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UK Pianists to Present Concert for the Ears, Eyes, Imagination

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 10:41am

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 21, 2014) – University of Kentucky piano students will get creative in a memorable concert for the ears, the eyes and the imagination. The UK Piano Studio will present “Making Music To Be Seen” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 24, in the Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall. The classical concert with a modern twist is free and open to the public.  

 

The concert will showcase undergraduate and graduate students, both majors and minors, in the studio of Professor Irina Voro. The students will play a variety of solo and duet pieces for piano, as well as collaborations with other instruments.

 

The participating students and Voro said that music conveys stories and emotions “behind the notes.” The music requires the audience to listen with more than just their ears, but with their imagination.

 

In an attempt to fully engage the audience’s imagination, the students will present personal visual images and stories for the pieces they perform; these images will portray the emotions they “decoded” in their musical pieces.

 

The concert format is intended to engage sight, sound and imagination to create an immersive experience and enrich the audience’s perception of the music.

 

"Making Music To Be Seen” is a production of the Keyboards, Voice and Strings Division of the School of Music within the UK College of Fine Arts. The School of Music has achieved awards and national and international recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as for music education, composition, theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Hope Koehler to Perform 'Lost Melodies' From John Jacob Niles

Wed, 11/19/2014 - 11:00am

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 20, 2014) — Hope Koehler will present a recital of little known music by legendary composer and balladeer, John Jacob Niles, and other work from her latest CD at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 24, at the Niles Gallery in the University of Kentucky Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center. Koehler, a UK alumna and preeminent interpreter of Niles' work, will perform various pieces from her recently released CD, "Lost Melodies." This event is free and open to the public.

 

"Lost Melodies" features a selection of pieces by Niles, most of which have neither been published nor recorded until now. Koehler will perform a selection of these works and Robert Schumann's "Frauenliebe und Leben," as well as songs by Fernando Obradors, Xavier Montsalvatge and Duke Ellington for the recital. She will be accompanied by James Douglass on the piano. This concert is made possible with support from an endowment, "Our American Music," a gift of Thomas M. T. Niles.

 

To hear Koehler perform "Go 'Way from my Window" by Niles, play the video below. 

 

A soprano, Koehler has appeared worldwide in recitals, concerts, operas and productions. Some of these productions include "Carmen," "Rigoletto," "The Impressario," "The Sound of Music," "Oklahoma," "Fiddler on the Roof" and "West Side Story." She is also a featured soloist with the American Spiritual Ensemble, led by UK Opera Theatre Director Everett McCorvey.

 

"Koehler an ideal interpreter, whose dusky timbre and voluptuous tone imbue every note with a mixture of sadness, beauty and hopeful longing," attested Opera News in a review of "Lost Melodies." "This repertoire fits her plush, rich-hued voice like a glove and she encompasses the wide vocal and emotional range of the songs with apparent ease."

 

John Jacob Niles was an influential voice in the American folk revival of the 1950s and 1960s. He also was an eminent collector of Appalachian ballads and African-American spirituals. The John Jacob Niles Center for American Music is named after the celebrated Kentucky composer and displays many traditional instruments he crafted. The center is a collaborative effort of UK School of Music and UK Libraries. The center is located at the Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center.

 

Koehler's recital of "Lost Melodies" is presented by the Niles Center at the UK School of Music. The School of Music, part of the UK College of Fine Arts, has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

First-of-its-Kind Partnership Brings Moscow Ballet, UK Orchestra Together in 'Nutcracker' Tour

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 1:30pm

 

Promo for Moscow Ballet's "The Great Russian Nutcracker." 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra will lend its musical talents to the Moscow Ballet next week as it presents a three-city Kentucky tour of the "Great Russian Nutcracker." The tour, which also has stops in Paducah and Bowling Green, Kentucky, will grace the Singletary Center for the Arts stage for Central Kentucky audiences Nov. 18.

 

When Moscow Ballet’s 70-plus city tour stops in Paducah, Bowling Green and Lexington, the performances will be set to live music and played by student members of the UK Symphony Orchestra, a first in the Commonwealth. Approximately 70 up-and-coming musicians and 40 internationally touring Moscow Ballet dancers will pair for the staging of this holiday classic and usher it to life.

 

The partnership between Moscow Ballet and UK Symphony Orchestra is a pilot program for a national launch and couples for the first time a full student orchestra and internationally touring ballet company bringing audiences the full performance experience. 

