Save the Date!

Save the date for CKCB’s next concert on May 3rd at 3:00 pm at the Lexington Opera House. Among other selections by giants of music literature, the band will be performing Aaron Copland’s “The Promise of Living” which is out of his epic opera “The Tender Land”. Erik Johns, under the pen name Horace Everett, crafted the lyrics of “The Promise of Living.” And while they center on a harvest, the term “harvest” itself has metaphorical implications for the band experience.

By working together we’ll bring in the blessings of harvest.
We plant each row with seeds of grain,
And Providence sends us the sun and the rain.
By lending a hand, by lending an arm
Bring out the blessings of harvest.

During each rehearsal, we, as band members, through practice and performance, tend our rows, planting them with seeds of grain and weeding them. Our fellow band mates, leaders, and family, in their role of fellow musicians and supporters, respectively, are extensions of Providence which sends us the sun and the rain, so together as a community we can bring out the blessings of harvest.

The promise of living, the promise of growing
The promise of ending is labor and sharing and loving.

With the commencement of each new concert cycle with new friends and with old friends, we renew the communal experience of playing our instruments. We, with our minds, our hands, and our spirits, experience the promise of living and the promise of growing through our mutual love of the labor of making music.


Image by Flickr user anthony posey.

[Post by CKCB PR Manager, Mark Mitchell]

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Posted by on April 14, 2015 in News


Playlist for May 3 concert

H. Owen Reed: La Fiesta Mexicana

  1. Prelude and Aztec Dance
  2. Mass
  3. Carnival

John Williams: Overture to “The Cowboys”

Genaro Codina: Zacatecas (march)

Aaron Copland: “The Promise of Living” from The Tender Land

(You may need to copy and paste the link into your browser.) John Gibson: Sonora

Clare Grundman: Kentucky 1800

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Posted by on March 5, 2015 in News


A Cure for the Common Cold

Chicken soup. Oranges. Those weird tasting lozenges that are supposed to shorten the time you are drippy and groggy. These are foods that you ingest to try and heal yourself when you have a cold. That time when you try to re-record your voice-mail message because your voice has taken on a celebrity tonality that is a bit growly, but there’s something you like about it.

But what do you do when it’s the weather that you’re sick of? What potion will protect you from the ice and the cold as winter twists Kentucky’s arm behind its metaphorical back?

The Central Kentucky Concert Band has just that potion in mind: a bit of the hair of the dog that bit you!

Choosing selections that evoke images of the frigid domain of this planet, such as “Antarctica” by Carl Wittrock, and composers from Scandanavia and its neighbors, such as Edvard Grieg and Carl Nielsen, the band’s conductor, Dr. Ben Hawkins, hopes to “send winter whence it came.”

Concert Poster

Concert Poster

To get Winter’s attention, the band’s Associate Conductor Les Anderson will be featured in this performance as he conducts Gliere’s “Russian Sailor’s Dance.” Russia is famous for its cold weather as any Dr. Zhivago fan knows.

To show Old Man Winter the door, the concert will feature music from areas south of the Arctic Circle, too. Says Hawkins, “We will recognize the Acadians, who under duress, departed maritime Canada for the warmer climes of Louisiana with Frank Ticheli’s ‘Cajun Folk Songs.’”

To join the Central Kentucky Concert Band in its musical incantation to ward off the cold, stop by Haggin Auditorium at Transylvania’s Mitchell Fine Arts Center on Sunday, March 1 at 3:00 p.m. The band will have a reception afterward. And the auditorium is heated, too.

Admission to the concert is free.

The Central Kentucky Concert Band was formed in 1976 and is an outlet for adult musicians in the Central Kentucky region to play with an ensemble. Based at Transylvania University, the band performs three concerts each year along with an outdoor concert series throughout central Kentucky. It has received financial support from LexArts and private contributions and is a member of the Association of Concert Bands of America, Inc.


For more information, please contact Mark Mitchell.

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Posted by on February 19, 2015 in News


New members are welcome!

If you play a wind or percussion instrument, or know someone who does, please consider joining the CKCB this semester. Interested musicians are invited to attend our first rehearsal of the new year this Thursday, January 8 from 7:30 – 9:30 in Room 203 of the Mitchell Fine Arts Center at Transylvania University.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Ben Hawkins at or 233-8259 (office).

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Posted by on January 3, 2015 in News


Happy New Year, CKCB!

I hope everyone has had a great holiday and is looking forward to our first rehearsal of 2015 this Thursday, January 8. In an attempt to exorcise the wintry weather that we are likely to be sick of by the time our March 1 concert rolls around, our program will be “Music of Cold Places.”

