Students practice for Musical Bridges benefit concert

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Dozens of area kids showed off their musical talents Wednesday morning all in preparation for an upcoming benefit concert.

It's all part of Musical Bridges, which brings a group of urban African-American and Hispanic youth together to be tutored by UMKC Conservatory of Music students and faculty, along with women volunteers from the African-American community.

The focus of the group is to provide private musical lessons to those students who may not be able to afford expensive lessons elsewhere.

But the group is so much more than that.

"Our goal is to create well-rounded individuals who will go to college and be part of the community," said Mark Stauffer, Musical Bridges coordinator, and an instructor of Cello.

After being started in 2007, the group has grown tremendously. They currently have 46 students enrolled in lessons, amoung 12 schools in both Kansas and Missouri, but they are hoping to continue to expand.

A benefit gala to raise funds for the group will be held at 7:30 p.m. Fri., April 26, at the Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity.

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