choral music

C.J. Janovy / KCUR 89.3

Mark Hayes’s musical career started with a decision: piano lessons or band instrument?

He was going to grade school in Normal, Illinois, and his school offered lessons. Since he had three siblings, his parents said that they could afford to pay for either one or the other.

He chose the piano, and, as he said, he never looked back.

More than a thousand of his musical works have been published, and they're performed everywhere from Carnegie Hall to your local church choir loft. We hear from Kansas City's own Mark Hayes, about his journey from playing the church piano as a teen, to becoming an internationally-known composer out of his home in KC. 


Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

As a young child growing up in South Africa, Gillian Power sang in school and church choirs.

"It was one of the things I remember from that time as so deeply joyful," Power says.

Now, Power is in her early forties. She came out publicly as transgender in early 2014. Her transition has included voice lessons.

"Many transgender people really struggle with their voice on many levels – their speaking voice, their telephone voice, their radio voice — and especially their singing voice," she says.

Using Music As Therapy

Oct 30, 2013
Children's Hospital Colorado / Google Images -- CC

Music therapy has been a growing form of complementary medicine for the past 50 years. Studies have shown music therapy can help with everything from Alzheimer’s to depression to developmental disorders and even cancer treatment. 

We invited three local music therapists to speak about local and national research being conducted, as well as their own experience in using vocal and instrumental music in a patient's treatment and recovery process. 


Julie Denesha / KCUR

The signature style of the vocal group Octarium is eight singers, blended into one voice. After a decade of performances, this weekend marks the group's farewell concert. Octarium anticipates continuing to perform at least once a year, over the holidays.