Beethoven’s 9th. Mozart’s Requiem. Baby Shark

Baby Shark, a trending children’s song, might seem like a strange musical selection for the Kansas City Symphony to play in concert. But when your audience of little learners makes a special request, you play Baby Shark!  

Students from our St. Mark and Metro Centers recently had the opportunity to safely enjoy live performances from the Kansas City Symphony through our Tiny Tuesday Concert Series. 

United Inner City Services (UICS) is distinguished for its arts-based curriculum which not only enhances students’ development, but also enriches their lives through exposure to arts and cultural experiences. Our Tiny Tuesday Concert Series brings the world of art and performance directly to students. 

“The goal was to provide art experiences for the kids that included things like visual arts, drama, music, or anything that exposed the kids to diverse and cultural experiences that they might not have a chance to attend otherwise,” shared UICS-St. Mark Center Early Learning and Inclusion Director, Ms. Raina Davis.

Incorporating the work and talents of local artists and community partners allows UICS to continually bring new artistic opportunities to our students. 

“It’s always exciting to see kids’ faces light up when we play our first notes. There’s a similar fire in their eyes when they recognize certain sounds or melodies…it’s almost like you see the moment the connection is made,” described Stephanie Brimhall, Education Manager of the Kansas City Symphony.

“By taking our music to UICS and performing for the kids on their turf, we make the Symphony and the music we play more accessible to the students.” 

Most recently, we’ve all learned and been challenged to adapt more than we’ve ever have had to. For UICS, that means transitioning performance opportunities to safer and more spacious settings. Traditionally, our students have enjoyed concerts in indoor spaces. To ensure the health of our staff and students, the Kansas City Symphony performed in our centers’ blocked off parking lots. For the past two Tuesdays, members of the Symphony played a mix of classical and playful children’s songs. UICS students have truly delighted in the opportunity to dance, sing, and enjoy live music with their peers. 

“The Symphony’s Mobile Music Box series has been a wonderful way to dispel some of the stereotypes that come with playing classical music. It’s not stuffy, boring music for old people… it’s fun, vibrant music for everyone,” Ms. Brimhall offered. 

“Since Labor Day, we have presented 84 concerts in 40 different ZIP codes for over 10,000 people with our Mobile Music Box series. These performances take place outdoors in public parks, community center parking lots, school driveways, and anywhere else that will have us. We’re bringing the music to Kansas City!” 

UICS is always looking for unique opportunities for our students to experience art in multiple formats. We are grateful to the Kansas City Symphony for bringing music to Kansas City’s youngest learners and to the local community. If you are interested in sharing your talents with UICS, please contact our Arts Coordinators, Ms. Brianne (Bri) Pegg at brianne.pegg@uicskc.org and Ms. Julia Mandl at julia.mandl@uicskc.org.