Musical Bridges Luncheon Features Andrés Salguero, Damien Crutcher, and Dan Trahey

The 6th Annual Musical Bridges Benefit Luncheon is Wednesday, April 6, 2016, 11:30 a.m., Pierson Auditorium, UMKC. 

Since 2007 Musical Bridges has prepared urban core students through classical music instruction to go on to higher education. Administered by the UMKC Conservatory’s Academy, Musical Bridges provides free private instrumental music lessons, participation in advanced ensembles, and summer music camps as well as other arts opportunities to students in the Kansas City metropolitan area, totaling about 2,000 hours of instruction each academic year.

In 2015­–2016, Musical Bridges is serving 61 students in grades 6­–12 from Kansas City, Kansas, Hickman Mills, and Kansas City, Missouri. Students are selected by their school music teacher to audition for Musical Bridges.  Once in the program students receive weekly private lessons during the school day at their school. Students are required to show progress in their lessons, have good attendance and maintain a 3.0 GPA.

This year’s benefit luncheon features performances by Musical Bridges students and remarks by the 2016 Musical Bridges/Francis Family Foundation Fellows, Damien Crutcher, CEO, Crescendo Detroit; Conservatory alumnus and Latin Grammy nominee Andrés Salguero, (DMA and AC, clarinet performance, 2011). Salguero’s nomination in the children's album category is for his album ¡Uno, Dos, Tres, Andrés! En Español y En Inglés. Dan Trahey, Artistic Director of OrchKids is our third 2016/Francis Family Foundation Fellow.

Conservatory Dean Peter Witte notes, "Andrés, Damien, and Dan are 21st century musicians. As educators, artists, and advocates, our trio of 2016 Musical Bridges Fellows are committed to educating all children through the arts, a mission UMKC takes to heart."

The Fellows will also teach master classes at Musical Bridges schools and moderate a round table discussion with local arts leaders and educators.

Our Fellows

Damien Crutcher is a native Detroiter and a graduate of Cass Technical High School.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Michigan State University, where he studied horn with Douglas Campbell, and conducting with Professor Ken Bloomquist and Dr. Ronnie Wooten. 

After teaching in the Oak Park Schools for four years he accepted a fellowship to study conducting at the University of Michigan with noted conductor H. Robert Reynolds.  While in the masters program at the University of Michigan, he conducted the University and Campus Bands and made several guest appearances with the University of Michigan Marching Band and the famed University of Michigan Symphonic Band.

Damien went on to serve as Director of Bands and Orchestra at Southfield-Lathrup High School and also served as the Fine Arts and Communications Academy Chair for the Southfield Public Schools.  Under his direction the Southfield-Lathrup ensembles, including the Lathrup Symphony Band have performed in San Francisco, Chicago, the Bahamas, the White House and Carnegie Hall. 

Damien is in his 13th season as the Conductor and Artistic Director of the Farmington Community Band.  The Farmington Community band is looking forward to celebrating its 50th anniversary this year culminating with a concert at Orchestra Hall in Detroit.

Damien is currently the Assistant Pastor at Detroit’s Community Church of Christ.  Damien is also the founder, president and chief executive officer of Progression Inc., a company that designs and implements artists residency programs in schools, and co-founder and chief executive officer of Crescendo Detroit, an organization whose vision is to build character in primarily urban kids ages 5–13, through intense music and life skills instruction.   Mr. Crutcher is a regularly sought-after guest conductor and clinician for band programs in the metro Detroit area.

Andrés Salguero is one of the most exciting new voices on the international family music scene, recently hailed by Billboard Magazine as “A rock star for little language learners.”

A native of Colombia, as a child he started playing clarinet at the National Conservatory in his hometown of Bogotá and continued clarinet studies at the Universidad Javeriana, earning a BA. The clarinet then led him to the US, where he earned a masters degree from the University of Arkansas and a doctorate from UMKC.

During all this time pursuing classical clarinet music, he also maintained an abiding interest in varied genres. He learned the guitar from his father and a love of singing from his mother, and played in groups of all kinds, from a college punk band in Bogotá, to avant-garde electronic music, to Latin Jazz, Salsa, Norteño and Latin folkloric rhythms. He also wrote his own songs, earning the first prize in the National Composition Contest in Colombia. 

