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Art and Music Collide: UMKC Conservatory Students Shine in Monet-Inspired Performance

Sight X Sound series kicks-off at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art
Brenna Oxley
The program for the Sight x Sound event featuring the performers.

  UMKC Conservatory students explored impressionism through music in a sold-out show at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art for the “Sight X Sound: An Art and Music Series.”

  “Monet and his Modern Contemporaries” was the first in a series of three performances in the Sight X Sound series and featured UMKC Conservatory musicians and vocalists on March 1.  

  The performance took place outside the “Monet and his Modern Legacies” exhibit, in Noguchi Court. Musicians performed next to a bubbling fountain, mimicking the imagery of Monet’s famous Water Lilies painting.   

  “The inspiration for the series came from my teaching. I had a prompt for my music history students and I was so surprised by their feedback and enthusiasm,” said project director and UMKC musicology professor Dr. Jane Sylvester. 

  The performance reflects the museum’s Monet exhibit, highlighting Monet’s impressionist style through music. Notes became colors and rhythms became brush strokes in the gallery.  

  “Impressionism highlights the unreality, changeability, and fantastical nature of this inescapable reality,” said vocalist and Conservatory graduate student Stephany Susberich.

  Each song began with a lecture given by Sylvester. The performance was part concert and part music-art history lecture. Sylvester provided prompts before each song, indicating a different way to think about the music and how it ties into impressionism. 

  “The goal was to create public curiosity, similar to what I have been working on in the classroom,” Sylvester said. 

  Upcoming performances in the series are April 5 and April 19.

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