Seas, Lakes, and Rivers: A Musical Exploration on December 4


It has only been a handful of generations that we have begun to explore the sea’s depths. And so much remains yet a mystery. In Herman Melville’s time, vessels skimmed a line suspended between the broad sky and that which was unseen beneath their ship’s keel. The sailors were, in essence, perhaps like astronauts—afloat on the infinite and unable to survive without the craft—awash in the medium that would claim your life should you immerse yourself in it.

Wildernesses possess beauty. The sea as a wilderness possesses the same beauty. Under full sail, the ship’s lines would sing taut, the oak of the ship groaning its work song while the salt spray breaks like diamonds upon its bow. The bright stars would arc overhead and whisper the ship’s latitude. The ship’s chronograph set to Greenwich’s time would tell its longitude. People, using their wits and fortitude, tested themselves against the great sea.

The Central Kentucky Concert Band will feature several selections that evoke the beauty and danger of the sea and sea travel at 3 PM on Sunday, December 4 at Transylvania’s Haggin Auditorium in the Mitchell Fine Arts Center.

Of Sailors and Whales by W. Francis McBeth sets five scenes from Moby Dick, Herman Melville’s American literature classic tale of obsession and the sea. McBeth’s musical storytelling will evoke the personalities of the characters and the emotions they experience.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific elicits themes of love and bravado amidst the setting of World War II. It reflects the island, American and European cultures set in contrast to each other as told through the lens of post-war America ascending to world dominance in its victory over Axis powers.

Even on land in the midst of the vast Pacific Ocean, there is a distant loneliness that isolation and the rage of war brings forth.

Ireland, with the mighty Atlantic crashing on its western shores and the Irish Sea on its eastern, is the setting for Percy Grainger’s Molly on the Shore. Containing two Irish dances, or “reels”, Temple Hill and Molly on the Shore, one can imagine perhaps an able seaman playing his concertina in the evening before his shipmates, or men and women dancing in the public house upon the return of loved ones from months of sea travel.

Take a break from your holiday preparations and join the band to share in these, and more, musical literature masterpieces that will transport you to the seas, lakes, and grand rivers of the world.

Admission to the concert is free.