 

"Performing Tchaikovsky's ballet, 'The Nutcracker,' with a major professional ballet company will be a rare and special treat and challenge for our students. Our students are very excited to meet and work with the Russian dancers, who are their same ages, and who, like our students, are deeply involved in being excellent in their art form,” said John Nardodillo, UK Symphony Orchestra’s conductor. 

 

“Moscow Ballet is a top-level educational experience for student dancers and it’s only fitting for us to invite musicians to participate,” said Akiva Talmi, CEO of Talmi Entertainment Inc., producer of the U.S. Tour. “This is such a treat for Kentucky audiences since full orchestras rarely travel with a touring production.”

 

Times, dates, and location for performances of "The Great Russian Nutcracker" are:

· 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17, at the Carson Center, in Paducah;  

· 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, at Singletary Center; and

· 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center, in Bowling Green.

 

In addition to the "Great Russian Nutcracker," Moscow Ballet's repertory includes classic ballets "Swan Lake," "Sleeping Beauty," "Romeo and Juliet," "Cinderella" and more. For over 20 years the company has performed 100 engagements annually in North America. Moscow Ballet has received critical acclaim from media outlets and was invited to present at two National Press Club Newsmaker events. In addition to the public performances, the company’s mission and national platform enable it to share the Russian Vaganova training with more than 5,000 local dance students annually in the “Dance with Us” program. 

 

Since Nardolillo took the conductor's podium of the UK Symphony Orchestra, it has enjoyed great success accumulating recording credits and sharing the stage with such acclaimed international artists as Itzhak Perlman, Lynn Harrell, Marvin Hamlisch, as well the Boston Pops. In addition to its own concerts, UK Symphony Orchestra provides accompaniment for much of the UK Opera Theatre season. UK's orchestra is one of a very select group of university orchestras under contract with Naxos, the world's largest classical recording label. To see the UK Symphony Orchestra season brochure, visit http://finearts.uky.edu/sites/default/files/14-15_UKSO_layout.pdf.

 

The UK Symphony Orchestra is housed at the UK School of Music at UK College of Fine Arts. The school has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

 

'Appalachia in the Bluegrass' Presents Rail Splitters and United Baptist Church

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 4:22pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 13, 2014) — From an old-time string band with roots across central and south-central Appalachia to the more gospel sounds of United Baptist Church, the next two concerts in the "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series demonstrates some of the diversity of traditional music. On Friday, Nov. 14, the Rail Splitters, including University of Kentucky doctoral candidate Julie Shepherd-Powell, will perform. The next week, on Friday, Nov. 21, members of the congregation for United Baptist Church of Lexington will share their sound. Both free public concerts will take place at noon, at the Niles Gallery, located in the UK Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center.

 

The Rail Splitters perform "Grey Eagle" and "John Henry" at 2013 Old Time Fiddlers Convention. 

 

Feet and Fiddle in Focus at Niles Gallery

The Rail Splitters are an old-time string band with deep roots in the musical traditions of Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky. Fiddler Adrian Powell, banjo player and dancer Julie Shepherd-Powell and vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Brett Ratliff make up the trio.

 

Adrian Powell, a native of Crimora, Virginia, has won contests at fiddler's conventions all over the Southeast from Hillbilly Days in Pikeville, Kentucky, to the Old Time Fiddler’s Convention in Galax, Virginia. His fiddle style is straight forward with a hard drivin' bow, and he currently plays with several groups including the Pea Ridge Ramblers, Matt Kinman's Old Time Serenaders and the Cabin Creek Boys, in addition to the Rail Splitters. 

 

Julie Shepherd-Powell is an award-winning clawhammer banjo player and flatfoot dancer originally from North Carolina. She previously taught beginning and advanced old-time banjo at Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. In addition to the Rail Splitters, Julie has also played with Letcher County band Rich and the Poor Folks. She competes in flatfoot dance competitions at fiddlers' conventions all over the southeast and calls square dances anywhere from Knoxville to New York City. Julie is currently completing her doctoral degree in anthropology at UK.

