Lee's Summit Symphony Orchestra
PO Box 352
Lee's Summit MO 64063-0352
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 401-5251
Mission Statement
The mission of the Lee's Summit Symphony is to enhance the local cultural experience by providing high-quality, accessible live performances that inspire, educate and entertain.
CEO/Executive Director Mr.&Mrs. Bob/Candy White
Board Chair Mr. Gary Fruits
Board Chair Company Affiliation Coldwell Banker Commercial Fishman & Company
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2003
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 The mission of the Lee's Summit Symphony is to enhance the local cultural experience by providing high-quality, accessible live performances that inspire, educate and entertain.
Background Statement
The Lee’s Summit Symphony Orchestra was founded in 2003 by Russell E. Berlin, Jr. and Phyllis Hamilton. Because of the excellent music program of the Lee’s Summit R-7 Schools, continued population growth, and the fact that local musicians were playing in other area orchestras, they knew Lee’s Summit should have its own community orchestra. With a group of dedicated supporters, they formed the orchestra and its support organization, Friends of the Lee’s Summit Symphony Orchestra.
The first concert was held on October 18, 2003, in the historic Longview Show Horse Arena with a standing-room-only audience that verified the community’s support.

The Symphony now performs at Lee’s Summit High School's performing arts center as well as a pre-fireworks concert in July at Powell Gardens’ Booms and Blooms event. In addition, the orchestra and small ensembles play at private and public events in the Kansas City metro area.
Impact Statement


  • The Lee's Summit Symphony presented five high-quality concerts including the always-popular ‘Booms and Blooms’ patriotic and pops concert at Powell Gardens, Fall Classic, Holiday Magic which included a youth chorale and dancers from a local dance studio, Spring Classic, and the Lee’s Summit Symphony Showcase performed at Helzberg Hall in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Symphony Showcase included select string musicians from the 3 public high schools in Lee’s Summit who performed alone as an Honor Orchestra, and as a combined orchestra with the Lee’s Summit Symphony. Included on this program was a performance by the 2014 Young Artist of the Year with the Symphony. The Metheny Music Foundation also presented scholarships to qualified recipients during this performance.  This concert showcased the fine talent that Lee’s Summit has to offer from youth to adult. 
  • The Symphony expanded their free admission policy to include all 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students to encourage students who are given the opportunity to start playing an instrument in school in the fifth grade. 
  • Membership and donations in the Friends of the Lee's Summit Symphony remained stable. The Friends continued to recognize musicians and a new program called ‘Fun with Friends’ was initiated to offer Friends members group activities that support cultural events in our community. 




  • Hire a part time marketing contractor to work with the marketing committee on increasing marketing efforts and awareness. (Complete)
  • Continue to work cooperatively with other arts organizations to more effectively target groups that would be interested in supporting the Symphony or attending the concerts.
  • Work to effectively implement the ‘Vision 2023’.
  • Increase attendance at all concerts, but most significantly at the fall and spring concerts where the most seating capacity remains available.
  • Continue as a Partner in Education with the school district's music department.




