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Summer Concert Series 2015

Have you ever noticed how much better food tastes outdoors like at a picnic? Music is the same way! Trust me on this. With that in mind, after an incredibly successful regular season the Central Kentucky Concert Band is pleased to announce the commencement of its Summer Concert Series. This series always features a great variety of musical genres from patriotic to popular to include some classical and jazzy selections. The band will open the season on June 14 at 4 p.m. at the Lexington Veterans Medical Center grounds 2250 Leestown Road where it will give a little back to our veterans who have given so much to us.

The series will continue on July 5th at 7 p.m. where the band will be the guest of the Garden Club of Kentucky which is always a great time! Come see the band at the exquisitely manicured gardens of the historic Wallis House, 616 Pleasant Street in beautiful Paris that day.

Concluding their series for the summer, the band will be sponsored by the Friends of the Arboretum and will perform al fresco in the midst of the gently rolling hundred acres of the University of Kentucky’s Arboretum on July 11 at 7 p.m. Please note that while Alumni Drive is under construction you can get to the Arboretum from Alumni Drive on the Tates Creek side.

The band’s conductor, Ben Hawkins, and associate conductor, Les Anderson, will be leading the band on June 14 and will head out for much-deserved vacations afterward. In their place, the band is excited to welcome Chief Warrant Officer Gregory Stepp, the conductor of the 202nd Army Band of the National Guard as guest conductor for the July concerts. HOOAH! Welcome, CWO Stepp!

As always, the band’s concerts are free and open to all!

peonies

—Mark Mitchell, CKCB PR Manager

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2015 in Concerts & Events, News

 

Concert May 3, Lexington Opera House

ONE DEGREE OF SEPARATION

H. Owen Reed was a champion of band repertoire. In 1948 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Intent on writing the first symphony for band, he drew on his experiences from his travels to Mexico where he visited Mexico City,  Chapala and Cuernavaca immersing himself in the musical culture he found in such places as cathedrals and bullfight arenas. The symphony he wrote from those experiences was “La Fiesta Mexicana.”

Please join us for our next concert! Sunday, May 3, Lexington Opera House, 3 PM.  Admission is free.

Please join us for our next concert! Sunday, May 3, Lexington Opera House, 3 PM. Admission is free.

Flash forward to the 1990s where Ben Hawkins, the current conductor of the Central Kentucky Concert Band, began travelling to Mexico to such cities as Mexico City and Cuernavaca in a musical outreach program to assist in musical instruction and instrument repair. Hawkins, too, was immersed in the musical culture that Reed experienced.

Says Hawkins, “My experience was that virtually every Mexican I met was a musician, including those who weren’t involved in the classes I was teaching. Music-making seemed to me to be a far more integral part of the ‘average’ Mexican’s life than is true here.”

When asked if in his travels Hawkins heard the same musical influences as did Reed, Hawkins replied, “I don’t have the expertise to discern the musical styles of one region of Mexico from another, in the way that Reed must have experienced them. But in a general way the sounds of his piece ring true to me based on my own travels.”

Hawkins replied when asked about the rewards of his travels to Mexico, “The single most significant reward to me was the overwhelming warmth, hospitality and gratitude that the people showed us. It was like that every time, in every town.”

Flash forward to 2015 where the Central Kentucky Concert Band is performing “La Fiesta Mexicana” in its upcoming concert at the Lexington Opera House at 3 PM on Sunday, May 3rd. Way back in the euphonium section is Dr. Earle Louder, retired Distinguished Professor Emeritus of euphonium and tuba from Morehead State University, who has performed with the band several times and has been a member of the band for two seasons. Dr. Louder was a student and band member at Michigan State University when H. Owen Reed was teaching there. Reed had his college band premiere “La Fiesta Mexicana” and Dr. Louder was there.

Says Louder, “As a student, I was in awe while in his presence. He was a quiet-spoken man who knew his business thoroughly. He, also, was a very personable human being who would put you at ease while carrying on a conversation with you.”

Regarding the premiere performance of “La Fiesta Mexicana,” Louder said, “In my opinion, the first performance of ‘La Fiesta Mexicana’ was well received and I felt honored to be a part of that performance.”

“I, personally, think La Fiesta Mexicana is a wonderful piece especially for concert band literature. I, again, personally, think that Dr. Reed had in mind the ‘larger symphonic band’ as the ensemble for this composition. This allows very large to very small ensembles within the entire band to set a variety of sounds imitating the various impromptu gatherings of the peoples of Mexico.”

In the Michigan band, Louder recalled some of Reed’s direction: “I do remember one of his, at the time, unique instructions. It kind of reminded me of the way a performer should look at playing jazz rhythms. His instructions, for the Aztec Dance and the Carnival [two of the  three movements in the selection], were not to play the inherent rhythms strictly ‘mathematically and rhythmically’ correct, but rather to feel the dance like rhythms within each measure and be sure to meet together on the bar line. In other words, ‘don’t be stiff, feel the rhythms.’”

Who knew that one day, two countries, two bands, two states, and two persons would be linked in such a unique and unexpected manner?

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.

Post by Mark Mitchell, CKCB PR Director

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2015 in News

 

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.

SONY DSC

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 http://youtu.be/xZyXCOAjXrI
  2. Mass http://youtu.be/4kSlyE2JU9Y
  3. Carnival http://youtu.be/xIg9BqetvmY

John Williams: Overture to “The Cowboys” http://youtu.be/gT_DXHYPy4I

Genaro Codina: Zacatecas (march) http://youtu.be/NxdKXTdcHyc

Aaron Copland: “The Promise of Living” from The Tender Land http://youtu.be/oLVyRvp2Qbg

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

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz31cD4MOsDqcm5YOFpqamYtd1U/view?usp=sharing

Clare Grundman: Kentucky 1800 https://youtu.be/pIb8mT8qZEw

 
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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.

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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 bhawkins@transy.edu 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.

BH

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2015 in News

 
 
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