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Ovation Performance Series

Building on the University of Central Missouri’s commitment to serving as a regional center of the arts, the Ovation Performance Series is a curated collection of exceptional performances that bring world-class artistry to West Central Missouri audiences.

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.


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.

Spring 2023 Performances

Ana Tomioshi and Gerson Lanza, tap dance artists

Ana Tomioshi

Gerson Lanza

March 28, 2023 @ 7:00pm

Hendricks Hall
University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093

Swing Into Spring – an evening of tap dance and live music 

Tap Dancers Ana Tomioshi and Gerson Lanza paired with pianist and music director James Fernando to present an evening filled with rhythm, virtuoso dancing, and enjoyment. This performance celebrates the deep connection between music and dance, featuring musicians from the University of Central Missouri. With exciting choreography and improvisation from these longtime collaborators, the audience will witness the African diasporic dance of tap dance through Tomioshi and Lanza's demographic lineage of Brazil and Honduras.

Ana Tomioshi
Ana Tomioshi is a Brazilian multi-style performing artist, choreographer and instructor, currently based in Washington DC. She is an alumna of The School at Jacob’s Pillow’s tap program and has performed at The Kennedy Center, São Paulo Municipal Theater, Battery Dance Festival, The Yard and Rock in Rio Music Festival. Ana also dances with Sole Defined Dance Company, directed by Quynn and Ryan Johnson, and is part of the Metropolitan School of the Arts faculty. Most recently, Ana was in the dance film “Rhythm Is Our Business”, a tap dance project commissioned by the Kennedy Center, which premiered on Sept 16th at the REACH film wall.

Gerson Lanza 
Originally from La Ceiba, Honduras, Gerson first encountered tap dance after moving to New York City in 2001. Immediately after his first exposure to tap, he fell in love with the art form. He began his tap dance training under Omar Edwards at his studio “Harlem Tap,” and continued developing his craft at the Harlem School of the Arts, under the instruction of Joseph Webb. He has since taught and performed across the US and internationally including in Brazil, Poland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Spain. Highlights include a 3-month European tour with the Cotton Club Show, in which he was feature as a soloist, and dancing with Jason Samuels Smith, Josh Johnson, and Leonardo Sandoval, among many others.

What If?  Puppet Theater   “Cirque du Wiener Dog”

Puppet Theatre

April 5 and 6, 2023

UCM Union Auditorium
Warrensburg, MO 64093

Internationally recognized puppeteer, Paul Mesner, established Mesner Puppet Theatre in 1987 to create Innovative storytelling that captures children’s imagination and inspires communities. In 2006, Mike Horner joined the organization as lead puppeteer and builder developing  a cannon of shows the company still tours today. During this time, the organization received three Union Internationale de la Marionette (UNIMA-USA) Citations of Excellence. The UNIMA-USA award was created by Jim Henson to promote high quality puppetry in the United States and is considered the ‘Academy Award” of puppetry. In their first 30 years the company impacted nearly 2 million young people through glove, rod, hand, marionette, and innovative object based puppetry.

After the retirement of Mr. Mesner, the company’s name and mission statement were updated in 2021. Their new mission is “to inspire play and cultivate connections through puppetry” and the staff restructured programs to achieve the company’s vision  "to inspire our community to celebrate the arts as essential for early childhood development while becoming a national leader in the field of puppetry and arts integration for the very young."

Yun Ju Pan, solo marimba

Yun Ju Pan

April 17, 2023 @ 7:00pm

Hart Recital Hall
University of Central Missouri
Utt Bldg, Room 104
Warrensburg, MO 64093

Yun Ju Alice Pan  has performed across the world in competitions and concerts in Australia, Taiwan, Japan, China, and the United States, including performing at PASIC as a competing soloist and with the Michigan State University Percussion Ensembles. She also often works with percussion ensembles and chamber groups, and performs alongside acclaimed musicians such as Gordon Stout, Gwen Dease, arx duo, Andrew Thomson, The New Morse Code Duo, Naoko Takada, Tomoko Taki, and Dr. Ming-Hui Kuo. Alice has also held masterclasses and clinics at various universities across the world, focusing on topics ranging from percussion ensemble and solo marimba to elementary 

Yun Ju (Alice) Pan is currently the Adjunct Instructor of Percussion at the University of North Alabama, teaching alongside Dr. Tracy Wiggins. She is a acclaimed educator, soloist, and chamber musician in the United States, Taiwan, Japan, China, and Australia.

