Showcasing the Arts

November/December 2017 Featured Artist:
Kentucky Symphony Orchestra


Kentucky Symphony Orchestra
The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra performs a concert for fourth- and fifth-graders in October. For 23 years, the ensemble has offered free education programs to 225 schools and students throughout northern Kentucky.
The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra was founded in the fall of 1992 by its current music director, James Cassidy, as the Northern Kentucky Symphony Inc. The symphony began with a unique mission – to make symphonic music and the concert experience attractive, accessible and affordable to northern Kentucky residents. Throughout its 25 years, the symphony has gained national acclaim for its thematic programming. Programs include visual elements (video, dancers, distinctive lighting, staging, etc.) and a wide range of musical genres. The symphony stands out in the rich Greater Cincinnati arts environment through its past collaborations with both international acts (2Cellos, Igudesman & Joo) and local artists (UK Opera Theatre, Northern Kentucky Brotherhood Singers), as well as unique partners like Hasbro Toys, NBC’s Saturday Night Live, The Peanuts Gang and Disney.

Taking advantage of a rich talent setting, the KSO has formed several subsidiary groups to authentically explore various American musical styles, such as the Newport Ragtime Band, The Floodwall Jazz Quintet, Covington Devou-doo Daddies, KSO Boogie Band and the K-so Combo, a seven-piece instrumental combo performing Bert Kampfert to Rush.

The Northern Kentucky Symphony changed its name to the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra (KSO) in 2001 to avoid confusion with Northern Kentucky University's music school, where the KSO often performs. The KSO offers three series of performances annually — a five-program subscription series, a free three-concert summer series at Covington’s Devou Park and a free educational outreach series at Florence Baptist Church. In addition, the KSO and its subsidiary groups perform multiple runout performances across the region.

Boasting many debuts and premieres, the KSO believes live performance is key to keeping music vital, fresh and engaging for new generations. Using technology to enhance the educational and entertainment aspect of each performance remains an evolving component to KSO performances. The KSO, as a per-service, non-union orchestra, has hired 1,469 individual musicians, with hundreds moving on to positions with major and regional orchestras across the globe. In this regard, the KSO provides opportunity for musical development and experimentation.

Kentucky Symphony Orchestra
Newport, Ky.
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Page last updated: November 21, 2017
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