 

Raised by a coal miner and teacher in Van Lear, Kentucky, Brett Ratliff grew up with a love for the mountains, its people and its culture. As a youngster, he started singing in church and sang along to recordings of Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams. As a teenager he began playing guitar for bluegrass bands. But when Ratliff met musical father-and-son duo Jamie and Jesse Wells he became hooked on the moving, emotionally charged mountain music of his home. Since then, he has learned banjo tunes and ballads from some of the masters of old-time music, like knock-down banjo player George Gibson of Knott County and Pike County fiddle and banjo player Paul David Smith. Ratliff’s solo album, "Cold Icy Mountain," was released on June Appal Recordings. A previous  music director for WMMT Radio in Whitesburg, Kentucky, he currently serves as program director for the Hindman Settlement School in Knott County, Kentucky.

 

 

Elder Jason Lowery of Lexington's United Baptist Church performs "How Many Times."

 

United in Appalachian Gospel Sound

Appalachia embraces Sunday morning every bit as much as Saturday evening. Religion is a powerful force in Appalachian culture and few denominations are as distinctive as the Old Regular Church and the United Baptist Church. The United Baptist Church of Lexington preserves a worship style that draws on a long lineage of lined out hymnody and gospel. Elder Jason Lowery and members of the United Baptist congregation will present. 

 

The “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series celebrates the old-time roots of American folk music by featuring a diverse range of traditional musical expression. The concert series will showcase 13 different artists, duos and groups from southern Appalachia ranging from artists straight off their front porch to those who have earned international acclaim. The concert series is generously presented by the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, a collaborative research and performance center maintained by the UK College of Fine Arts, UK School of Music and UK Libraries.

 

For more information on the “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series or the concerts featuring the Rail Splitters or United Baptist Church, contact Ron Pen, director of the Niles Center, by email to Ron.Pen@uky.edu or visit the website at http://finearts.uky.edu/music/niles.

Diego Garcia's Latin Sound to Heat Up the Bluegrass

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 3:58pm

 

Diego Garcia video for "Sunnier Days" from his latest album, "Paradise."A transcript of this video can be seen here

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2014) — The Latin sound of Diego Garcia will heat up the Bluegrass this weekend as he takes the University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts stage. Born in the U.S. to Argentine parents, Garcia explores his Latin heritage with a sound that conjures the spirit of 1970s troubadours like Sandro de América and Antônio Carlos Jobim, as well as singer-songwriters like Leonard Cohen and Harry Nilsson. The all-ages concert begins with Lexington locals Bear Medicine at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15.

 

A breakout star with the release of his solo album "Laura," NPR named Diego Garcia’s debut “one of the top 25 Albums of the Year.” His poignant first single “You Were Never There” (co-written by George Harrison's son Dhani Harrison) is a perfect example with its lush string arrangements, delicate Spanish guitars and distinctly Latin flavor.

 

Garcia knows how to mine romantic yearning in his work. His acclaimed 2011 solo debut "Laura" was the ultimate bedroom recording, an intensely focused and utterly entrancing chamber-pop song cycle about unrequited love, his own. The titular Laura was a woman he fell for in college but lost during a hectic period a decade ago when he was fronting Elefant, a New York City-based rock band that toured the world with artists like Interpol, The National and Morrissey. By the time "Laura" was finished, Garcia accepted the fact that she might only exist in his life as the subject of these songs. Then he miraculously won her back (and later married her). But those years of estrangement left an indelible mark and continue to inform his work. 

 

"When I was in the studio making the 'Laura' album, I was digging through my parents’ record collections and really taking a deeper look at Latin troubadours. There was one singer named Piero; I heard his song 'Mi Viejo' and it changed my life. I spent a whole session listening to that song, to all the details. When you listen to those singers, the drama in their delivery was so powerful, the way they would capture 'the malady of love.' Then I had this sort of eureka moment. It sparked an idea that felt very natural to me, reaching into that lost world, that golden age of Latin music," Garcia said.

 

"Paradise," Garcia's new album, continues to expand upon the romantic sound he had begun to shape throughout his work on "Laura." The album’s hybrid of influences, from the late-'60s “Anglo” crooners like Jacques Brel, Serge Gainsbourg, Leonard Cohen and Scott Walker to the early-'70s passionate balladry of Latin American artists like Roberto Carlos, Jose Feliciano and Piero, and Spaniard Julio Iglesias, is a musical reflection of who he is: a U.S.-bred son of Latin American parents who thinks in English, but can speak fluently in Spanish.