She holds a Doctoral of Music Arts degree from Michigan State University, a Master of Percussion Performance degree from Ithaca College, and a Bachelor of Performance Music Art degree from SooChow University (Taiwan.) Her teachers include Keiko Abe, Gordon Stout, Gwendolyn Dease, Jon Weber, Randy Gelispie, Pei-Ching Wu, Kuang-Yuan Kuo, and Susan Wu

Dr. Pan is currently the Director of Administration and International Arts at the Taiwan Percussion Arts Alliance, and the Founder and Director of P Play Percussion Group in Taiwan. She is proudly sponsored by REMO Drumheads and Innovative Percussion.

Africana Fefeworwor Dance Ensemble

Agbeko Desouza

Koffie Fugah

April 20, 2023 @ 7:00pm

Union Auditorium
University of Central MIssouri
Elliott Student Union, 511 S Holden St.
Warrensburg, MO 64093

Africana Fefeworwor Dance Ensemble is an African cultural group based at the Kotobabi Community Youth and Cultural Center. Founded in 1991 by the now late Mawutor Akpobi, AFDE remains one of Ghana's foremost cultural groups celebrating African culture 

AFDE was formed in 1991 and is led by founding member Agbeko DeSouza, with many of the group boasting membership which is decades long. Africana remains one of the foremost cultural groups celebrating, preserving and promoting the diverse cultural traditions of music and dance in Ghana and greater Western Africa.

AFDE has a focus on fostering musical and dancing talent among the less fortunate and encouraging connectedness across their communities, which is shown in the age range of the members from 4yrs to 46yrs. Senior members are accomplished teachers in their own right, teaching community workshops, private classes and in schools. Many are proud to have their own children continue to share their traditions and be a part of AFDE as well.

Charged Particles Jazz Ensemble

Charged Particles

April 21, 2023 @ 7:00pm

Hart Recital Hall
University of Central Missouri
Utt Bldg, Room 104
Warrensburg, MO 64093

Charged Particles made its public debut on National Public Radio Affiliate WDET's live performance program, "Detroit Jazz Alive", originating in Detroit, Michigan.  The group's one-hour live performance drew wide attention and opened the door to performances at festivals and clubs around the world.  In addition to its own headline performances, the band has opened for national recording artists such as Al DiMeola, Stanley Jordan, Yanni, and the group has had such international mega-star drummers as Peter Erskine and Dennis Chambers and percussionist Doc Gibbs sit in with them. 

In 2001, Charged Particles added a fourth member to its performing ensemble: master percussionist Ron Hope.  Ron brings a sparkle to the band's performances and has added strong elements of African and Latin musical roots to the group's performance repertoire.  Ron consistently delights audiences with his charismatic on-stage personality and propulsive drumming.

When Caleb Hutslar moved to Sweden, Jim Maneri sat in the keyboard chair for a period, and then a new generation of Charged Particles was born, featuring the world-renowned Kim Pensyl on keyboards and the amazing Andy Woodson on bass.  Twice named one of Billboard's Top-20 Contemporary Jazz Artists of the Year, Kim is a prolific composer and an amazing performer.  Andy is also a great composer and band-leader who brings energy to the electric bass reminiscent of Jaco Pastorius.  With this personnel, the band performed around Ohio and toured the country as well, including performances in North Carolina, Michigan, and Chicago.  

In 2011, the third generation of Charged Particles was born in California.  The west coast trio began with Murray Low firing up the keyboards and Jason Muscat on electric bass.  When Jason joined the touring band "Tainted Love", Aaron Germain took over blazing on the acoustic and electric basses.  Playing new original compositions, as well as the long-time original repertoire of the band and compositions by their favorite contemporary composers, Murray, Aaron, and Jon are busy gigging.

Highlights for the band in recent years have been a performance on the main stage of Yoshi's San Francisco jazz club accompanying French Vietnamese guitarist Nguyen Le playing his compositions, an appearance accompanying vocalist Kevyn Lettau singing her compositions at Cafe Cordiale in Los Angeles, and performances in the Los Angeles area with keyboardist David Garfield.

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


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National Endowment for the Arts Logo





Mia Kim
Director, Ovation Performance Series


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