New Music Institute of Kansas City, Inc. dba newEar
PO Box 7156
Kansas City MO 64113-0156
newEar 2010
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (913) 383-3459
Mission Statement
newEar contemporary music ensemble dedicates itself to commissioning and performing music of our time and providing listeners with unique and stimulating musical experiences that are rooted in artistic excellence and enhanced by educational opportunities. 
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Laura McGill
Board Chair Ms. Laura A. McGill
Board Chair Company Affiliation Topeka Symphony Orchestra
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1994
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement
newEar contemporary music ensemble dedicates itself to commissioning and performing music of our time and providing listeners with unique and stimulating musical experiences that are rooted in artistic excellence and enhanced by educational opportunities. 
Background Statement
Founded by a group of musicians with a common interest in contemporary music, newEar is Kansas City’s first (and only) professional contemporary music ensemble. The group played its much-publicized debut concert at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church on January 23, 1994. Since that time, newEar’s audience has grown while critical support has remained strong. newEar offers its listeners unique and eclectic programs with a definite “what next?” factor.
In twenty seasons, newEar has premiered over 80 compositions by such composers as William Kraft, James Mobberley, Judith Shatin, Michael Henry, Adrienne Elisha, John Hilliard, Tina Davidson, and newEar resident composers Ingrid Stölzel, Paul Rudy and Dwight Frizzell.

newEar’s flexible instrumentation lends itself to the programming of a variety of contemporary works. Concerts often feature special guests, with notables such as Lou Harrison, Pauline Oliveros, Harry Spaarnay, Fred Ho and Yehuda Hanani having shared the stage with newEar.
Impact Statement


  • Continued successful Satellite Concert Series that features solo artists in new venues around the KC metro area
  • June 2015 - UMKC Summer Composition Workshop ensemble in Residence
  • Initiate the process of hiring a General Manager
  • Continue audience growth through use of new marketing technologies and collaborations. 
  • Commission 1-2 new works with a variety of local and national composers
Needs Statement
  • Funding for commissioning of new works
  • New board members willing to serve a three-year term.
  • Funding to increase administrative staff position to full-time.
  • Funding to increase production manager position to full-time.
  • Donation of professional accounting or marketing/fundraising services.
Service Categories
Performing Arts
Arts Education
Areas of Service
KS - Johnson County
KS - Lawrence
MO - Clay County
MO - Jackson County
KS - Wyandotte County
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
MO - Liberty
MO - Platte County
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
newEar has what could be considered a “working” board. Since we do not have a large paid staff, board members volunteer countless hours in every area from marketing and fundraising to program and board development.
In 2005 newEar, with the help of a professional not-for-profit consultant, engaged in a process to create a Strategic Plan and restructure our board into classes with regular standing committees. The result has been a much smoother running organization with regularly scheduled board and committee meetings and an effective division of labor. newEar's Strategic Plan has recently been updated for 2016-2019.
Some of the challenges we face, include recruiting new board members (a challenge for all small not-for-profits), and attempting to grow our audience. Our Marketing Committee has been very effective this past year in utilizing new technologies (internet, e-mails, Facebook, twitter, etc.) to address our need for audience development. The Board Development Committee launched an Advisory Panel in 2007 which meets annually and has, among other contributions, provided names of potential new board members.
newEar’s annual concert series features seven performances of contemporary chamber music from September through April.
Our Main Stage Series consists of four concerts with mixed ensembles including a variety of wind, brass, string, percussion in traditional playing style as well as extended technique for the instrument, as well as electronics, and other fixed media performance elements. The ensembles range in size from 2 to 11 players and focus on the most cutting edge in new music as well as pieces that are revealing themselves as Master Works of contemporary chamber music.  
Frequently concerts feature commissioned works, written specifically for newEar. It is not uncommon for a composer of a programmed piece to be present at the concert. 
A Satellite Series of three concerts features a solo artist playing contemporary classical music especially for their instrument. The Satellite series was designed to provide local new music artists creative control over a program which they curate and perform. It also allows newEar to explore new venues in the KC area, meeting new audiences in new places, essentially bringing our music to them. Additionally, it provides a cost-effective way for newEar to significantly expand its season and engage more audiences, thus more fully meeting the goals in our mission statement. 
Each program consists of approximately 70 – 90 minutes of music. It is preceded by a pre-concert talk with composers and/or performers and is followed by a post-concert reception.
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Musical Performances
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Short-Term Success