Needs Statement
  1. Operational funding for additional staff and professional services. 
  2. Program support through individual donations and corporate sponsorships.
  3. Office space (furnished) in Lee’s Summit to provide a centralized location for meetings, document storage, etc.
  4. A wider active volunteer base to help with fundraising opportunities and concerts.
  5. Establishment of an endowment to ensure that the Symphony is able to continue into the future.
    Service Categories
    Symphony Orchestras
    Areas of Service
    MO - Jackson County
    CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
    The Symphony's performance at Helzberg Hall in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts at the end of the tenth season was proof that Lee's Summit Symphony is here to stay.  It is an exciting time as we begin our twelfth season and second decade of providing high quality symphony performances! We are truly blessed with both an exceptional conductor and musicians who are committed to offering the finest musical programs at an affordable price.  During the 2016-2017 season we plan to diligently strive to work towards our Vision 2023. 
    Our Board and Friends organization continually strive to expand and strengthen the “Community of Symphony Supporters” through a variety of venues. We believe it is important to reach out to the surrounding communities and offer them the opportunity to experience the Lee’s Summit Symphony Orchestra, at affordable ticket prices, in a variety of venues – including the “Booms and Blooms” concert offered each year at Powell Gardens!
    Our dedicated Board of Directors works to ensure that we explore a variety of avenues, including private contributions, grants, and fundraising opportunities, in order to assist the Lee’s Summit Symphony in meeting its goals and objectives. The directors give generously of their time and unique talents to the organization. In addition 100 percent of our directors make a financial contribution to the Symphony personally or through their business each year.
    The orchestra is also supported by the Friends of the Lee's Summit Symphony. Our friends, led by capable and experienced volunteers, provide steadfast support for all of our events and plan fundraising opportunities to benefit the Symphony.
    Finally, we offer you the opportunity to join us by donating to sustain the financial health of the Lee’s Summit Symphony and maintain our affordable ticket prices. Please join the fans who enjoyed our concert season last year and the nearly 7,500 people who enjoy the concert at Powell Gardens each July!
    The Lee’s Summit Symphony presents four concerts each season at the Bernard C. Campbell Performing Arts Center at Lee’s Summit High School and one at Powell Gardens just east of Lee’s Summit.
    The October and March concerts feature traditional classical repertoire while the December holiday concert and July patriotic concert also include lighter holiday and patriotic selections. We offer two performances of the December concert and feature other arts groups from the community such as dancers from a local dance studio and community-based choirs.  On average, more than 7,500 people attend the July concert at Powell Gardens. This concert offers new listeners an opportunity to hear our Symphony at no additional charge and is a favorite of many of our musicians and patrons.
    Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Musical Performances
    Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
    Short-Term Success Short-term success for this program would include increasing attendance at concerts, increased membership in our support organization, and increased awareness of the Lee’s Summit Symphony’s existence in our community.
    Long-Term Success

    The long-term goal for this series of concerts is to continue to provide residents in Lee’s Summit and eastern Jackson County the opportunity to enjoy high quality orchestral performances at very reasonable cost, and to continue to find ways to partner with other arts groups in the community and introduce new generations of patrons to the excitement of classical performances. We also want to provide our musicians a challenging yet enjoyable environment in which to practice and perform.

    Program Success Monitored By
    Success is measured by quantifiable factors such as ticket sales, membership in the Friends of the Lee’s Summit Symphony, and donations (cash and in-kind support) from individuals and businesses in the area. Success is also measured evaluation of the performances and feedback from the musicians and patrons.
    Dr. Les Brothers, Chair of the Music Department at the University of Central Missouri, wrote, “What a pleasure to encounter the LSSO at its final Spring concert! My impressions are uniformly positive. Most striking are the strong, good-sounding string section—better than one expects in a regional orchestra—and the high quality of the principals. The players respond well to the able conducting of Russell Berlin, and together they are able to deliver convincing performances of difficult literature. Good music is a treasure and I discovered that the LSSO is a real jewel in the crown of metroplex arts.”
    Examples of Program Success
    The Lee’s Summit symphony consistently provides high quality musical activities in the community and a place for musicians to continue to learn, grow, and enjoy performing for audiences. We continue to program repertoire often performed by professional orchestras and expected a high level of professionalism from the musicians.  This musicianship was evident in their performance at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, a premier performance venue. 
    After every concert, we receive many compliments about our performances and appreciation for making these opportunities available and affordable in Lee’s Summit. New patrons consistently comment that they are pleasantly surprised that an orchestra of this caliber exists as a volunteer community orchestra.
    The Lee's Summit Symphony is proud to offer a high-quality Family Concert in the spring.  This event includes pre-concert activities such as, an instrument “petting zoo” (with assistance from the Heartland Music Academy), a demonstration by K.C. Strings, art work by elementary students, and a hands-on art activity provided by Summit Art.
    The concert usually features at least one special guest performer. Guests at past Family Concerts have included Joel Nichols, Bryan Busby, Marvin Gruenbaum, and Mike Metheny.  The concert also features an honor choir with sixth grade students from Lee’s Summit elementary schools. Concert repertoire consists of lighter favorites enjoyed by audience members of all ages.
    It is the goal of the Symphony to make the Family Concert a permanent part of its concert season.
    Program Budget $10,000.00
    Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music Appreciation
    Population Served K-12 (5-19 years), Children and Youth (0 - 19 years),
    Short-Term Success
    In the short term, our goal is to create a fun and inviting atmosphere in which youth can experience a symphonic performance. Success will be measured by concert attendance and financial support for future Family Concerts by individuals, businesses and foundations.
    Long-Term Success
    The goal for the Family Concert is to stimulate in the youth of our community an interest in learning to play an instrument and/or developing an appreciation for those who do. Additionally, we will introduce new generations to symphony performances and create future supporters, and possibly members, of our orchestra and other arts groups.
    Program Success Monitored By
    Success is measured by quantifiable factors such as attendance at the concert and financial support for future concerts of this type from individuals, businesses and foundations in the area. Success is also measured by feedback from our patrons and evaluation of the performance and feedback from the musicians themselves.
    Examples of Program Success

