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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Octarium

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Performing Arts, Singing & Choral Groups, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Octarium is Latin for “Eight as One,” and the name defines our mission: Eight Singers, One Choral Voice. Octarium is committed to fostering and promoting the development and appreciation of the art of choral music through innovative and engaging programming, seeking to inspire, enlighten and educate.

Programs: See http://octarium.org/education.html for a description of our outreach programs.

Community Stories

58 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been to two previous concets and am in awe of the voices. I espically enjoy Brady Shepherd's solo's. I am looking forward to the Feb. 19th concert.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

How do you write a review on perfection. The pure sounds of Octarium are a delight. Dr. Blackwood evidently knows how to bring out the best in these talented performers and she shares this insight in Octarium's educational work. The concert at the World War I Museum was outstanding and Octarium's rendition of "America the Beautiful" was most moving. Thank you for all your hard work!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Fabulous! A singular and highly erudite group of singers. Cheers to Krista Blackwood and all of her efforts.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My wife and I have attended many of Octarium's performances. We have done so for years. Our age and distance from KC has not detered us. Each performance has been a treasure. We have both felt transformed by what we hear. The eight singers of Octarium blend beautifuly. Their harmomies resonate throughout the glorious spaces of their venues that then echo in our memories. It is clear that their dirctor, Krista Blackwood, has with grace and skill helped them realize the composer's intent and has thus brought to life a vision of the eternal.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Octarium consistently brings me joy, whether it is listening in person at a concert or listening at home to a CD. Going to an Octarium Christmas concert is one of my rituals, a centering, peaceful and inspiring occasion. They did one of this year's concerts in a beautiful old church in the urban core that could not afford to keep the heat on. We wore our coats and listened to these angels sing, then took up a donation for the church....all generated by Octarium. I am a career non-profit volunteer and I consider Octarium to be the perfect combination of performing a service beneficial to its clients and helping the community at the same time.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a treasure Octarium is. A group of professionals who take time to share their rare talents with an adoring public. Each performance is awaited eagerly by us and I hope they will be able to perform more often.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Listening to Octarium is like a bit of heaven. I enjoy listening to their CD’s as well as attending their live concerts. Thank you Dr. Krista Lang Blackwood, Artistic Director, Ashley Winters, Amy Waldron, Renee Stanley, Leah Jenkins, Jaime Scherrer, Andrea Coleman, Jason Parr, Jay Van Blaricum, Brady Shepherd, Benjamin Winters for sharing your talents. Thank you to everyone involved for the work you do to bring us this gift.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had the privilege to work with Octarium on a short recording project. It was a thrill to work with them from the composer's perspective and I heartily agree with Morton Lauridsen's and other composer's praise for Octarium. They took great pains to respectfully interpret and perform my work and had a fabulous dynamic. I am proud to have a Octarium recording of my choral music.

Rob F.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first heard of Octarium through a friend. I looked them up on YouTube and was instantly enchanted by their sound. I then ordered the two cds they had available at the time and have listened to them frequently on my iPod ever since. Octarium’s motto; goal; raison d’etre (if you will) of eight voices as one, as evidenced in their name and sound, is one that all vocal ensembles should strive for but few do. When the opportunity arose for me to hear them live, I was thrilled. They perform frequent outreach programs with college and university choral groups and end their day with a concert. I drove three hours to hear them and was not disappointed. As great as they are in recording, they are even better live. It is evident to me that they are dedicated to education and are uncompromisingly strong advocates of the arts in America. I cannot recommend a small vocal ensemble more highly than Octarium.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I currently live in Texas. Every year, on the long-awaited first cool day of fall, I giddily slip my Octarium Hodie CD into the computer, close my eyes, and apparate back to Kansas City. This group has a specifically Midwestern sound, warm and enveloping. I instantly feel like I'm by a fire with a hot cup of coffee.

Elizabeth S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The first time I heard Octarium, I was driving down the turnpike at 70 mph and their Thompson's "Alleluia" came on the radio. I was so struck with the sound that I almost had to pull over and stop. The melody, the dynamics, the balance, and just the sheer size and quality of the sound literally brought tears of joy to my eyes. I could not believe I was listening to only eight voices! Now I have all the albums and attend concerts any time they are within 100 miles of me.

Graham M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Octarium has taken their craft to a very high level. Each year this ensemble has sung together clearly shows in their performances. Their ability to anticipate each other's cues is virtually unmatched in the choral ensemble world. To perform with such precision and passion without a conductor shows just how talented and dedicated each member is. The result: music that will take you far, far away from whatever room you are in when you hear it.

Roxana S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had the incredible good fortune to be part of a fundraiser at which Octarium performed. Not only was their performance perfectly suited for the venue, and the charity, in was positively divine. Octarium should be counted as a local, national and global musical gem and I consider it a great privilege to walk among their fans.

Sharon S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

To hear Octarium sing is like being in heaven. I have been lucky enough to hear them sing several times now, and I usually have to drive several hours to do it. It is worth it every time. From sacred choral music to traditional choral music to experimental forms and new composers, they are up to the challenge. It is my good fortune to have them in my musical life.

Pat W.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This season Octarium warmed up the sanctuary of St. Marks with lush tones and spot-on harmony. The occasion was a benefit concert to raise money for the city neighborhood church that could not pay its heating bills.

This musical organization is an absolute GEM that a friend and I had the good luck to stumble upon when looking for quality entertainment. What good fortune to have found them!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Octarium provides all residents of Kansas City and those of us who enjoy their recordings with a wonderful, imaginative and uplifting experience. Their musicality is extrarodinary and the blend of voices is ethereal. Clearly they have a commitment to the highest standards of performance.

John P.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Octarium is a very focused music organization. Its mission is to preserve the great a cappella music from the past as well as the present. It serves the Kansas City area well in this mission, and it's starting to collaborate with other civic organizations to serve not only in the arts, but also historic preservation (among others).

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Octarium was kind enough to donate their talents to a service of Lessons and Carols at our church, St. Mark Lutheran, in December of 2010. I was fortunate enough to have a seat in the chancel where they were singing, and I was mesmerized. The singers were perfectly pitched and their voices blended spectacularly.