Music: Culture in Kansas

With wild hopes but grave doubts, seven musicians gathered in Wichita, Kans. and laid plans to start a symphony orchestra. From the employees of Wichita's aircraft builders (Boeing, Beech) and the friendly musicians' union local, they managed to collect $300. They wrote letters to some 70 other musicians in nearby towns, asking them to play the first year without pay. The infant orchestra rehearsed in a hotel ballroom, where the players had to sweep the floor themselves. That was eleven years ago. Today, the Wichita Symphony has an $80,000 yearly budget and not even the local baseball club, the Wichita Indians,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!