About the Orchestra
HISTORY The MSA Orchestras began when a handful of adult students squeezed together in the lobby of a Shawnee, Kansas music shop in 2001. Over 20 years the orchestra grew to serve multiple age and class levels, eventually joining the Metropolitan Conservatory as an ensemble in residence from 2012 to the present. The orchestra has performed widely throughout Kansas City and was selected to play at the Kauffman Center's prestigious Future Stages Festival for 10 consecutive years! Fun fact- many of the original adult students who played in the flagship 2001 group still participate today!
BENEFITS Students seeking enrichment opportunities different than those offered by public school orchestra and traditional youth symphony are drawn to the MSA Orchestra's unique repertoire selection and small class sizes that offer more solo and section leadership opportunities than larger ensembles. The director actively involves interested students in repertoire selection and creative planning. The program provides frequent solo opportunities and outlets for student composers. Concert themes range from Flamenco to film scores and performance venues are alway fresh and exciting. The adult ensemble offers a POSITIVE, LOW PRESSURE opportunity for adult students of ALL ability levels to grow and gain a true ensemble experience.
CONCERTS The MSA Orchestras have performed at venues including the Union Station Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, Prairie Fire Museum, Overland Park Arboretum Luminary Walk, Mahaffie Heritage Center, the Kauffman Center's Future Stages Festival, and more. The orchestra believes in sharing its talents with the community, therefore its concerts have always been and will always be free.
MISSION Through the performance of varied and unique repertoire, the orchestra seeks to build confidence, creativity, teamwork, and musicianship. Students are encouraged to share their ideas in a positive, small group setting and both student soloists and student composers are regularly featured. Through music we explore art, humanity, history, and culture. For our students and our audiences, our greatest mission is ultimately... joy.
ORCHESTRA DIRECTOR Natasha Kwapich played violin with the St. Louis Philharmonic and the Webster University Chamber Orchestra. After moving to Kansas City, she studied with renowned violinist Benny Kim at the University of Missouri Kansas City. She performed frequently with “Musica Nova” an ensemble devoted to premiering the work of new composers and served as Principal Second in the first Kansas City Puccini Festival. She played fiddle with "ROBE" and won Q104’s Battle of the Bands in 2009. She and ROBE opened at Yallapalooza in 2009 and 2010. While Natasha enjoys performing, composing, and arranging, her true passion is teaching. She believes in every student’s potential to excel and carefully adapts her teaching methods to suit the age, personality, and special gifts of the individual student. Whether a student has dreams of becoming a professional musician, a doctor, or an astronaut, Natasha will nurture a lifelong love of music, an appreciation for artistic expression, and a spirit of perseverance that will help the student to shine in whatever career path he or she chooses. Natasha is also particularly sensitive to the needs of adult students, approaching all lessons with respect, patience, and enthusiasm. Natasha is a member of the Olathe Music Teachers Association, the Kansas City Music Teachers Association, the Kansas Music Teachers Association, the Music Teachers National Association, and the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association. Natasha has served as orchestra director of the MSA Sunday Orchestra Program since 2001. She has taught private lessons and directed strings ensembles since 1999.
B.A.- University of Missouri, Kansas City J.D.- University of Kansas