Annual conservatory fundraiser goes virtual

The Conservatory’s annual fundraiser gala, “Crescendo,” will be online Nov. 6. (UMKC Conservatory)

Emma Hilboldt

The Conservatory has held a fundraising gala, “Crescendo,” every year for the past 24 years to raise money for student scholarships.

However, the social distancing guidelines required by the coronavirus forced the event to move online.

“Crescendo” offers a excellent opportunity for the Conservatory to raise money for their student scholarships and helps showcase the talent of those in performing arts programs at UMKC and throughout the University of Missouri System as a whole.

Diane Petrella, Dean of the Conservatory, spoke about the importance of the event.

“These scholarships are so important to the Conservatory,” said Petrella. “They help us recruit talented students to our programs. Many of these students remain in Kansas City after graduation and make significant contributions to KC’s vibrant arts scene.”

Petrella explained why these scholarships are so important for the Conservatory students in particular.

“We want to support students as much as possible financially while they are studying, so they can focus on honing their craft and graduate without a lot of debt,” Petrella said.

Students and faculty prep for the upcoming “Crescendo” livestream. (UMKC Conservatory)

At first, the Conservatory faculty and staff hoped the event could still hold a small and socially-distanced audience, but in the end they decided it would be best to record the entire event and only present it virtually.

While Conservatory faculty and staff held off on making the decision official until August, Petrella said the virtual presentation can offer a new level to the event they did not have before.

“People who might not travel to KC for the annual gala can participate, so we have the opportunity to showcase the tremendous talent of the Conservatory students on a platform that can be accessed anywhere in the world,” Petrella said.

“Crescendo” will showcase students from all areas of the Conservatory: music, theatre and dance. Those interested in supporting the Conservatory can access the event and donate at the official website:

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