    In four years, the Lee's Summit Symphony's Family Concert has served more than 4,000 people including 699 youth and 472 performers and artists.

    Pre-concert instrument petting zoos feature a conducting station where young patrons have the opportunity to learn how to conduct an orchestra. Following the visit to the conducting station, a couple of young patrons in the front row of the performing arts center were seen passionately "conducting" the orchestra as the concert started. One only had to see their faces to know that music had claimed another convert. 
    CEO Comments

    Two major challenges face the LS Symphony.  The first is raising awareness of the symphony's presence within the community.  Although we are the largest Arts organization in the Lee's Summit, we are not a "fixture" within our community.  We have recently begun a more intense social media campaign coupled with an outreach to select groups through smaller performances that raise awareness of our quality and range.

    The second challenge is common to all Non-profits, increasing funding.  We have a renewed effort to promote on-line giving and have made changes in how and when we begin our fund raising campaign.  Thus far, these changes have resulted in a much earlier membership and sponsorship drive.

    Executive Director/CEO
    Executive Director Mr.&Mrs. Bob/Candy White
    Term Start Jan 2016
    Co-CEO/Executive Director
    Term Start
    Compensation Last Year
    Former CEOs
    Ms. Gloria Helmer May 2011 - June 2015
    Ms. Shelley Loethen Jan 2008 - June 2011
    Paid Full-Time Staff 0
    Paid Part-Time Staff 4
    Volunteers 115
    Paid Contractors 3
    Retention Rate 100%
    Formal Evaluations
    CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
    CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Semi-Annually
    Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
    Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
    Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
    Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
    Plans & Policies
    Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
    Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
    Management Succession Plan No
    Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
    Nondiscrimination Policy No
    Whistleblower Policy Yes
    Document Destruction Policy No
    The Lee's Summit Symphony enjoys a strong collaborative relationship wth the Lee's Summit R-7 School district.  In addition, the Symphony collaborates every year with a local dance studio and youth chorale that participates in the holiday concert.  The Symphony collaborates on an ad-hoc basis with other groups as events warrant. Over the past three years, the Symphony has collaborated with Summit Art and Summit Theater Group.  The Symphony plans to continue to work cooperatively with these organizations in order to enhance the arts in our community.   
    Government Licenses
    Is your organization licensed by the government? No
    CEO Comments

