“The best thing in the world is to make music. To be able to do that, I am privileged,” says Kansas City Ballet Music Director Ramona Pansegrau.
Kansas City Ballet Music Director Ramona Pansegrau has filled her summer with incredible (and stressful) musical experiences.
11th Annual USA International Ballet Competition
After Peter Pan wrapped on May 20, she was on a plane the next day to Jackson, Miss. She served as the music director for the 11th annual USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson June 10-23, 2018. This first trip was to find the music in the music library for all of the contestants.
The next day she boarded a plane bound for Massachusetts and the annual Jacob’s Pillow festival that she’s played a role in for the past 16 years. This year she helped prepare music for a world premiere ballet by Annabell Lopez Ochoa at the Opening Gala of Jacob’s Pillow on Saturday, June 16.
11th Annual USA International Ballet Competition Continued
Then she flew back to Jackson on June 19 for session 3 of the competition to rehearse the orchestra for the Awards Gala and the Encore Gala, June 22-23. All competition medalists perform their solos or pas de deux to live orchestra.
Here’s the thing, though. The medalists are chosen and the list of their performance music is given to Ms. Pansegrau around 2 or 3 a.m. Friday. That’s when the real fun begins as she must stay up all night to prepare and arrange all the music from the larger collection (97 lbs of music!) she pulled in May. Her first rehearsal with the orchestra was from 9 to 11:30 a.m., the morning of the Awards Gala. That was followed by orchestra and dancers rehearsing together from 1 to 3 p.m. A dress rehearsal came next, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., and the Gala began at 7:30 p.m. Learn even more about this challenging and brutal process in this Mississippi Today article where Ms. Pansegrau is featured.
Preparing for Kansas City Ballet’s 2018-2019 Season
Now that she’s back, she’s keeping busy working on a new set of orchestra parts for Kansas City Ballet’s February show, Lady of the Camellias.
On Aug. 6, she’ll be back in the studios playing optional company classes. The dancers will all return Aug. 20 for the season.