We have witnessed a steady increase in the number of people attending our pre-concert talks. They come to listen and ask questions about the creative process and inspirational sources used by composers and performers.

We have also reinstated the post-concert reception with composers and performers where there is much discussion about the music just heard – what worked, what did not and why?
Long-Term Success
newEar’s clients are its audience members and the composers of new music itself. The ultimate goal for each audience member is a broadening of perspective as to what constitutes “new music.” Tomorrow's standard classical repertoire is being written today, and new music audiences play an active role in determining the path of this outlet of human expression. We hope to cultivate an openness to new forms of musical expression, a platform for a dialogue about that expression, and a flexibility of perception.
New music composers frequently find themselves searching for audiences for their art as much as they are looking for that next musical idea. Professional ensembles such as newEar provide opportunities for high quality performances, audiences to witness new music, and perhaps the first chance to hear their own works live. newEar seeks to cultivate these avenues of opportunity and build relationships with composers both locally and nationally.  
Program Success Monitored By
  • Concert attendance
  • Pre-concert talk attendance
  • Bi-annual survey of audience members (In the future, this survey will be made available online at the newEar Web site:
Examples of Program Success

Comments from recent audience surveys when asked, “What did you enjoy about tonight’s performance?”

  • “Always different – never a formula – everything unexpected.”
  • “I enjoyed it – it feels like being under hypnosis. Amazing!”
  • “Surprising in its emotional resonance. I like that the music goes to broad emotional extremes.”
  • “Pre-concert comments.”
  • “Impressive – but is it music?”
  • “Hypnotic. I didn’t want the songs to end. Very moving and emotional – more than expected.”
  • “I am pleased with the diversity of the contemporary works and equally, the aptitude of the musicians.”
  • “Beautiful performance – gave me chills of delight!”
  • “Originality.”
  • “Thanks for a most enjoyable evening – a time to let the mind be free - kudos to all the performers - Excellent!”

In our 22nd season, newEar anticipates run-out concerts to Missouri Western State University and Missouri University in Columbia. newEar will perform a concert and hold composer workshops with students of composition at each University.  

A significant goal for newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble is to launch a two-part educational pilot program comprised of web-based video lessons and education materials. Part one is a video series exploring new music that will center on interviews with Kansas City composers and musicians. Part two will present educational materials including lesson plans based on a formal property and/or concept found in new music. 
newEar's innovative educational outreach program initiated at Cristo Rey High School in 2010 was expanded to the after school program at Gordon Parks Elementary School in the 2011-2012 season.
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Short-Term Success
We receive direct feedback from the students in the discussion portion of these performances and also receive verbal evaluations from involved faculty at KCAI and MNU as to the effectiveness of our programs and how they have succeeded in tying into curriculum objectives.
Long-Term Success
The ultimate goal for the students who attend and participate in these concerts, is to cultivate an appreciation for new and unexpected forms of artistic expression and hopefully encourage them as listeners and artists themselves, to explore the “unfamiliar.”
Program Success Monitored By
  • Concert attendance
  • Dialogue with students and professors
Examples of Program Success

Testimonial statements are available upon request from:

  • Mr. Ron McClellan, Interim Chair, Fine Arts Department, Mid-America Nazarene University and
  • Dr. Mara Gibson, Kansas City Art Institute
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Laura McGill
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start
Compensation Last Year
Senior Staff
Title Production Coordinator

Mr. Steele is a composer, educator, and new music advocate. Scott’s compositions are often inspired by abstract, spatial imagery and color. His music has been selected for the 2007 Pennsylvania Award for Achievement in the Creative Arts for Composition. In addition to being a composer, Scott is a conductor, educator, percussionist, and new music advocate. He is a founding member of FuseBox New Music a Kansas City based composers collective. He was assistant director of Musica Nova, UMKC’s new music ensemble. He has been on faculty as a music theory and ear training instructor at the UMKC Academy of Music and Dance. Since 2011, he has been a member of Alia Musica Pittsburgh.