    Board Chair
    Board Chair Mr. Gary Fruits
    Company Affiliation Coldwell Banker Commercial Fishman & Company
    Term July 2015 to June 2017
    Email fruitscrew@aol.com
    Board Members
    Mr. Russell E. Berlin Jr.Retired Music Educator, Lee's Summit R-7 School District; Lee’s Summit Symphony Music Director (ex-officio member, non-voting)
    Mr. John Clabaugh Saint Luke's East Hospital
    Mrs. Kay Ford Retired Educator
    Mr. Gary Fruits Coldwell Banker Commercial Fishman and Company
    Mr. Bob Glaser Summit Bank of Kansas City
    Dr. Doug Hatridge Retired, Educator/Program Director UCM
    Ms. Gloria Helmer Retired Music Educator/Administrator
    Mr. Kirt Mosier Lee's Summit R7, Orchestra Conductor
    Mrs. Debra Moxley Retired Art Educator
    Mrs. Susie Newsam Retired Education Administration Assistant
    Dr. Emmanuel Ngomsi Language Consultant/Diversity Facilitator
    Dr. Kirk Nooks MCC-Longview College, President
    Ms. Barbara Prestage Adelman Travel
    Ms. Carol Rothwell Retired, Time Warner Cable
    Mr. Jim Stilley Retired Attorney
    Mrs. Kyla Stolz HCA Healthcare
    Mr. Bob White Retired, Lee's Summit R-7 School District
    Mrs. Candace White Retired Educator
    Board Demographics - Ethnicity
    African American/Black 2
    Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
    Caucasian 16
    Hispanic/Latino 0
    Native American/American Indian 0
    Other 0
    Board Demographics - Gender
    Male 10
    Female 8
    Unspecified 0
    Board Term Lengths 3
    Board Term Limits 2
    Board Meeting Attendance % 85%
    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 7
    Standing Committees
    Board Governance
    Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
    Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
    Advisory Board Members
    Dr. Kevin Daniel Associate Superintentent, LSR7 Schools
    Mrs. Marsha Gibson Retired Healthcare Administrator
    Dr. Fred Grogan Retired, MCC Longview President
    Mr. Marvin Gruenbaum Violist KC Smyphony Orchestra
    Dr. Barbara Thompson Psychologist
    Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2016
    Fiscal Year End June 30, 2017
    Projected Revenue $122,050
    Projected Expenses $122,050
    Endowment Value $5,000
    Spending Policy Income Only
    IRS Letter of Exemption
    Foundation Comments
    • FYE 6/30/2015, 2014, 2013: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990. 
    • Foundations/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
    Detailed Financials
    Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
    Fiscal Year201520142013
    Foundation and
    Corporation Contributions
    Government Contributions$18,690$15,654$4,113
    Individual Contributions--$0--
    Investment Income, Net of Losses$949$2,817$800
    Membership Dues$0$0$0
    Special Events$11,545$980$579
    Revenue In-Kind$26,460$23,971$22,675
    Expense Allocation
    Fiscal Year201520142013
    Program Expense$78,712$87,997$82,364
    Administration Expense$53,622$48,565$36,861
    Fundraising Expense$31,982$19,153$15,368
    Payments to Affiliates--$0--
    Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.820.971.05
    Program Expense/Total Expenses48%57%61%
    Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue46%23%25%
    Assets and Liabilities
    Fiscal Year201520142013
    Total Assets$52,399$79,058$78,298
    Current Assets$26,105$58,122$59,288
    Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
    Current Liabilities$14,431$10,743$5,726
    Total Net Assets$37,968$68,315$72,572
    Short-Term Solvency
    Fiscal Year201520142013
    Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.815.4110.35
    Long-Term Solvency
    Fiscal Year201520142013
    Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
    Top Funding Sources
    Fiscal Year201520142013
    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

    Although the LSSO has experienced a net loss in the last two fiscal years, we finished the 2015-16 season with a funds balance of $4,736.00 boosting our net assets to $60,230.00.  This positive growth was due to significant change in how contract employees are bid and paid.  We anticipate a financially successful season this year with continued funds balance growth.

    Organization Name Lee's Summit Symphony Orchestra
    Address PO Box 352
    Lee's Summit, MO 640630352
    Primary Phone (816) 401-5251
    Contact Email office@lssymphony.org
    CEO/Executive Director Mr.&Mrs. Bob/Candy White
    Board Chair Mr. Gary Fruits
    Board Chair Company Affiliation Coldwell Banker Commercial Fishman & Company
    Year of Incorporation 2003