In his lifetime, Dr. Richard Schupp has lived his passion for live performance many times over. His joy comes not just from being an audience member, but also from being on stage behind the drums. As a percussionist, Richard has performed at The White House, Carnegie Hall, and many stages across the country. As an audience member, he’s ignited that passion in others by inviting them to attend productions such as The Nutcracker with him.
Richard discovered his passion for music at a young age. He recalls being packed in a yellow school bus with other grade school kids to go see The Nutcracker over the holidays. Although he doesn’t remember many details from that moment, he does recall the dancing, the music, and the impression it made on him. Several years later, he began his journey as a percussionist in school band. He would go on to attend the UMKC Conservatory of Music, honing the craft that would take him on a tour across the country for the next 20 years.
His music career began with a band named “Truth.” Traveling by bus and performing hundreds of times a year, his passion was his reality every day. He enjoyed connecting with other musicians and observing the audience’s response to their music. It was in these years that he performed at many remarkable places, and even on television. Owing to the dedication he gave to his music; he received both a Grammy nomination and induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Even after returning to the Kansas City area, he still accepts opportunities to perform.
Sharing his passion for Ballet
“There’s a joy in dance, to be a part of the music and performing for people.” Richard knows that joy as a performer, and since moving back to Kansas City he has experienced it in the audience of Kansas City Ballet productions. Having a trained musical ear, he finds himself observing how the rhythm of the live music and the dancers interact. The Ballet offers so much to him with the “color, movement, and live music all seeming effortless, yet pushing the limits at the same time.” Having spent years as a performer, Richard says he knows firsthand “how much hard work and dedication it takes to make that happen.”
Attending with long-time friend Marilu Goodyear, Richard invited her friends, a mother and her daughter, who had never seen The Nutcracker, to attend it with him. Sitting in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre, Richard enjoyed the thrill of experiencing the performance through them. He recalls getting a kick out of seeing “the look on their face as they saw the dancers and their movements, the props, and the scenery.” He hopes this experience gave them a memory to cherish for the rest of their lives.
Making Kansas City Ballet a part of his legacy
In addition to sharing his passion with others, Richard is a member of the Tatiana Dokoudovska Legacy Society. “I want those who haven’t experienced [Kansas City Ballet] yet to have that opportunity,” Richard said. “It enriches their lives. That’s what the arts do.” Just as seeing The Nutcracker as a child enriched his life, he hopes many others will have that opportunity for years to come.
For Richard, supporting Kansas City Ballet is not just about supporting his passions today, but also about ensuring the Ballet will be there for others tomorrow. To honor this goal, Richard chose to include the Ballet in his estate plans. “My family is pretty fortunate, everyone is secure. It’s an easy thing to do from my perspective.” With just a few simple words in his will, Richard has ensured that audiences will be enjoying ballet well into the future.
Leave Your Legacy
Once your family and friends are provided for, we hope you’ll consider making Kansas City Ballet part of your Legacy. It is one of the most meaningful things you can give to future generations, and we’d be honored by your thoughtfulness. To discuss a gift that is meaningful to you, contact Rebecca Zandarski at 816.216.5597 or by email.