 

Opening the evening will be Lexington folk-rock group Bear Medicine. A quartet featuring cello, flute, percussion and acoustic guitar, Bear Medicine succeed in balancing contemporary indie rock influences with a Kentucky tradition of folk and Appalachian music. They have recently self-released their debut album, "The Moon Has Been All My Life," to critical acclaim.

 

Tickets for this event are $26 for general admission and $13 for students with a valid UK ID. Service fee will be added upon completion of transaction. The tickets can be purchased via phone at the Singletary Center Ticket Office at 859-257-4929, online at www.SCFATickets.com, or in person at the ticket office.

 

A part of the UK College of Fine Arts, the Singletary Center for the Arts presents and hosts around 400 artistic, cultural and educational events annually for the university community, Lexington community, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Teams Up with LexPhil, Ky. Colleges for 'Carmina Burana' Concert

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 11:15am

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 11, 2014) — University of Kentucky Chorale will team up with Lexington Philharmonic and four regional choral ensembles to bring a rare performance of "Carmina Burana" to the stage 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, at Singletary Center for the Arts.

 

Alexander Scriabin’s "Poem of Ecstasy" opens the program with a full orchestra journey inspired by the trials and tribulations of humanity, followed by "Carmina Burana," Carl Orff’s masterwork of fate and fortune brought to life by vocal talent from UK, Eastern Kentucky University, Berea College, Transylvania University, SCAPA (School for the Creative and Performing Arts) Children’s Choir, and soloists Amanda Woodbury, soprano; Daniel Shirley, tenor; and Chad Sloan, baritone.

 

LexPhil conductor and Music Director Scott Terrell’s choice to pair Scriabin’s "Poem of Ecstasy" and Orff’s "Carmina Burana" is part of LexPhil’s ongoing movement toward “cultivating an environment where high-level artistry is paramount to building a strong arts community. One of the ways we support this community is through collaboration – a LexPhil core value – with the rich talent found in the region’s choral programs. I am thrilled to bring together these fresh voices from Berea College Concert Choir, Eastern Kentucky University Singers, SCAPA Children’s Choir, Transylvania University Choir, and the University of Kentucky Chorale for this powerful production of Orff’s 'Carmina Burana.'”

 

Both "Poem of Ecstasy" and "Carmina Burana" draw inspiration from poetic texts, heavily focusing on the wonders of the universe and the rare emotions that define human nature. While "Poem of Ecstasy" is a lush orchestral feature, Orff’s "Carmina Burana" is presented by LexPhil in its traditional vocal and orchestral setting instead of the theatrical “scenic cantata” for dramatic acting, dancing and singing originally intended by Orff. It is scored for choirs (men, women, boys and mixed), soloists (baritone, tenor and soprano), and a large, percussion-heavy orchestra, grouped into 24 sections characterized by lyrical and raucously rhythmic episodes.

 

Orff’s "Carmina Burana" also features the vocal talent of soloists Amanda Woodbury, Daniel Shirley and Chad Sloan. Kentucky-born soprano Amanda Woodbury is a member of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program. She made her LA Opera debut as Micaëla in "Carmen" (2013) with subsequent appearances as Papagena in "Die Zauberflöte." She was recently honored as a winner of the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, as well as receiving the Sara Tucker Study Grant. In 2014, she earned both second place and Audience Choice awards at Houston Grand Opera’s Elleanor McCollum Competition (2014).

 

Tenor Daniel Shirley debuted at Carnegie Hall in 2013, reviewed by the New York Concert Review as a voice that “soared over the large forces with strength and clarity.” The vocalist continues to earn critical praise for his appearances in concert, opera and musical theater. Recent awards include fifth place in the 2014 American Traditions Competition, honorable mention in the 2013 George London Foundation awards, and a 2012 Career Development Grant from the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation. Shirley has also been honored with awards from the Anna Sosenko Trust, the National Society of Arts and Letters, Central City Opera, Chautauqua Opera and the Dayton Opera Guild.

 

American baritone Chad Sloan is recognized as much for his warm, elegant vocalism as he is for deft interpretations of diverse characters. In the 2012-2013, he performed "Carmina Burana" with Columbia Pro Cantare, Johann Sebastian Bach’s "Weihnachts-Oratorium" with Louisville Choral Arts Society, Johannes Brahms’ "Liebeslieder Waltzer" at Twickenham Music Festival, Benjamin Britten’s "War Requiem" at Lawrence Conservatory and as baritone soloist in performances with the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park. A graduate of the Juilliard School, Sloan is an active recitalist who recently performed a program responding to an installation of French Impressionism at the Everson Museum in Syracuse, New York. He has performed at Wolf Trap Opera in "The Pursuit of Love," and in the world premiere of Kenji Bunch’s "Dream Songs" at Carnegie Hall.

