In 1965, Richard Harriman sought to bring undiscovered musical artists to the eyes of Kansas Citians and to ultimately unleash the unlimited power of music at no cost for those attending William Jewell College.
Luciano Pavarotti made his professional recital debut for the Harriman Jewell Series in 1973. Pavarotti sang five more times for the Series. Thanks to Harriman, Kansas City and the Jewell community saw first-hand the evolution of Pavarotti’s career and ultimately witnessed a star being born.
Thanks to Harriman’s passion, more than 900 performances have come to the Kansas City area, many being recital debuts for new artists.
Last weekend marked the 50-year reunion of the 1968 graduating class. Many expressed their favorite memories which included the Harriman Jewell concerts they attended.
“The opportunity to go to a world-class event for free is one of the great benefits of a William Jewell College experience,” said Clark Morris, executive and artistic director for the Series and vice president of advancement for William Jewell.
In planning the upcoming seasons, the Harriman Jewell staff works tirelessly to assemble the very best artists and ensembles from all over the globe to expand our musical borders. The performances they arrange are important mind-expanding opportunities. According to the staff, their tenets for the Series are quality, variety and discovery. These tenets guide their selection processes as they look for a diverse mix of both new and familiar high-quality artistic events – as not to become repetitive.
The Harriman Jewell Series’ mission is to bring the best of the performing arts to the Kansas City community. This season is a reflection of their overture.
This year the Kansas City and Jewell community are truly blessed to observe the elite ensembles of orchestral passion: the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Mariinsky Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony.
“Every year is exciting, but we are particularly pleased to present a unique collection of some of the world’s greatest orchestras all in one season,” Morris said.
Saturday, Sept. 22 marked the official launch of the 2018-2019 Harriman Jewell Series with Alyson Cambridge as the christening artist. Cambridge has the magnificent ability to sing complicated operatics and jazz during the same show – a difficult task for most artists.
“For the first-year students who may be skeptical of these concerts, give it a try. When I first came to Jewell I didn’t know what I was getting in to, and it was my roommate that insisted we get tickets. I was amazed at the experience and have gone to hundreds of concerts since and am so grateful for this opportunity. You don’t have to like everything you see and hear, but I think everyone will find something that you like,” advised Morris.
For others who are unsure whether they want to expose themselves to the other end of the music spectrum, recognize that they are free events – perfect for cheap dates and opportunities to impress that special someone.
The Harriman Jewell Series challenges Jewell students to listen to the sounds of music that has stood the test of time and critique their understanding of rhythmic art. It is recommended for students to take this opportunity to step out of their comfort zone by being present at a Series event.
The joyous congregation of artists demands our ears and eyes to observe the processes of music to form appreciation. To take advantage of the Harriman Jewell Series is to allow our minds to wander in the areas unknown.
Photo courtesy of hjseries.org