KC Symphony replace annual ‘Celebration at the Station’ with weekend ‘Best Of’ broadcasts

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Guest Joshua Bell. // Photo courtesy Kansas City Symphony

After canceling their big, annual outdoor concert scheduled for Sunday, May 24 (Memorial Day weekend), the Kansas City Symphony decided to create a “best of” compilation broadcast from the past 17 years in place of a live concert. It’ll air twice locally: 7 p.m. May 24 and 8:30 p.m. May 25 on KCPT. It will also be simulcast on YouTube TV through the PBS channel.

Music Director Michael Stern will introduce the evening and provide comments throughout.

The Symphony decided to share the “best of” broadcast in place of the outdoor live concert, which is the largest free Memorial Day weekend concert in the Midwest. It regularly draws crowds of 50,000 people to the grounds of Union Station and the National WWI Museum and Memorial. The Symphony canceled the in-person festivities this year due to ongoing concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic. 

Broadcast highlights include:

  • Hometown favorites: Performances by Bobby Watson, The Elders and Jim Birdsall reciting a poem by John Musgrave.
  • Special guests: Performances by MusiCorps and Oleta Adams, John Brancy and Capathia Jenkins.
  • Honoring troops: Favorites such as “Danny Boy,” “Taps,” “Armed Forces Salute,” “WWI Medley” and more.
  • Orchestral showstoppers: Kansas City Symphony performs hits like “Sing Sing Sing,” “Hands Across the Sea,” “Saint Bailey’s Rag” and, of course, Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.”

Additionally, the broadcast will include messages from Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and program collaborators Union Station, the National WWI Museum and Memorial, Bank of America and KCPT.


The live event from previous years. // Courtesy Kansas City Symphony

Categories: Music