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.

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our mission

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.

Sign up below to get notified when the 2017-18 season is announced!

james murray III

Conductor / Music Director

The 2016-2017 season will mark Maestro Murray’s 20th 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 300 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 50th Anniversary Public 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.

Donate Online to NSO


Citizens Bank & Trust
Zona Rosa


Richard and Shea Henderson
John and Gwen Marshall


Deborah Borek
Douglas Bryan
Ben and Rachel Cerra
Gary Crossley Ford
Fike Corporation
Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc.
JR & Co. Roofing Contractors
Kairos Growth Consulting
MCC - Maple Woods
Jim and Kristin Niederberger
Timothy Starosta
Darrel and Linda Thomssen


In Honor of Carolyn Browning
Troy and Kathleen Burgon
James and Ruth Dodd
Dunn Family Foundation
Marilyn and Ken Johnston
Janice Kenney
Kevin and Judy Koster

silver cont.

McRuer & Associates, LLC
Midwest Scrap - Craig Ward
Nella and Tony Mann
Cassandra and Adam Meschke
In Memory of Marilyn Murray
James and Nicole Murray III
NorthPoint Development
Patt and Rudy Papenfuhs
George and Linda Robbins
Ken and Karen Waterland
David and Julia Wharton
Emily Williams
Dave Wiseman
Zack and Mary Workman


Virjean Burton
By The Blade
Sherri Clegg
Violet Cogswell
Brad and Christina Cutcliffe
Haas & Wilkerson Insurance
Rachel and Stephen Marble
Dan and Marie Meierhofer
Randall and Barbara Miller
Kelly Misko
Joel and Anne Nickel
Amy and Jeff Peak
Platte Valley Bank
Meribeth Risebig
Raymond and Nancy Rowe
Cindy Svehla
John and Beth Titterington
Kenneth and Christine Williams


James Albright
JM and Shirley Allbritton
Brenda Allen
Carolyn Alter
In Memory of Margaret Alter
Hazel and Larry Anders
Jennifer Barron
Robert and Diana Bee
George and Anne Biswell
David and Deba Brant
Samantha Brant
Henry Bray
Paige Buckmaster
Betsy Butler & Ben Chociej
In Honor of Betsy Butler
Juan Carlos Chavez
Keith and Laura Christensen
Laura Beth Cochran Jacob Laha
Elizabeth and Nicolas Couper
Charlie and Pam Cram
Richard and Rozella Decker
Jean Dwyer
Ann Erdmann
Margot Ferguson
Michael and Amy Fitzgerald
Philip and Jeanne Goodin
Karen Grenawalt
Karen Hall
Jennifer Hamilton

friends cont.

John and Bini Hamilton
Douglas Harlan
Dawn and Phillip Hatterman
Tim and Pennie Hattey
Lewis and Pam Henderson
In Honor of Richard Henderson
Robert and Teresa Henson
Richard Ibarra Jr.
John and Karole Jacobsen
David and Tracey Johnson
Mary Kuehn
Amanda Landrum
Danny and Judi Lane
Tom and Analee Lanio
Terry and Dana Leeds
Barry and Linda Marshall
Dorothy Masters
Gary Nies
Dolores Palmer
Emily Parris
In Honor of Cecelia Peak
Marilyn Penn
Marian Poston
Suzanne Proctor
Carol Reger
Kathryn Schaefer
Rebecca Shumacher
Katya Soderstrom
Fana Vogelbaugh
Andrew and Karianne Waterland


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
Randall Miller
Timothy Starosta


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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