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The Sound of Music on the Kansas Prairie
By Tom Adkinson

IN THE FLINT HILLS – When rides in covered wagons are part of the entertainment before a symphony concert, you just know that a big event will follow – especially after you’ve driven miles into the countryside to reach the outdoor performance location.

flint hills kansas
Rides in covered wagons on the Kansas Prairie. Image by Tom Adkinson.

The occasion is the Symphony in the Flint Hills, an annual concert by the Kansas City Symphony that draws more than 7,000 people to wide-open spaces for stirring music, a panoramic sunset and a sing-along of “Home on the Range.” It is June 10 this year on the Deer Horn Ranch between Abilene and Manhattan, with a special performance from Michael Martin Murphey. The concert’s purpose is to heighten appreciation of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem. The story of that ecosystem (only 4 percent of the original 170 million acres of North American prairie exist today, mostly in the Flint Hills) is explained at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, a unit of the National Park Service.

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Published April 21, 2017

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