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Ovation Performance Series


Join us on October 28, 2020 at 7:00pm for a recital by Griffin Campbell and Albert Kim. On November 2, 2020 at 7:00pm, join us for a virtual performance by the Saakumu Dance Troupe from Ghana, West Africa. Click "Fall 2020 Events" for more information!

Would you like to be a Concert Insider and get reminders about upcoming events via text or email?  Text “Concert” to 660-248-0496 or fill out this short form.

Performance Spaces

The University of Central Missouri is located in Warrensburg, Missouri. We are an hour drive southeast of Kansas City, and approximately 3 hours west of St. Louis.

Hart Recital Hall is located in the Utt Music Building. It is most easily accessible from Visitor Parking Lot 24 on South Street.

Highlander Theater is located in the Martin building. It is most easily accessible from Parking Lots 11 and 12, both located on Clark Street.

The Kauffman Performing Arts Center is located at 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Missouri.

Sponsored by the Missouri Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Tickets for “Top Secret Deer Daycare”, Kyle Mullings & CercaTrova, and Mesner Puppet Theater will be available from the UCM Theater online ticketing system

Tickets for Kyle Mullins & Cerca Trova are available here: Kyle Mullins & Cerca Trova Tickets.

Tijan Dorwana, Catherine French/NinaFerrigno, and the Scott Cox show do not require tickets.

The President's Gala at the Kauffman Performing Arts Center is free, but tickets are required to reserve a seat. Tickets will be available in Spring 2020.

Raise the Curtain: Support the Ovation Performance Series

Do you enjoy having world-class music, theater, and dance artists perform in our community? 

Your gifts make programming such as this come to life. Help us “raise the curtain” by giving to the UCM Ovation Series fund.

For more information on donations, contact Mia Kim at or (660) 543-8900.

Fall 2020 Events

Music of Debussy, Likhuta, Hayden, Creston; Griffin Campbell (Saxophone) and Albert Kim (Piano)

October 28, 2020


University of Central Missouri, Hart Recital Hall, and livestream on ucmmusic

Griffin Campbell with Saxophone

Griffin Campbell has performed to critical acclaim throughout the United States and in Croatia, France, Greece, Great Britain, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Slovenia, China, Italy, and Japan. Conference performances include solo appearances at meetings of the World Saxophone Congress, North American Saxophone Alliance, the Society of Composers, Inc., the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, and the International Computer Music Conference, among many others. World premieres include concerti, chamber music, electro-acoustic works, and smaller pieces both in America and abroad. He has received grants from the Louisiana Foundation for the Arts and from Louisiana State University. His recordings can be found on the Capstone, Cat Crisis, Centaur, Electronic Music Foundation, Innova, SEAMUS, Vestige, and WorldWinds labels. He has conducted seminars and master classes in saxophone performance at universities and conservatories throughout the United States, Greece, Brazil and Argentina, and at the Faenza International Saxophone Festival (Italy, 2004, 2006, 2014), the Xian International Clarinet and Saxophone Festival (China, 2005), and the 3rd International Saxophone and Clarinet Encounter in Santa Cruz, Bolivia (2011). Recordings can be found on YouTube, SoundCloud, Spotify, and other digital platforms, as well as on CD through cdbaby and Amazon.Dr. Campbell holds degrees from Michigan State University (saxophone studies with James Forger) and Pfeiffer College (saxophone studies with Donald Grant and Michael Price). He is the Past President of the North American Saxophone Alliance and is Bayhi Alumni Professor and Distinguished Professor of Saxophone at the LSU School of Music, where he has been on faculty since 1984. Griffin Campbell is a Vandoren and Selmer Artist.

