Conservatory Fast Facts

In Missouri alone, 1,068 alumni live in 61 of Missouri’s 114 counties.

About our students in Fall, 2014

      76 dancers
      332 undergraduate musicians
      226 graduate students

Did you know?

The Conservatory was founded first as the Kansas City Conservatory of Music by John Cowan in 1906, and is the oldest continuously operating musical institution in the area.

The UMKC Conservatory produces about 400 events each academic year, including student recitals, large ensembles, chamber music, main stage opera, choral concerts, dance, master classes, guest lecturers, and more.  Most are free.

Conservatory faculty have earned a Pulitzer Prize, Grammy nominations, and a few Fulbrights.

The four full-time music composition faculty members have captured, among numerous other awards, four Guggenheim Fellowships, two Rome Prize Fellowships, the Charles Ives Living Award, election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Pulitzer Prize.

UMKC has the second largest music composition program in the US, with students from every continent (except Antarctica).

The Conservatory is one of only 8 schools in the country offering a doctorate in Music Therapy 

We have the only public university Music Therapy program in Missouri.

Conservatory degrees include, BM, BME, BFA, BA, Performer’s Certificate, MM, MME, MA, Artist’s Certificate, DMA, and IPhD.

Conservatory students regularly perform on the two main stages of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, a world-renowned performance hall that opened September 2011.

Alumni have achieved world-wide acclaim.

1923 graduate William Dawson, world-renowned African-American composer is most noted for his arrangements of spirituals

1927 graduate Leith Stevens is a composer of Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated film scores

1941 graduate Sandra Warfield and 1972 graduate and vocal faculty Vinson Cole became regular performers at New York’s Metropolitan Opera.

2010 composition graduate Narong Prangcharoen is a Guggenheim Fellow, Barlow Prize winner, and founded the Thailand International Composition Festival

Conservatory faculty and alumni create important arts organizations.

Former faculty member Karl Krueger founded the Kansas City Philharmonic, predecessor of the Kansas City Symphony, in 1933.

Former faculty member Tatiana Dokoudovska founded the Kansas City Ballet in 1957

Former doctoral student Russell Patterson founded the Lyric Opera in 1958

Alumnus Jonathan Griffith founded the Kansas City Chorale in 1982; alumnus Charles Bruffy took over in 1988 and turned it in to one of the top choral groups in the nation.  The group has won two Grammy awards.

Alumnus J. Kent Barnhart founded Quality Hill Playhouse in 1995

Van Cliburn winner and alum Stanislav Ioudenitch helped to create an International Center for Music at Park University, Parkville, MO.

We Play Well With Others

The Conservatory has partnered with 90% of the major metropolitan music and dance organizations, and collaborated with 86% of the area’s 36 local K–12 school systems, both public and private.

The Conservatory Community Music and Dance Academy, a pre-collegiate, non-credit preparatory school for children and adults, has numerous programs impacting the community, with new collaborations and partnerships being formed every year, plus an NEA grant.

Conservatory students work with distinguished guest artists in master classes throughout the year.  Artists have included Yo-Yo Ma, Richard Goode, Leon Fleisher, Jennifer Koh, eighth blackbird, John Corigliano, Jonathan Biss, Arnaldo Cohen, Joyce DiDonato, Benny Golson, Roy Hargrove, Stephen Hartke, the Mason Brothers, Joseph Flummerfelt, Stefon Harris, Carole Vaness.

The Music/Media Library collection includes more than 120,000 music scores, audio recordings, video recordings, books, journals/magazines, and other materials, plus thousands more items online.