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There’s No Place Like Kansas

28 February, 2015

As we wait at the airport for our early flight to New York City, our longstanding bass deputy, James Arthur, filed this report from Kansas City:


“Despite it being -12C outside we have yet again received the warmest of welcomes in Kansas, the Mid-West City split between the States of Kansas and Missouri. To say a certain amount of tribalism still exists might be pushing the point but I think it’s fair to say you shouldn’t ask a local which side of the city is best unless you’ve got some time on your hands.

“In the knowledge that there was a post-concert reception on Friday we expected to have to fend for ourselves when we arrived on Thursday but were pleasantly surprised to find that the Chamber Music Series’ Founder, Cynthia Siebert and her husband Larry had invited us to dinner at Room 39, an understated French style Bistro, for a sumptuous three course dinner with Tom and Dwight, fellow Members of the Board. With non-shabby Riesling and Cotes-du-Rhone in generous abundance we were able to pass a very convivial few hours in the company of these supporters who have donated their time and resources to help Cynthia keep the Series going for some thirty plus years.

“It is a strange phenomenon that after a satisfying dinner the stomach is ravenous again the next morning, and so it was that the majority of us headed to the Bluebird Cafe, a recommendation of Emma’s, for a breakfast of – wait for it – Free Range Eggs, seemingly a novelty this side of the pond! The lunch time Stile meeting had been pushed back a bit in order to allow those that wanted to attend a 3-D screening of a documentary on Jerusalem at the IMAX cinema in the old Union Station, a vast grand ticketing hall that is now a mixed-use venue. You may find it surprising to hear that it was my first experience of a 3-D film. “What century are you living in?” I hear you ask, a question I often ponder myself……

“The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is a neo-classical building immaculate in both name and nature, with a happily generous acoustic. After the concert we were taken to the home of Bruce and Cynthia Campbell, a “Tudor” house that is an Aladdin’s Cave of objets d’art from around the world. Bruce’s chief passion, however, is horology, which manifests itself in his collection of two hundred plus antique clocks. In such surroundings there wasn’t much chance of us staying beyond the witching hour and so with a few final words from the indefatigable Cynthia we were heading back to the hotel in the knowledge that it was going to be a rather short night.”