“I feel that the Kansas City Symphony is one of the ‘crown jewels’ in Kansas City’s performing arts scene,” says Harvey Bodker, a commercial real estate broker and Masterpiece Campaign donor.
A Kansas City native, Harvey got “involved” with symphonic music as a grade-schooler at J.C. Nichols School. “We went to our first young people’s concert on a typical yellow school bus. The conductor explained the role of each instrument in the orchestra and they played a few selections.” He has enjoyed classical music ever since.
As “young marrieds,” Harvey and his late wife, Beverly, enjoyed nights out at the then Kansas City Philharmonic. “It was one of the first philanthropies that we knew we should support, and our level of giving increased as we went along.” The Bodkers’ increased giving continued with the Kansas City Symphony, and Harvey notes, “we were very proud when we reached the Symphony Society level because it meant that we were doing our ‘fair share’ to support this fine orchestra.”
Harvey’s favorite symphony experience is when he had the opportunity to conduct in 1996. “Beverly was the successful bidder on that item in the radiothon, the annual fundraiser for the Symphony back in those days. She surprised me with it for a special birthday. I worked with Maestro Bill McGlaughlin and we decided that I would conduct ‘Toreador’ from Carmen!”
For Harvey, connection and community are at the heart of the Symphony. “The Kansas City Symphony paints with a ‘broad brush’ — whether it is classical, pops, jazz, or a youth concert, there is something for everyone. Those who came before us gave much to provide us with the Symphony we have today. Now, our charitable giving is essential to keep our ‘crown jewel’ thriving.”