Andrés has a long-standing interest in education. He taught clarinet to high school students in Fayetteville, AR, and at UMKC he gave lessons to Kansas City elementary through high school students through the Conservatory's Musical Bridges program, which he also coordinated. In conjunction with his doctorate degree, he also earned a Graduate Certificate in College Teaching and Career Preparation. 

While in Kansas City, Andrés befriended the popular kids' music performer Dino O'Dell and that chance encounter led to a career turning point: by 2009 Andrés had started his own kids music project, 123 Andrés, at the intersection of his passions for music, education and the Latin world. He is proud that his very first 123 Andrés performance was at White Recital Hall on the UMKC campus, as part of the Kids Club, a Saturday morning kids music series.

Today Andrés performs his live 123 Andrés kids’ show at venues large and small, from full band performances at the Smithsonian Institution’s Discovery Theater and the Kennedy Center's Millenium Stage, to solo appearances at schools and libraries throughout the country and abroad. He also presents workshops and professional development sessions to teachers on using music to develop language and literacy in young learners. Other recent highlights include the celebration of the 50 years of Head Start in Washington DC, the LA Times Festival of Books and the Teatro del Parque in Bogotá, Colombia. 

Andrés' debut CD, ¡Uno, Dos, Tres Andrés! en español y en inglés, has received a Latin GRAMMY nomination for best children's album, and brings to families around the world a bona fide anthology of salsa, bachata, plena, mariachi, vallenato, bolero, champeta, and more, with vocals in both Spanish and English. The Boston Globe writes: “His joyous new album...hopscotches around the Spanish-speaking world, seamlessly switching from bachata and bolero to mariachi and vallenato. Salguero is a gentle presence on the record, singing in a bright, warm voice with messages about how we’re all the same despite our different backgrounds."

Andrés lives in Washington, DC and is working on his second 123 Andrés album, due in 2016.

Dan Trahey is a renowned musician, educator, and innovator. He was instrumental in the creation of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s “OrchKids” program where he currently serves as Artistic Director. Dan also founded the El Sistema inspired program Tuned In at the Peabody Conservatory where he teaches creative composition and community engagement. As a tuba player with The Archipelago Project, he travels the world promoting cross genre performances and has performed for hundreds of thousands of children specifically targeting impoverished areas with little access to live performance. Dan has held orchestral positions in Mexico, the United States, and Germany. Dan received a Masters of Music from Yale, and a Bachelors of Music Education from Johns Hopkins University. 

Dan’s work has been widely recognized by 60 Minutes, PBS, NPR, The New York TimesThe Washington Post, and in 2014 was named the Most Valuable Player in the Arts by Baltimore Magazine. Additionally, gave a TEDX talk in Baltimore. Dan’s past teaching experience includes the Baltimore School for the Arts, Idyllwild Arts, and New England Conservatory. He currently holds teaching residencies with the Innsbruck Musikschule, Tyrole, Austria; Nucleo, Acarigua, in Portuguesa, Venezuela, and in the Traverse City, Michigan Public School. Dan also teaches music entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and creative leadership and composition at The Peabody Conservatory.

Dan is a sought-after consultant for programs desiring to use music as a vehicle for social change. In addition to founding two El Sistema programs in Baltimore, Dan has helped start countless programs in Charlotte, Chicago, Fort Worth, Orange County, Allentown, Waterbury, Alexandria, and Kalamazoo. Dan has worked with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Lukes, The Grand Rapids Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Opera North, Philadelphia Orchestra, MusAid, SouthBanke Center, Liverpool Philharmonic, National Youth Orchestra of Belize and The Calgary Philharmonic.

Dan’s upcoming residencies include teaching at the National Take a Stand Youth Orchestra in Aspen and Bard College, performances with the Grand Rapids Symphony and a July tour with the Austrian based brass band RET Brass.

There are opportunities to join us as a sponsor for the Musical Bridges Luncheon.  For more information and to sponsor or purchase tickets visit at  

Tickets are $75.  Questions?? Contact Jennifer Wampler, Sr. Dir. of Development at 816-235-1247 or


For more information, please contact:

Name: Dana Self
Phone: 816-235-2949