News Release| Cal State L.A. Symphony Orchestra; Cal State L.A.

April 10, 2012

Cal State L.A. Symphony Orchestra to perform concert with classic rock band, KANSAS

Los Angeles, CA  – California State University, Los Angeles’ (CSULA) Symphony Orchestra will present a concert with legendary rock band, KANSAS, on Friday, April 13, 8 p.m., in the University’s Luckman Theatre.

The band will appear at CSULA as part of its 2012 KANSAS Collegiate Symphony Tour, an effort to raise funds and awareness for collegiate music programs. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster.

CSULA’s Symphony Orchestra is taught within the University’s renowned Department of Music, Theatre and Dance. The orchestra will also be joined on stage by students from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, which is housed on the CSULA campus.

“We are delighted that our music students will receive the opportunity to perform with the internationally-celebrated rock/pop group, KANSAS,” said Peter McAllister, dean of CSULA’s College Arts and Letters. “Our students who perform with KANSAS, as well as the fans who attend the concert, will experience an emotional connection to the band’s lyrics, just like the millions of others who have over the decades. I know our orchestra conductor, Fung Ho, thoroughly enjoyed preparing our players for this Friday night’s extravaganza. It should be a fantastic concert.”

The concert will feature such hits as “Carry on Wayward Son,” “Point of Know Return,” and “Dust in the Wind.” The symphony’s conductor for this concert is Larry Baird, who has conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and the St. Louis Symphony. In addition to KANSAS, he has also worked with major pop-music names, such as Three Dog Night, Al Jarreau, the Moody Blues, and Michael Bolton. 

“This is a great opportunity for students to be performing along with world famous musicians, and be exposed to different styles of music at the same time,” said Ho.

In 2010, KANSAS embarked on the unique concept of performing concerts with college and university symphonies throughout the United States. After the groundbreaking and universally-successful 2010 KANSAS Collegiate Symphony Tour, KANSAS continued and expanded the tour in 2011, and to the western U.S. this year. 

By the end of spring 2012, the band will have performed with 27 collegiate symphonies, including those from the University of Alabama, Oklahoma State University, Northern Illinois University, James Madison University, University of Central Florida, and Kansas State University. Last Veterans Day, KANSAS culminated the year at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., with the U.S. Army Orchestra. 

The 2012 KANSAS Collegiate Symphony Tour will again help raise funds and awareness for college and university music programs. This concert tour is presented by D’Addario & Co.

“KANSAS and all the school symphonies just hit it off big time!,” said original band member and drummer Phil Ehart. “The only people having more fun than us were all the students playing on stage with us. And when considering all the money that was raised to help the music departments, everyone considered it a real success! We know this year will be bigger and better.”

With their self-titled first album released in 1974, KANSAS went on to become one of the decade’s most popular rock acts, releasing such classic rock albums as 1976’s Leftoverture and 1977’s Point of Know Return, along with the hit singles, “Carry on Wayward Son,” “Dust In the Wind,” and “Point of Know Return.”

The band–which, in addition to Ehart, is comprised of singer/keyboardist Steve Walsh, guitarist Rich Williams, bassist Billy Greer, and violinist David Ragsdale–continue to tour in front of large and enthusiastic audiences, and to this day remain a fixture on classic rock radio.

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Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 220,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to the Honors College for high-achieving students. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.