Music

Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Wednesday March 2, 2011

Duplication in federal programs found. Washington Examiner Editorial: "Nobody with even minimal knowledge of how public bureaucracies work should be surprised by the Government Accountability Office's conclusion that there is a 'staggering level of duplication' in the federal government. Duplication is inevitable when professional politicians in both major parties go for decades using tax dollars to buy votes among favored constituencies, and reward friends, former staffers, family members and campaign contributors with heaping helpings from the pork barrel. With the inevitable program duplication also comes an endless supply of official duplicity as presidents, senators and representatives rationalize spending billions of…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Sunday November 7, 2010

Wichita City Council this week. Spirit AeroSystems asks for $7.5 million in Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRB). IRBs are not loans made by the city. In fact, in this case the bonds will be purchased by Spirit itself, says the agenda report: "Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. intends to purchase the bonds itself, through direct placement, and the bonds will not be reoffered for sale to the public." The reason for the bonds is the property tax exemption on property purchased with the bond proceeds. Additionally, Spirit may not have to pay sales tax on the purchases. This is a public hearing designed…
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Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Sunday October 24, 2010

Surprise endorsement from Wichita Eagle. Today the Wichita Eagle endorsed Republican Mike Pompeo over Democrat Raj Goyle in the race for the Kansas fourth Congressional district. Surprising. Still, the Eagle editorial board can't help reveal its preference for big, expansive government by taking a few digs at Pompeo, describing his free-market, limited government views as "overly idealistic at times." Continuing, the Eagle wrote "For example, he believes that there wouldn't be a need for farm subsidies or economic development incentives if there were lower tax rates and a friendlier and more stable regulatory environment. That's not the real world." The…
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Violinist to perform in Wichita, Pretty Prairie

This weekend Kansans have two chances to hear violinist Dr. Maurice Sklar at two free events. The first is Friday October 1 in Wichita at the Metropolitan Baptist Church, 525 W. Douglas At McLean. The time is 7:00 pm. For more information, call 316-264-2354. The second event is Saturday October 2 at The Round Up Event at SK Ranch, 12508 West Parallel Road, Pretty Prarrie, KS. This event is at 2:30 pm. For more information, contact Pat Crampton at 316-960-5898. Dr. Maurice Sklar was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, to a Russian-Jewish family with a rich musical heritage. At age…
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Wichita’s Lynne Davis and Marcussen Organ

It's one of Wichita's and Kansas' finest cultural assets, and it needed tuning and repair. So in August, the Marcussen organ in Wichita State University's Wiedemann Recital Hall was placed in the care of Halfdan Oussoren, son of the organ's builder. I took the opportunity of the tuning to visit with Lynne Davis, who is Ann & Dennis Ross Endowed Faculty of Distinction in Organ and Associate Professor. More simply, she's in charge of the organ program at Wichita State University. Besides managing the program and teaching students, she performs regularly in Wichita and across the world. Lynne Davis at…
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Marcussen organ a Wichita treasure

The Great Marcussen Organ in Wiedemann Hall, Wichita State University. This is how it looks from my usual seat, A2, right on the front row. One of the most important -- but most underappreciated, in my opinion -- cultural assets in Wichita is the Marcussen organ at Wichita State University and Wiedemann Recital Hall, which houses the organ. It's not only the organ and recital hall, but the people who have been in charge of WSU's organ program and the Rie Bloomfield Organ Series, which brings in accomplished concert organists from around the world for a series of five or…
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Vincent Dubois, Organ

On November 8, 2005, young French organist Vincent Dubois played a recital as part of the Rie Bloomfield Organ Series at Wiedemann Recital Hall, Wichita State University. I attended his recital last year, and again a most remarkable thing about watching Mr. Dubois play is how effortless he makes it appear. He plays from memory, so there are no scores to fiddle with. He seems totally relaxed, his hands and feet merely skimming and floating over the keys and pedals. Managing the resources of the organ never seems to get in the way of making music, and wonderful music he…
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Paul Jacobs, Organ

On September 20, 2005, Paul Jacobs of the Julliard School of Music played a recital as part of the Rie Bloomfield Organ Series at Wiedemann Recital Hall, Wichita State University. I thought Mr. Jacobs was a wonderful player. He seems, at least to my untrained ear, to take more liberties with rhythm and phrasing while playing Bach than other organists. He spoke to the audience, explaining the pieces he was to play in more detail than many organists do. He played two movements of Olivier Messiaen’s La Nativite du Seigneur (The Nativity of Our Savior), including Desseins Eternels (Eternal Designs).…
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