Albert Kim (headshot)

American pianist Albert Kim engages listeners across the country with energetic and unconventional readings of the solo and chamber repertory. He made his formal recital debuts in the United States and Europe as a Carnegie Hall/European Concert Hall Organization Rising Star, followed by recitals at Ravinia, Caramoor and the Metropolitan Museum of Art as pianist of the former Kim-Jacobsen-Arron Trio. He has performed and taught at the Castleman Quartet Program, Dakota Sky International Piano Festival, Neskowin Chamber Music, Reinhardt Piano Festival and Academy, Dongfang Arts School (Shanghai), Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Texas State University, University of Central Florida, University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music, Linfield College and the San Francisco International Piano Festival. An active arranger, he frequently performs his own solo transcription of Ravel’s La Valse and directed the world premiere of his chamber instrumental score of Richard Strauss’s Salome in 2014.Dr. Kim holds degrees from Harvard University and the Eastman School of Music and completed his formal training with Natalya Antonova and Solomon Mikowsky. He is dedicated to the premise that music, whether created today or centuries ago, belongs to those who free themselves of tradition and seek their own voice through a total knowledge of their craft. He is a New Piano Collective artist and the pianist of TableTop Opera, a multimedia performance collective based in Rochester, New York.


Saakumu Dance Troupe from Ghana

saakumu dance troupe

November 2, 2020


YouTube Premiere: UCM Music YouTube Channel

Free admission, no tickets required

The award-winning Saakumu Dance Troupe is dedicated to introducing audiences to traditional and contemporary African musical traditions. One of the leading dance groups in Ghana, West Africa, the group repertoire includes a range of spiritual, ceremonial, recreational genres to contemporary African dance forms. Their performances are joyful, expressive and highly participatory.

Saakumu means traditions, and as the name implies, the company derived its repertoire from a variety of both traditional and contemporary cultures with creativity.  Created by master musician, Bernard Woma, they are an artist-founded association driven by a passion for bringing innovative dances and world music to their audiences.

Spring 2021 Events

The President's Gala - April 12, 2021, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Benefiting the UCM School of Visual and Performing Arts 
Recorded at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
Guest Artist - David Cook, 2006 UCM alumnus, 2008 winner of "American Idol"

The University of Central Missouri’s 16th president, Roger J. Best, Ph.D., is reviving UCM’s President’s Gala as an avenue to celebrate student, faculty and alumni collaboration while raising needed funds to extend the educational benefits of the School of Visual and Performing Arts. This one-time streaming event, which is free and open to the public, will showcase students’ work from each of the school’s three areas of study: Art and Design, Music, and Theatre and Dance. The gala's theme this year is "The Arts Are the Future."

The special event will showcase music, theater, dance and visual arts – both separately and in unison – throughout the performance. Bryan Busby, chief meteorologist for KMBC-TV 9 News, will serve as the master of ceremonies. One highlight for the evening is a performance by celebrity UCM alumnus David Cook, ’06, whose musical career skyrocketed after he was named winner of the “American Idol” reality TV show in 2008. 

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

How to Watch

This one-time streaming performance is free and open to the public. 

Register below to receive the private URL for this performance. Please direct any questions to Pat Smithson at or 660-543-4263.

Register Now

UCM Theater students

Sponsorship Information

As funding for higher education grows more scarce, the responsibility to preserve and enhance students’ exploration within their areas of study has shifted to the private sector. UCM now relies more than ever on the generosity of donors who are passionate about the arts to support the future of the university, its students and its alumni. We appreciate the support of our honorary chairs, Debby, '74, and Gary Ballard and Kevin, '82, and Jeanette Prenger. 

Become a Gala Sponsor Make a Donation

Thank you to our generous sponsors!

Thank You to our Anonymous Presidential Honors Sponsor!


Thank You to our Producer-Level Sponsors!

 Husch Blackwell Logo

Equity Bank Logo

Missouri Arts Council Logo


An Anonymous Gift From a Friend of the Arts

Thank You to our Director-Level Sponsors!

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City

Commerce Trust Company

Delta Dental

ECCO Select

Homer and Becky Kay family 

McCown Gordon Construction LLC

Mike and Rhonda Orndorff - Infinitas Coordinated Wealth Counsel


Sponsored by the Missouri Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Missouri Arts Council Logo


National Endowment for the Arts Logo


Mia Kim
Director, Ovation Performance Series


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