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On with the show: KC Symphony will play for years after raising $55 million

Take a look inside the Symphony in the Flint Hills performance

The annual outdoor concert brings the Kansas City Symphony into the Kansas Flint Hills for a sunset show.
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The annual outdoor concert brings the Kansas City Symphony into the Kansas Flint Hills for a sunset show.

The Kansas City Symphony will continue to make music for years with the successful completion of a $55 million fundraising campaign to strengthen its endowment.

That’s good news for anyone who enjoys classical music or the annual patriotic fanfare of Celebration at the Station or the Flint Hills event.

The pledges came in amounts ranging from $10 to $10 million.

“We have dramatically increased the likelihood that top tier, live orchestral music will be part of Kansas City for this generation and many to come,” symphony chairman Bill Lyons said in announcing the results of the five-year Masterpiece endowment campaign.

The symphony’s endowment now tops $100 million. The orchestra plans to draw from it to supplement its $17 million annual operating budget. Ticket revenue covers less than 40 percent of operating costs.

The fundraising is not over.

“While the completion of the Masterpiece campaign will supply a much more stable base of funding, symphony leaders understand that operating expenses will continue to grow and that a growing annual fundraising effort will be required to sustain the symphony’s impressive momentum,” the symphony said in a statement.

The Kansas City Symphony employs 80 full-time musicians and performs more than 100 concerts each season at the Kauffman Center as well as 60 performances with the Kansas City Ballet and the Lyric Opera.

Music director Michael Stern said the successful endowment campaign is “a watershed moment” that will allow the symphony to continue its artistic evolution.

Music Director Michael Stern and a string quartet performed at the announcement of a campaign to build a bigger endowment.

Matt Campbell: 816-234-4902, @MattCampbellKC

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