As you know, we have many fewer rehearsals for the March concert as we did for December. That makes attendance all the more critical to our musical success. Moreover, now that you have shown me how well you can play, I have programed repertoire that will challenge all of us to perform well.

Please consider inviting a friend (or friends) to join our happy troupe at this point in the year. We could especially use added strength in horns and trombones. We will have an oboist, and I am optimistic that we might snag a second one. Another competent percussionist would be good to have, as well. Otherwise, I think we are in excellent shape, although a good musician is always welcome, whatever their instrument.

I wish you all a happy and prosperous 2015, and eagerly anticipate seeing you and making music with you on Thursday.


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Posted by on January 3, 2015 in News


Time For Band!

Time is inextricably woven through the fabric of the band experience. One of the first instructions in a piece of music is the time signature—how fast the music will be played and what “gear” the music is written in—just as the pulse of a waltz is different than the pulse of a march.

A selection of music unwinds through time as it is being played. It begins and continues for a specific period of time, with each note and chord being on the crest of the wave that is time itself. When one looks at a piece of sheet music, one is, in effect, seeing a span of time in one glance. This may be how deities or time lords view time. Not that band members consider themselves as such. Well, maybe the trumpet players do.

The Central Kentucky Concert Band will be in concert on Sunday, December 7 at 3 PM. They’ll be performing at Transylvania University’s Mitchell Fine Arts Center’s Haggin Hall.

One of the selections they’ll be playing is the 3rd movement from Charles Ives’ Piano Sonata No. 2—Concord Sonata—“The Alcotts”. This dream-like selection draws from the transcendentalist movement of New England when Emerson and Thoreau—two of the most well-known transcendentalists of the day were writing. The piece itself is a collage of the sounds of the Alcotts’ house in Concord as the Alcott children practiced the 5th of Beethoven and other songs on the old piano that was given to them by Thoreau’s little sister, Sophia. Ives’ piece weaves these melodies throughout his work. In a sense, the listeners are transported through time and space to a house to hear generations of sounds and melodies that rang within it.

Ben Hawkins

Ben Hawkins

Time also figures prominently in the life of the band itself. This concert will be the debut of the return of Dr. Ben Hawkins, who again, after a two–decade absence again serves as the Director/Conductor of the Central Kentucky Concert Band. Hawkins is the Professor of Music; Program Director; and Director of Instrumental Ensembles at Transylvania University.

Says Hawkins, “It’s wonderful to be back with the Central Kentucky Concert Band after all these years. I have an even greater appreciation of the significance that music has for these adult players than I did during my first stint.”

“I am a different person now than I was the first time around, and the comparison causes me to reflect often and on a variety of subjects. Kind of of a personal time machine, I guess!”

Hawkins recognizes the significance of time throughout many of the selections the band is performing at the concert.

“Several of the works we are performing evoke the idea of time. The “Suite of Old American Dances, “Elegy for a Young American,” and “The Alcotts” are all nostalgic, in different respects of our American past. “Nimrod,” like the rest of the “Enigma Variations” refers to the ongoing rewards of friendship.”

The Central Kentucky Concert Band looks forward to maintaining a long friendship with their new conductor/director, Dr. Ben Hawkins.

Admission to the concert is free.

The Central Kentucky Concert Band was formed in 1976 and is an outlet for adult musicians in the Central Kentucky region to play with an ensemble. Based at Transylvania University, the band performs three concerts each year along with an outdoor concert series throughout central Kentucky. It has received financial support from LexArts and private contributions and is a member of the Association of Concert Bands of America, Inc.

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Posted by on December 2, 2014 in News


Concert December 7

The Central Kentucky Concert Band marches on (metaphorically)!CKCBposterDec2014

Come join us on Sunday, December 7 at 3 pm in Haggin Auditorium in the Mitchell Fine Arts Center at Transylvania University for “Old, New, Borrowed, Blue”!

Our new director/conductor, Dr. Ben Hawkins of Transylvania University fame, is once again in the saddle and leading us to make some great music together in his debut concert with the band.

And what a debut it is! We’ll be presenting some favorites like Bennett’s “Suite of Old American Dances” which ranges from cakewalks to ragtime, Berlioz’ “Hungarian March,” Sousa’s “The Free Lance March,” as well as many other selections which will warm you on a cold afternoon.

But wait! There’s more! Since Christmas is around the corner, we’ll also throw in a couple of holiday favorites just to get your sleigh bells jingling!

As always, our concert is free, and no tickets are required.

So come for the music and stay for the cookies at the reception!

Hope to see you there!


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Posted by on November 21, 2014 in Concerts & Events, News


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