KCKCC is host for virtual music festival Nov. 19-20

Kansas City Kansas Community College will be the site of a November virtual music festival featuring the Los Angeles based pop-jazz vocal group, m-pact.

The m-pact Virtual Vocal Festival is Nov. 19 and 20 and can be seen through the festival’s website at https://www.m-pact.com/vocal-festival.

In addition to online master classes, there will be virtual clinics, video performances and a variety of other presentations and educational opportunities. The festival, which is a collaboration between KCKCC’s Music and Media Services departments, is free and open to anyone who would like to participate, however, donations are being accepted to help offset the cost of presenting the festival.

The festival will feature vocal ensembles from 10 states and three countries. KCKCC’s “Fusion,” “Funk Band” and “The Standard” are also scheduled to perform. Each night of the festival closes with a virtual concert by m-pact. To see the full schedule, visit www.m-pact.com/vocal-festival.

Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “one of the best pop-jazz vocal groups in the world” m-pact is known for its sophisticated sound that has won the group Vocal Group of the Year at the L.A. Music Awards and an Indie nomination from the Independent Grammys.

The group has been named Grand National Champs of the Harmony Sweepstakes competition and has performed with artists such as Boyz II Men, Sheryl Crow, the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Maynard Ferguson Big Band and Natalie Cole, among many others. Their “signature sound” can also be heard in television theme songs as well as Disney feature films and on radio stations throughout the world.

Started in 1995, m-pact has made five full-length albums, three EP’s and several single releases and continue to receive rave reviews and multiple awards. Billboard Magazine named them the “Best Unsigned Band” and in 2014, the group joined with New York a cappella powerhouse Duwende to produce “I Wish for All Time,” an a cappella tribute to Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. M-pact continues to thrill audiences with their innovative orchestrations and stage presence as well as their vocals as they work to stay true to the music they are performing.

  • From Kelly Rogge, KCKCC public relations officer

All KCKCC athletic events pushed back to next spring

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Kansas City Kansas Community College will be without any competitive sports this fall.

By a vote of the membership, the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) postponed all fall and winter athletic events and moved them to next spring because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I am in full support of the decision made by the NJCAA leadership,” KCKCC Athletic Director Tony Tompkins said. “They did a great of gathering feedback from the various regions. I believe this is the best approach for our student-athletes to have the opportunity to compete and finish their seasons.

“Things are going to look a lot different this season but I am very optimistic we can still provide a great atmosphere for our athletes to be successful both academically and athletically,” he said.

The vote affects six KCKCC sports – men’s and women’s soccer, golf, volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball. Baseball, softball and golf events are annually on the spring schedule.

Athletes will be allowed to practice in all sports during the fall and officials in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) are looking into the possibility of a limited number of scrimmages between conference members.

“We are expecting the KJCCC to finalize decisions about scrimmages at our meeting in early August,” Tompkins said. “There’s a wide range of recommendations from across the state but we are all in agreement that the health and safety of our athletes is our top priority.”

All KCKCC athletes will have daily screenings and additional preventive measures will be put in place by Aug. 1 to provide a safe environment for those involved. The parameters for each of the sports with dates subject to change by NJCAA and KJCCC guidelines:

Soccer – 60 days of fall practice between Aug. 15-Nov. 15. Spring practice permitted starting March 15 with a starting date of April 2. No more than 14 games allowed and all tournament play must be completed by May 24. Nationals championships will begin June 2.

Volleyball – Fall practice allowed between Aug. 15-Nov. 15. Spring practice may begin Jan. 11 with competition to being May. 29. Play will be limited to a maximum of 21 dates with a completion date of April 3. The national championships will be held April 15-17.

Basketball – Practices allowed between Sept. 15-Dec. 15. The number of spring games will be limited to 22 with practice beginning Jan. 11 and competition Jan. 22. All play must be completed by April 11 with national championships beginning April 19.

Golf – Fall practices allowed between Sept. 5-Nov. 15. Spring practice can begin Jan. 10 and competition Jan. 22. National championship will be play May 11-14.

Baseball – Fall practices between Sept. 5-Nov. 15. Spring schedule will be limited to a maximum of 56 games with practices to begin Jan. 10 and competition Jan. 22. All competition must be completed by May 23 with the NJCAA DI World Series to begin May 29.

Softball – 60 days of fall practice allowed between Sept. 5-Nov. 15. Spring practice may begin Jan. 10 with competition starting Jan. 22. Schedule limited to 27 playing dates with all competition ended by May 19. The NCAA Division II national tournament will be played May 25-29.

Former Neosho coach new KCKCC volleyball assistant

Asya Herron

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

A Jayhawk Conference rival for 12 years, Asya Herron is bringing her vast volleyball coaching experience to Kansas City Kansas Community College as assistant coach.

“An ideal fit for our top 20 volleyball program,” said Blue Devil head coach Mary Bruno-Ballou. “We are so excited to have Asya on our staff and a part of the program. She brings a wealth of volleyball knowledge as well as incredible recruiting skills and will only help to advance our program to the next level.”

Herron has been head coach at Neosho Community College in Chanute for the last 10 years after starting her coaching career there, serving as assistant coach for two years beginning in 2008. In addition, she has coached the KC Power club team in Overland Park the last two years.

“I’m excited,” Herron said. “I love how Mary’s players always work hard and how she always has a strong program. Playing the Jayhawk, you’re always playing the toughest competition. When it comes to the Top 20 teams in the nation, it’s a no-brainer. The Jayhawk always has more teams in the Top 20 teams in the nation.”

With her experience at Neosho and coaching club teams in the Kansas City metro area, Herron will be particularly valuable in recruiting.

“I see a lot of kids and have a lot of former players, friends and contacts in the city and the state,” Herron said. As a head coach, she also brings a wealth of experience in student academics, scheduling, statistics and multiple other responsibilities.

A native of Chanute, Herron was a standout athlete in volleyball, basketball and softball at Chanute High School. She began her collegiate education at Neosho Community College, playing basketball and earning All-Jayhawk Conference honors in volleyball.

Herron completed her volleyball career at William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa, earning a Bachelor of Arts in sports management and administration in 2005. A classmate at William Penn, Joe McKinstry is the current women’s basketball coach at KCKCC.

Herron started coaching club teams while at William Penn. After two years as assistant at Neosho Community College, she was a graduate assistant at Pittsburg State for the 2008 spring semester before returning to Neosho that fall.