“Everywhere I roam, I’ll see you on the road…”

“State Flowers – Kentucky” by Shannon Newlin

As January wanes, CKCB is just getting going with our rehearsals for the March 1st concert. Beyond the excitement of new music, of seeing old friends after the holiday break and getting back into the swing of things, the CKCB is also joining forces with the UK Symphony Band for our upcoming concert, featuring music from and about Kentucky.

As a relatively recent transplant to Kentucky, I’ve spent the last two and a half years learning about the state where I currently reside. We all know the reputation and the stereotypes that Kentucky bears on its shoulders, but I think we all know how little those perceptions bear resemblance to reality. This concert’s journey through music from Kentucky composers and about Kentucky will take audience members on a journey of their own, a pastoral picture painted, a vibrant portrait of the gifts that Kentucky has to offer.

Among the odes to the Bluegrass and the quiet interludes of John Barne Chance’s “Elegy,” we also visit the nomadic Roma people, in Louisville native Valerie Coleman’s “Roma.” This piece is meant to depict the language, traditions, legends, and music of the Roma people, spanning generations, and spanning the globe – from the Mediterranean and Iberia, across the oceans to the Americas. Coleman infuses the music from many cultures into the piece, symbolizing the fusion of cultures that occur in the nomadic tribes. In this piece, we can hear Malagueña of Spain, Argentine Tango, Arabic music, Turkish folk songs, Latin claves, and jazz.

Most of us come from somewhere else, culture and tradition carried on our backs as weMy-Old-Kentucky-Home-1 go. For the Roma people, itinerancy was born as much out of necessity as any feeling of wanderlust. For those of us in modern society, it’s about finding a home, a place where we belong. Perhaps some of us belong on the road, our existence a dotted line on a map.

But I think there’s a pride to people who’ve found their home here in Kentucky. It’s evident when people stand at the opening strains of “My Old Kentucky Home,” it’s the way people who grew up here still make time to watch the Cats play basketball, no matter where they are. Kentucky is built from so many pieces, built by so many people. We hope you enjoy the experience of music celebrating the world of the fifteenth state, and we look forward to sharing it with you.


Our Spring Concert will be performed March 1st, 2020 at 3pm – Singletary Center for the Arts