Kansas to perform with UNO orchestra
March 13th, 2012
Omaha, NE – On St. Patrickâ€™s Day, a rock band with Midwestern roots and a storied history comes to Omaha.
The 70â€™s rock band Kansas will come to Omaha Saturday to perform alongside UNOâ€™s Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra.
Kansas is known for its departures from the often formulaic approach used by many other rock musicians. In an interview with KVNO, guitarist Rich Williams said that approach made its music particularly well-suited to orchestral arrangements. â€œWe wanted to do things outside the box,â€ he said. â€œLyrically not singing about cars and girls, musically not playing the same four chords and the same time signatures, and assembling songs in a different fashion.â€
â€œWhen you add a violin player and put all of these parts together was very much like the way an orchestra would do it,â€ he said.
The line-up for Saturdayâ€™s performance is one fans will be familiar with: Williams on guitar, Phil Ehart on drums, Steve Walsh on keyboard and vocals.
â€œThatâ€™s the three original guys,â€ Williams said. â€œThen the two new guys, thereâ€™s Billy Greer on bass and vocals – this is his 25th year with us – and David Ragsdale on violin and heâ€™s been with us since the 90â€™s.â€
â€œThe old guys are really old and the new guys arenâ€™t all that new,â€ he said.
Also familiar are some of the songs on the set list, like Carry On Wayward Son, Dust in the Wind, and Point of No Return, which brought Kansas international fame. The band will also play some rare gems that happen to work well in an orchestral setting.
â€œThereâ€™s a song called Nobodyâ€™s Home, which is not a song that we would play at a casino or a rib-fest, but in a symphony hall with a symphony,â€ he said.
â€œItâ€™s very dramatic and it goes over so well because the symphony really makes that song. We play a bit of everything, but all of the songs are hand-picked for what works best with the symphony.â€
Kansas will perform with UNOâ€™s Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday, March 17 at 8pm in the Holland Performing Arts Center.