91.9 Classical KC Local Feature. Interview with Artistic Director Jackson C. Thomas and Composer in Residence Leslee Wood.Listen Here
"The opening utterances...rose from nowhere with such an invigorating richness that it set an exciting tone for the rest of the concert. KC VITAs continued this unified sound throughout the entire concert, achieving a resonating sound regardless of dynamics or setting. The choir was well balanced throughout, and each section was easily heard in the overall mixture."
"For me, the most innovative thing about the program was that the choral pieces were sectioned off with art song. After every two or three choral performances, a single voice was featured on an art song. It functioned like little curtains opening between acts and served as a wonderful palate cleanser between courses.
I haven’t ever seen anyone use contemporary art song in this way, and I can tell you that I want to see it again. It’s very difficult for composers to get their art song into the view of the public, and this seems a perfect solution."
Jackson Thomas is a conductor, tenor, clinician, and teacher based in the Kansas City area. Jackson serves as Director of Choral Activities at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, MO where he previously served as the Assistant Director of Choral Activities/Opera Director. Other previous teaching positions include the Upper School Choral Director at the Pembroke HIll School, a Middle School Choir Director for Kansas City Kansas Public Schools and Kansas City, MO Public Schools, and an Elementary Music Teacher for the Park Hill School District. He also serves as Director of Choral Music at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Lenexa, KS and is the director of AGO Schola Cantorum. Jackson is an active soloist of classical and musical theatre repertoire, sings with several ensembles around the metropolitan area, and maintains a private voice and piano studio. He holds degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Kansas in Vocal Performance and Choral Conducting, respectively.