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About the Academy


Welcome to the Conservatory's Community Music and Dance Academy. The Academy forges connections between the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance and the greater Kansas City arts community. We offer applied instruction in music and dance, classes and lessons, innovative concert programming, professional development, summer programs, festivals and our rapidly growing Conservatory in the Schools program in area schools. Our faculty is comprised of Conservatory faculty, alumni and graduate students, offering dedicated instruction by top-notch musicians and dancers. Currently, the Academy reaches more than 2,400 community members annually. We foster a nurturing environment for all stages of performing arts development, and we hope that you will join us for a rewarding and productive journey as we continue our second century of performing arts opportunities and instruction.


Mara Gibson, Ph.D.
Academy Director

Academy Mission Statement

The Community Music and Dance Academy complements the Conservatory's degree programs by bridging the national reputation and excellence of the Conservatory with the local musical needs of the Kansas City community. The Academy functions as a division within the Conservatory, providing non-credit preparatory performing arts education and community engagement programs for children and adults. The Academy is also the Conservatory's office for festivals and summer programs and continuing education training for music educators.


The UMKC Community Music and Dance Academy, 5301 Charlotte St., Kansas City, MO 64110, Email:, Phone: 816.235.2741; Fax: 816.235.5998

Conservatory in the Schools office, Phone: 816-235-6460


Mara Gibson, Ph.D., Director , Email:

Katrina Shapiro, Preparatory Department, Email:

Julie Koch, Coordinator of Festivals and Summer Programs, Email:

Lauren Hart, Coordinator of Conservatory in the Schools, Email:


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