Every time George Crumb is performed, a little star is born. And when there's a George Crumb festival, stars go supernova. Last fall, a shimmering nebula of haunting, mystical Crumb works glowed over Kansas City, thanks to a graduate composition student named Nick Omiccioli. The spring before, Omiccioli returned to his alma mater, Heidelberg University in Ohio, with fellow doctoral candidates Brendan Kinsella (piano) and Jonathan Borja (flute) to be guest performers in Heidelberg's George Crumb Festival. On the 12-hour drive back to Kansas City, inspiration hit: a George Crumb festival here. Recruiting students and faculty to perform, the three friends made it happen: a two-day festival of virtuoso playing and ardent listening last October, just in time to celebrate Crumb's 80th birthday. With energy and enterprise like this on its side, contemporary classical music doesn't have to collapse into a black hole.