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Allegrō Choirs of Kansas City

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Small Business Feature - Allegrō Choirs of Kansas City

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Christy Elsner, Artistic and Executive Director of the Allegrō Choirs of Kansas City, has a passion for transforming lives through song, and that passion has enabled her to grow her non-profit over the years.

Growing up in a small town in western Kansas, the thought of being a business owner never crossed Elsner’s mind. “If someone would’ve told me in high school that I would eventually own my own business, I never would’ve thought that could be a possibility,” she said. That possibility turned into reality 22 years ago.

“I was a school teacher and had just had my second baby,” said Elsner. “I wanted to stay home and find something flexible, but keep my career and passion alive. I had student taught with Janeal Krehbiel who had founded the Lawrence Children’s Choir, and I wanted to do something similar."

In 1999, Allegrō, in Italian musical terms means “lively and quick,” was founded. The organization began with just 38 singers and has since grown to more than 200 singers and five ensembles.  The first ensemble is Allegrō Con Brio, which means brilliance, offers advanced choral training and vocal development for young women in high school.  The second ensemble, Vivo Allegrō, which refers to small, is for treble singers, grades 5-7, and provides vocal training in an energetic, loving atmosphere. The third ensemble, Poco Allegrō, which means really small, is an introductory choir for grades 3-5 and places emphasis in developing strong vocal singing habits.  The fourth ensemble, Allegrō Con Moto, meaning motion, is for young women in middle and high school who have a desire to perform at a higher musical level and the final ensemble is Allegrō Con Spirito, which means with spirit, is an ensemble for young men with a focus on vocal development.

Over the years, Allegrō has been able to travel all over the world, performing at notable venues such as Notre Dame in Paris, the Vatican, Carnegie Hall and Meyerson Symphony in Dallas. The most significant performance to-date was when they were asked to sing for the Obamas at The White House.  “We had the opportunity to take 24 girls and sing at a reception for two hours as guests were walking in,” said Elsner. “We went to The Green Room and the girls had kicked off their shoes and were running around.  The amazing pastry chef had made cookies that looked like the Obama’s dog with black and white frosting and a red bow. Our girls ended up with black tongues and lips from eating the cookies! As they were trying to clean up, we received an invite to sing for President and Mrs. Obama in the diplomatic receiving room.  The Obama’s arrived shortly after and it was one of the most incredible experiences we’ve had here at Allegro.”

Elsner is giving her students the experiences she always wanted as a child and more. “It’s important to show these singers that if you have a dream, you can make it come true.  If you have a passion, you can make it happen,” said Elsner. “Being a part of Allegrō has taught these singers self-discipline, determination and team work. We focus on the choir as a whole and the amazing things we can do together—ideals and skill-sets that we hope our singers take with them to make really big changes in our world.”

Both Elsner and her husband, who is also a business owner, have been long-time partners and fans of Capitol Federal®.  “We feel like we’ve always had professional and personal service dealing with CapFed®,” said Elsner.  “Jacob Esser has been our banker for many years and has worked with us in helping to build our businesses. Growing up in a small town, it was important that we find a bank where there was a community feel and support of our community, and CapFed gave us all of those things in one basket. We are proud, long-time customers of CapFed and hope to be for many years!”

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