There is more to be said about Karel Husa’s Music for Prague 1968 then there was time for at the recent CKCB concert. The piece represents in musical terms an expression of total anger and rage. These are emotions the full expression of which are generally frowned upon in general society as they often lead to destructive outbursts. Nonetheless, it is socially acceptable to express them through the arts. Among graphic arts one has to look no farther than Picasso’s Guernica, or much of Goya’s output to find powerful examples of outrage. With music we have fewer but still powerful examples. In the 1960s Krzysztof Penderecki gave us some powerful examples. Following the death of Josef Stalin and it became relatively safer to do so, nearly every note of the music of Dmitri Shostakovich is suffused with anguished rage over the suffering of the Russian people. Such music is powerful, but it certainly isn’t pretty in the conventional sense, nor is it intended to be.

It should interest those associated with great music for the wind band to know that Music for Prague 1968 is not Mr. Husa’s only composition of this nature. Two years later he expressed his strong feeling about the earth’s impending environmental/nuclear catastrophe with his Apotheosis of this Earth. This is a three-movement composition in which he depicts the destruction of the planet in the second movement followed by sorrowful postscript. I’ve played the piece and as doing so, sitting in the midst of the second-movement’s tumult, I was thinking that if the world’s leaders could be sitting where I was, they’d soon mend their ways. Once in conversation with Mr. Husa about the piece I commented on his extreme pessimism. He told me that I was overlooking the return of the piccolo bird’s song in the final measures of the postscript movement.

–Lee Patrick

March Concert

The Central Kentucky Concert Band is guaranteeing that March will come in like a lion!

Join us on March 6th at 3PM at Transylvania University’s Haggin Auditorium where we’ll explore many types of marches at our March Madness concert! We’ll be joined by our friends from The March Madness Marching Band who always turn the volume knob on fun up to 11!

As always, our concerts feature free admission, but in this instance you’ll get way more than you’ll pay for!

March Madness, March 6th

Send us your CKCB photos

Are you a long-time fan of CKCB? Or maybe a past band member?

CKCB is looking for photos of the band for a special project related to our upcoming 40th anniversary. If you have photos that you are willing to allow us to use online, please contact us at We are particularly in need of photos from the early years of the band.

Please share this request with anyone else you think may have photos of CKCB. Thank you!


Photo by Justin Lynham

Jim Stone

Think, for a moment, about the title “community band.” Both words in the title indicate a fellowship. The fellowship experienced by our community band is diverse, but the common element is a love for music. As in any fellowship, we succeed together, fail together, experience joy together, and experience loss together. On Friday, January 22nd, we lost one of our active long-time members—Jim Stone—a proud member of our trumpet section. Remembered for his kindness, his generosity in time and spirit, and for his love of making music, we celebrate his life and his manifold contributions toward our community and, in particular, our community band. He strengthened our fellowship. For that we honor and thank him.

Visitation is Friday from 5 to 7 pm with a Memorial Service at 7 pm. at Milward’s on Trent Blvd. in Lexington.


Thanks to the great audience who turned out for our “Lollapalooza” concert last Sunday! You, the audience, are the medium that helps put life in the performance! Special thanks to our sponsors and Friends of the Band! Your support helps us pay the light bills! Who wants to play in the dark? Thanks to our partners at Transylvania who set up the stage and provide a venue for us, for which we are ever thankful and appreciative! Thanks to our conductor and assistant conductor, fellow band members and family members who support our passion in ways too varied to describe!

We’re going to take a few days off to maintain our instruments and begin preparations for the next time.

Please mark your calendars for our next concert on Sunday, March 6th, 2016 at 3 PM again at Transylvania University’s Haggin Auditorium.

Thanks to Kevs KameRa Photography for posting video from the concert to YouTube!

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.