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Great Bend native Pinkall to attend Grammys
Kansas City Chorale Chorales album nominated for two awards
new deh pinkall opera pic
Great Bend native Bryan Pinkall, left, performs one of his many operatic roles. He will be attending the Grammy Awards as a member of the Kansas City Chorale. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Nominations for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards were announced in December and the Kansas City Chorale, under the direction of Artistic Director Charles Bruffy, has been nominated for two of the honors Awards for its recording: Life & Breath: Choral Works by René Clausen.
Artistic Director Charles Bruffy and over 20 singers, including Great Bend native Bryan Pinkall, will travel to Los Angeles and attend the Grammy Awards ceremony on Feb. 10. His parents Gary and Michelle Pinkall still live in Great Bend.
 Pinkall is in his first season with the Kansas City Chorale. He grew up in Great Bend, studying music from Connie Schneweis and Betty Erikson. He was also a member of the Great Bend High School Madrigals and A Cappella choirs under the direction of Susan Stambaugh.
Pinkell holds a Master of Music degree in Voice and Conducting Performance from Kansas State University where he also obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music. He currently is completing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Voice from the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri Kansas City.
In addition to the Kansas City Chorale, Pinkell has performed with many symphony orchestras, professional choirs, opera companies, and recording groups sharing the stage with many music greats including Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Placido Domingo, and Aretha Franklin.
“The Kansas City Chorale has been one of the greatest experiences of my life,” Pinkall said. “I am so honored and excited to represent our ensemble on music’s biggest night!”
Life & Breath: Choral Works by René Clausen is the first recording dedicated entirely to the music of Clausen by a professional choir – and the first solo recording for the Kansas City Chorale on Chandos Records. The album also includes the world premiere recording of Clausen’s Mass for Double Choir. One of the most prolific choral composers of his time, Clausen’s music is known by American choirs across the country – anyone that has sung in an American college, high school, community or church choir across the United States has performed his music.
“René’s music is intimately beautiful and stirring. His Mass for Double Choir will in time join the ranks of favorite choral masterpieces,” Bruffy said. “It was an honor and pleasure to dive into the pages and I’m thrilled with the response we’ve had from people who’ve heard it. Even though this level of recognition is never our goal, we find this signal of support and approval from the Academy particularly gratifying.”
In 2009, the Kansas City Chorale’s recording Rheinberger: Sacred Choral Works was nominated for two Grammy Awards including “Best Choral Performance” and “Best Surround Sound Album.” In 2008, the ensemble’s recording Grechaninov: Passion Week, was nominated for four awards, including “Best Classical Album,” “Best Choral Performance,” “Best Surround Sound Album,” and won a Grammy for “Best Engineered Album, Classical.”
Both recordings were part of a series of joint-recordings on Chandos with the Phoenix Chorale, also led by ruffy. For more about the Kansas City Chorale, visit
In September 2011, Pinkell performed as part of the gala grand opening of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. He shared the stage with operatic legend Placido Domingo and violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman.