Kansas to perform with UNO orchestra

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March 13th, 2012

Omaha, NE – On St. Patrick’s Day, a rock band with Midwestern roots and a storied history comes to Omaha.

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The 70’s rock band Kansas will come to Omaha Saturday to perform alongside UNO’s Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra.

Kansas will perform with UNO's Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra Saturday. (Photo credit Special to the Journal-World)

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. “We wanted to do things outside the box,” he said. “Lyrically 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.”

“When you add a violin player and put all of these parts together was very much like the way an orchestra would do it,” he said.

The line-up for Saturday’s performance is one fans will be familiar with: Williams on guitar, Phil Ehart on drums, Steve Walsh on keyboard and vocals.

“That’s the three original guys,” Williams said. “Then the two new guys, there’s Billy Greer on bass and vocals – this is his 25th year with us – and David Ragsdale on violin and he’s been with us since the 90’s.”

“The old guys are really old and the new guys aren’t all that new,” 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.

“There’s a song called Nobody’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,” he said.

“It’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.”

Kansas will perform with UNO’s Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday, March 17 at 8pm in the Holland Performing Arts Center.

One Response

  1. Laurie Grove says:

    I am looking everywhere for a review of the concert Sat night at the Holland- it was excellent and I wanted to see others opionions of it. Are you aware of any reviews published and where they might be located? Thanks, so much.

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