The J hosts Philharmonic


Posted by Bob Evans

Kinnor Philharmonic Celebrates 10th Birthday Year with New Year’s Performance at The White Theatre at The J

 Overland Park, Kan. – Kinnor Philharmonic, an ensemble composed of Jewish and non-Jewish musicians, returns to The White Theatre at The J on Jan. 2 to ring in the New Year. The performance is titled “A New Year’s Tradition: Back to Vienna & Beyond.” Tickets are available now at The White Theatre box office or online at

 Kinnor Philharmonic is bringing Vienna back to The J as an acknowledgement of their first performance at The White Theatre on Jan. 1, 2012. The performance was meant to emulate the New Year’s Day concert performed by the Vienna Philharmonic in Austria, and Kinnor’s music director and conductor, Christopher Kelts, wanted to try something new, offering an activity for people in Kansas City to bring in the new year.

 2022’s concert brings back some of the highlight’s from Kinnor’s 2012 performance, including favorites such as the “Chit Chat Polka” and “The Blue Danube.”

 “The way the music selections are structured this year is more festive and light-hearted,” Kelts said. “We feature the music of the Strauss family – it includes traditional polkas, waltzes and marches. This concert will also include musical theatre favorites, which could include pieces by Jewish composers as well.”

 This year, Kinnor Philharmonic will premier a piece called the “Israel Festival March,” which was originally composed only for marching bands when the state of Israel was created.

 “One of our musicians, Andrew Yates, reorchestrated the march to be a piece for a symphony orchestra, and we’ll be giving the first live performance of the orchestration” at this year’s concert, Kelts said.

 Popular music from the silver screen will make an appearance as well.

 “The concert will also include pieces from ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ since 2021 was the 50th anniversary of the motion picture,” Kelts added. “The motion picture soundtrack was all of the original music, but it was reorchestrated by John Williams. We will be performing one of Williams’ adaptations to ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’”

 In Kelts’ eyes, the concert truly does offer something for everyone.

 “The pieces on the program offer a wide variety,” he said. “If folks like music that’s more contemplative in nature, they might enjoy hearing the melodies of ‘The Blue Danube.’ If they love the idea of nostalgia, they might really enjoy the soundtrack to the ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’

 “Most importantly, I think what most our audience loves about our concert is the experience. They like being around one another. They recognize their friends, they’re around their family. They meet new people. It’s a sense of community.”

 Kinnor is dedicated to bringing to the Greater Kansas City Community, performances that reflect the long traditions of the symphonic repertoire and rich diversity of Jewish heritage, so it is fitting for them to perform at The J. The Philharmonic will return to The White Theatre at The J this summer as well, with a performance on June 12.

 After having to take more than a year away from the stage, due to the pandemic, Kelts and the Kinnor Philharmonic are excited to return, bringing high quality live music back to the ears of music lovers.

 “Closing our doors for 20 months and putting a pause on live performance was an extremely hard situation, not only for its musicians, but for audiences as well,” Kelts said. “We are absolutely beyond words to describe the feeling of being able to perform for a live audience again.”

 The J’s 2021-2022 season continues with Joanie Leeds and Friends on Jan. 16, and “Memphis,” a co-production with the Kansas City Black Repertory Theatre takes the stage, Feb. 5-20. For more information on these and other upcoming performances, visit

 As part of The White Theatre’s COVID-19 vaccination policy, all guests must wear masks, and either be fully vaccinated or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test. For more information, visit

 About The J

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City opened in 1914 in midtown Kansas City, Missouri and has grown and adapted to serve the changing needs of Greater Kansas City’s Jewish and secular communities. Our mission is to build a strong, vibrant and inclusive community that enhances wellness, meaning, and joy, based on Jewish values, heritage, and culture. We are a welcoming community that embodies Jewish values in a safe and respectful environment. People of all ages and backgrounds learn and grow at our ‘home away from home.’ For more information, visit

 About The White Theatre

The Lewis & Shirley White Theatre, built in 2005, is a 500 seat, state-of-the-art venue that hosts a wide variety of performances throughout the year. Its annual theatre and concert series continues a 90+ year community theatre tradition, established in 1932, with The Resident Theatre, the region’s first and longest-running community theatre. Ample free parking is available, and the theatre is entirely accessible for those of all abilities. The theatre is available for private rentals for area non-profit groups.

 About Kinnor Philharmonic

Kinnor Philharmonic is an ensemble composed of both Jewish and non-Jewish musicians. In sharing historical connections through educational artistry, we are dedicated to bringing to the Greater Kansas City community, performances that reflect the long traditions of the symphonic repertoire and the rich diversity of the Jewish heritage. For more information, visit


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