Paid Full-Time Staff 1
Paid Part-Time Staff 0
Volunteers 12
Paid Contractors 0
Retention Rate 0%
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation No
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation No
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Under Development
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policy and Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Bach Aria Soloists, Owen/Cox dance, Heartland Men's Chorus, Summerfest, Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre,  Kansas City Art Institute, Mid-America Nazarene University, Gordon Parks Elementary School.
aha! dance theatre, Gamelan Genta Kasturi, Festival of New American Music (Sacramento, CA), Kansas City Actors Theatre, Jewish Community Center, US/China Peoples Friendship Association, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art, University of Kansas School of Music, University of Missouri, Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, Cristo Rey High School, UMKC Composers in the Schools Program.

Membership: American Music Center and Chamber Music America.
1st Place: Adventurous Programming Award 2009Chamber Music America/ASCAP2009
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Laura A. McGill
Company Affiliation Topeka Symphony Orchestra
Term July 2014 to July 2016
Board Members
Mr. Bradford Athey Mantel Teter
Ms. Rachel Coleman GEHA, Inc.
Ms. Laura McGill Topeka Symphony/Educator
Ms. Elizabeth Pearse Quince Vocal Ensemble
Dr. Larson Powell UMKC
Dr. Leah Sproul Pulatie UMKC
Ms. Sharra Wagner KCK Community College
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 7
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 2
Female 5
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 11
Standing Committees
Program / Program Planning
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
CEO Comments
newEar Advisory Panel:
Dr. Thomas Aber
R. Kenneth Aber
Dr. Chen Yi
Dr. Robert Carl
Pat Conway
Joan DeMerchant
Dr. Fred Fowler
Rev. Dwight Frizzell
Dr. Andrew Granade
Dr. Mara Gibson 
Neil Harris
Yvonne Jameson
Michael Henry
Dr. James Mobberley
Susan Murphy
Robyn Nichols
Richard Preis
Dr. Merton Shatzkin
Dr. Paul Rudy
Dr. Zhou Long
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2015
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2016
Projected Revenue $64,525
Projected Expenses $64,525
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 6/30/2014, 2013, 2012:  Financial data reported from IRS Form 990-EZ. 
  • Foundations/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$40,460$70,024$84,571
Administration Expense$0$0$0
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.981.020.89
Program Expense/Total Expenses100%100%100%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$1,083$1,935$636
Current Assets$1,083$1,935$636
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$1,083$1,935$636
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Organization Comments
newEar has recently learned of cuts to our Missouri Arts Council grant and the elimination of funding from the Richard J. Stern Fund for 2010-11. The challenge will be to either replace these amounts with increased giving from our donor base (in amount and number of donations) or to identify new foundation/corporate support.
We have set an ambitious goal for program ad sales and engaged an independent representative to pursue these sales, but with the current economic climate, we may not see an increase in this area for some months.

newEar hopes to increase paid ticket sales with marketing strategies that utilize the new social media outlets. Our collaborative efforts with other local arts organizations have already begun to reap benefits in reaching new audience members.
Organization Name New Music Institute of Kansas City, Inc. dba newEar
Address PO Box 7156
Kansas City, MO 641130156
Primary Phone (913) 383-3459
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Laura McGill
Board Chair Ms. Laura A. McGill
Board Chair Company Affiliation Topeka Symphony Orchestra
Year of Incorporation 1994