Not Your Average Lollapalooza

(If there is an average Lollapalooza.)


The Central Kentucky Concert Band’s next performance at 3 PM on December 6 at Transylvania University’s Haggin Auditorium will feature a “Lollapalooza.” Literally. John Adams’ Lollapalooza. CKCB Conductor Ben Hawkins has wanted to perform the selection for a while.

Says Hawkins, “I discovered a year or two ago that Lollapalooza had been transcribed for band, so I bought a score. There isn’t much of Adams’ music that is available for a band to play–this is one of two pieces that I know of–and I really wanted to do it if I ever got the chance.”

“Adams’ musical thought process is unique and original, and I don’t often get the opportunity to do pieces that are both off the beaten path, and so well-crafted.”

In addition to the Adams’ selection, the band will also perform another quirky piece—Bogdan Trotsuk’s Satiricon Suite.

Hawkins mused, “When I thought about music that might fit under the Lollapalooza umbrella, Satiricon Suite came to mind fairly quickly, as it fits the ‘outrageous, excessive’ associations of the concert theme. The music of the suite is not excessive at all, beyond some intentionally ‘wrong’ notes. However, to me it communicates a delightfully decadent, pretentious atmosphere that I find similar to that of the wonderful film, The Grand Budapest Hotel. The music appeared to have some of the sardonic quality of a particularly Russian type, such as one sometimes hears in Prokofiev and Shostakovich.”

Perhaps providing a bit of contrast between the more outrageous pieces, Assistant Conductor of the band, Les Anderson, will be leading the band in a selection of his own.

Says Anderson, “Ben had told me he wanted music for this concert that was a bit unusual–that was a bit off the beaten path. That led me to think about Barn Dance and Cowboy Hymn, written by British composer Phillip Sparke. The CKCB had played it about eight years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the piece.”

“In 2000 Phillip Sparke became a full-time composer who is now recognized as one of the most creative band music composers writing today.”

Hawkins adds, “I’m really proud of the band’s open-minded response to these pieces. Working on them necessitated a fairly long period of tolerating some bewildering sounds while we figured out how to make them work.”

The band will also recognize the season by performing some holiday favorites in addition to the center pieces of the concert.

Admission to the concert is free.