The northland symphony is a group of professional, student and community musicians that offers free, high-quality performances to the greater kansas City area for the last 50 years.

Donate to the 51st season campaign


We play a wide variety of quality classic symphonic literature for every music-lover. Our concerts are informal, family friendly and always without charge.


We've always prided ourselves for providing quality musical performances without charge to those who otherwise might not have the opportunity or resources to enjoy the works of great composers.


We provide student and community musicians with the opportunity to maintain their skills and broaden their musical horizons by performing quality orchestral music with seasoned musicians.


We’re committed to providing performance opportunities for young choral and instrumental musicians, instilling an appreciation of the arts’ importance within our diverse community.


Our History

The Northland Symphony Orchestra was established in 1967 by a small group of local musicians to provide a quality opportunity for student and community musicians. Today, we have a waiting list for musicians and play with hundreds of Northland students as we celebrate half of century of providing free, high-quality concerts to the Northland and Greater Kansas City community.


upcoming events

Our concerts are presented without charge, are informal and family friendly. Our fundraisers and gifts help us maintain the funds necessary to make sure our concerts remain ACCESSIBLE to everyone.



james murray III

Conductor / Music Director

The 2017-2018 season will mark Maestro Murray’s 21st season as Music Director and Conductor of the Northland Symphony Orchestra.  With Jim’s leadership, the dedication of the orchestra members and the hard work of the Board of Directors, the Northland Symphony Orchestra has become one to the most respected community orchestras in the area.  The ensemble has developed a reputation for the consistent quality of their performances combined with innovative and unique programs.  According to the Kansas City Star, Maestro Murray’s programming “betrays an inventive sense of fun”.  In addition to featuring the music of standard composers, Jim has also included the music of Alwyn, Bantock, Bloch, Butterworth, Corigliano, Cowell, Cutcliffe, Fine, Finzi, Hovhaness, Ives, Khachaturian, Mobberley, Moncayo and Turina, among others.

Recently featured as a Mover, Shaker and Stalwart by, Maestro Murray is also the Music Director & Conductor of the Heritage Philharmonic (formerly the Independence Symphony) as well as the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of Kansas City, an ensemble that he helped to found.  He is also in frequent demand as a guest conductor and clinician with many area ensembles.

Jim had just began studying conducting, when, as a member of the Rome Festival Orchestra, he stepped in to lead a rehearsal for the conductor who was delayed.  When the conductor arrived, he allowed Jim to finish that rehearsal and then invited him to conduct two pieces, Copland’s Quiet City and Gounod’s Petite Symphonie, on a concert the following week.  Jim’s formal training includes a Bachelors Degree in Music Performance from William Jewell College, where he studied with Dr. Phillip C. Posey and a Masters Degree in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Denver, where he studied with Dr. Horst Buchholz.

Jim’s passion for music is equaled by his passion for teaching.  Off the podium, he is the Music Coordinator and Instructor of Music at Metropolitan Community College—Maple Woods.  In 2009 Jim was one of eighteen educators to receive the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Outside the classroom and concert hall, Jim and his wife, soprano soloist and choral conductor, Nicole Murray, pursue the tallest and fastest roller coasters in the world.  At the start of this orchestral season, Jim and Nicole have ridden more than 375 different roller coasters.  They both continue to rate Millennium Force at Cedar Point as their favorite coaster.

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Thank you sponsors!

The Northland Symphony is especially grateful to all of our donors and sponsors of this year's 51st Season Giving Campaign. The people and companies below are what make the Northland Symphony's mission possible each year. Please show your gratitude by patronizing them when possible.

Contribute to the 51st Season campaign


Ad-Trend, Inc.
Kauffman Foundation, Muriel McBrien
Zona Rosa


Richard and Shea Henderson


Douglas Bryan
Citizens Bank & Trust
Kairos Growth Consulting
John Koster
James and Kristin Niederberger
Park University



Kathy Burgon
James and Ruth Dodd
Kenneth and Marilyn Johnston
McCownGordon Construction
Mid-States Heavy Duty Reps


John Anderson
Susan and William Bell
By The Blade Lawn & Landscape
Brad and Christina Cutcliffe
Cassandra Meschke
Jim and Nicole Murray
In memory of Marilyn Murray
David and Julia Wharton
Emily Williams
Kenneth and Christine Williams
Dave Wiseman


J.M. and Shirley Albritton
In honor of Brenda Allen
Larry and Hazel Anders
Henry Bray
Paige Buckmaster
Nicolas and Elizabeth Couper
Charles and Pamela Cram
Lori Davis
Richard A. Decker
Jean Dwyer
Margot Ferguson
Phil and Jeanne Goodin
Karen Grenawalt
John and Bini Jo Hamilton
Philip and Dawn Hatterman
Dale and Abby Helin
Lewis and Pam Henderson
Robert and Teresa Henson
Alice Kennedy
Mary Kuehn
Terry and Dana Leeds
Dorothy Masters

Friends cont.

Joyce McKinney
Randall Miller
Robert and Dolores Palmer
Rudy and Patt Papenfuhs
Emily M. Parris
Jeffrey and Amy Peak
Marian Poston
MIchael and Mary Ragan
Ken and Carol Reger
Kathryn Schaefer
Katya Soderstrom
Melissa Stan
Darrel and Linda Thomssen
Fred and Carol Wernicke



Board of directors

The Northland Symphony Orchestra board of directors provide leadership, management, direction and guidance for the orchestra.

Richard Henderson, President
Paige Buckmaster, Vice President
David Wiseman, Treasurer
Richard Bustamante, Controller
Katya Soderstrom, Secretary
Kathy Burgon
Dawn Hatterman
John Koster
Jim Murray
Rachel Marble
Melissa Stan
Timothy Starosta
Emily Zahn


Get in Touch!


Our info

The Northland Symphony Orchestra is a group of professional, student and community musicians that offers free, high-quality performances to the greater Kansas City area.

P:  816.945.2436

Northland Symphony Orchestra
P.O. Box 11193
Kansas City MO 64119

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