Libby Hanssen writes for the joy of words and the process of constructing a story, maintaining the culture blog Proust Eats a Sandwich. She write about music and dance for KC Studio, The Pitch and KCUR.org. For seven years, she was the primary arts correspondent for The Kansas City Star (reviewing classical music, jazz, opera, and dance) previously contributing to KCMetropolis.org (traditional and new classical, jazz, brass, and theater). Selections of poetry are published in the Kansas City-based literary website Kawsmouth.com. She is a member of the Academy of American Poets , International Artwhistling Philharmonic Society, Kansas City Plein Air Coterie (now defunct), and the Cloud Appreciation Society; her vanity-press includes Murray Goes to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2011, The Town Musicians of Roeland Park, 2013, and Zeltjes Gezellig Verjaardagfeestje, 2016. The call number for her submission to The Sketchbook Project is 216.5-5.
A lapsed trombone player, she holds degrees from University of Missouri-Kansas City (M.M.) and Ball State University (B.M.) in trombone performance and also studied graduate-level music education at Indiana University. She studied trombone with John Seidel, Carl Lenthe, JoDee Davis, John Huntoon and Denis Wick, and music education with Brent Gault, Estelle Jorgensen and Katherine Strand.
While at IU, she taught classes in general music, focusing on listening skills and music fundamentals through practical music usage and exploring new sound constructions, and performed with the International Vocal Ensemble. During the course of her studies at UMKC, she performed with many ensembles, including the Conservatory Orchestra and Musica Nova. She has also performed with the Kansas City Puccini Festival, the People’s Liberation Big Band of Greater Kansas City, the New Jazz Order, the Indiana Wind Symphony and the Muncie Symphony Orchestra.
In 2010, she was a fellow (one of 23 journalists selected from across the US) for the seventh annual National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Arts Journalism Institute in Classical Music and Opera at Columbia University’s Journalism School in New York City.
She and her jazz musician husband (with an assist from their stinky Lhasa Apso) are rearing an Ivesian little boy and a starbright baby girl on the outskirts of Kansas City. Most of her free time is spent eating good food, drinking good beer, and exploring with her camera. She no longer has free time and neglects this blog space with an ever increasing sense of guilt.
She listens to KKFI – Kansas City Community Radio and KCUR – Kansas City’s NPR station,visiting Kansas City’s fine collection of museums and galleries, and scavenging in thrift and antique stores to add to her collection of toy instruments, going to playgrounds every fine day and watching her children play with rocks, collecting naturally created heart shapes, listening to bird song and environmental noises, polishing haikus, and has recently taken a deep interest in child psychology and sunscreen application.