316-267-2574.

During the event — which will raise money for the group’s marketing budget — organizers officially will announce the season lineup.

Tickets will go on sale in September, and all concerts will be at First United Methodist Church.

Season tickets will cost $80 and include a private event with Valliant. Individual tickets to the Canadian Brass and Voces8 concerts will cost $25 and $40.

Though Arts on Broadway is a separate nonprofit, it is one of the missions of First United Methodist Church, Cusack said. All current board members have ties to the church, she said, though it’s not a requirement.

The new season will offer Wichita college students the chance to learn from the visiting music professionals.

Canadian Brass and Voces8 will sponsor master classes at Wichita State and Friends University as part of the program. Canadian Brass will be exclusively at WSU.

“It’s an amazing experience for every student and even a shot in the arm for the faculty, too, to hear some of the best groups in the world come in,” Widener said. “It’s great information and really inspiring for students.”

Cusack said Voces8 originally contacted her about performing last year. She said the group is a perfect fit for the organization because it is composed of young people — six men and two women — in the fine arts. And that is the mission of Arts on Broadway, she said.

“We’re really interested in bringing in young life in the fine arts, especially to the underprivileged,” Cusack said. “There’s only going to be one person over 30 who’s going to be performing in our series.”

That person is Chuck Daellenbach, founding tubist of Canadian Brass, who recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Tuba and Euphonium Association.

Looking ahead, Arts on Broadway may expand to visual arts in the next five years, Cusack said.

“It’s very exciting for the fine arts in Wichita,” she said.

Contributing: Lori O’Toole Buselt of The Eagle

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