 

Prior to each Season Series concert, guests will have the opportunity to participate in an insightful discussion of the night’s events with Maestro Terrell during LexPhil’s "Inside the Score." Each "Inside the Score" starts at 6:45 p.m., and is held in the President’s Room at the Singletary Center for the Arts.

 

Valet parking is available for $10 per car at the Rose Street entrance to the Singletary Center. Free parking is available in any E Parking Lot on the UK campus, as well as Parking Structure 5 located at 409 S. Limestone, with entrances on South Limestone and South Upper Street. 

 

General admission tickets to "Carmina Burana" range from $25-75 with $11 student tickets also available. Pick 4 ticket packages are still available beginning at $85. "Carmina Burana" is made possible through the generous support of Unified Trust Company. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact the Lexington Philharmonic at 859-233-4226, or visit the website at www.lexphil.org.

 

The UK Chorale is the premier mixed choral ensemble at UK School of Music in the UK College of Fine Arts. It consists mostly of upperclassmen and graduate students. While the majority of singers are music majors, there are a number of other academic disciplines represented within the ensemble. The Chorale prides itself in performing a wide variety of choral literature from Renaissance to 21st Century. UK Chorale performs under the direction of Jefferson Johnson, director of UK Choral Activities.

 

Conductor Scott Terrell was appointed music director of the Lexington Philharmonic in 2009. During his tenure, he has re-invigorated and raised the artistic level of the ensemble, expanded collaborations, increased subscriptions and challenged its musicians and audiences with a greater diversity of repertoire and programs. Maestro Terrell has simultaneously maintained a healthy schedule of recent guest conducting with the Colorado Symphony, Aspen Music Festival and School, and Philadelphia Orchestra. Future engagements include the Colorado Symphony, and a debut leading Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s "The Magic Flute" at the Arizona Opera.

 

The Lexington Philharmonic, founded in 1961, is the only professional orchestral organization in Central Kentucky. LexPhil presents more than 130 concerts and educational programs each year, including Season Series, Holiday Concerts, Peanut Butter and Jelly concerts for young children, special concerts, community programs and outdoor summer concerts. More information and tickets can be found at www.lexphil.org

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Diego Garcia Brings Latin Flair to Bluegrass

Wed, 11/05/2014 - 2:35pm

 

Diego Garcia performs "You Were Never There." 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 6, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts will bring some Latin flair to the Bluegrass this month with the musical stylings of Diego Garcia. He will bring his distinctly Latin sound to the Singletary stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15.

 

Prior to Garcia's journey as a solo artist, he was the frontman for the popular New York indie rock act Elefant. His first single, "You Were Never There," features delicate Spanish guitars, lush string arrangements, and a distinctly Latin flavor drawn from his Argentine roots. With the release of his debut solo album, "Laura" in April of 2011, Garcia saw great success, having NPR name his debut, "one of the top 25 albums of the year." In October 2013, he released his newest album, "Paradise."  

 

Tickets for this event are $26 for general admission and $13 for students with a valid UK ID. Transaction fees will be added. The tickets can be purchased via phone at the Singletary Center Ticket Office at 859-257-4929, online at www.SCFATickets.com, or in person at the ticket office.

 

A part of the UK College of Fine Arts, the Singletary Center for the Arts presents and hosts around 400 artistic, cultural and educational events annually for the university community, Lexington community, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Old-time Music and Dance Focus of 'Appalachia in the Bluegrass' Concerts

Wed, 10/29/2014 - 1:30pm

Rich Kirby, who will play UK Nov. 7, performs "Rocky Island" at Portland Oldtime Music Gathering in Portland, Oregon.

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 30, 2014) — From a mother-daughter duo boasting both music and dancing skills to a traditional music virtuoso, "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series is sure to present a rollicking good time at Niles Gallery. On Friday, Oct. 31, old-time musicians Julia Weatherford and Pearl Angeline Shirley will perform. The next week, on Friday, Nov. 7, virtuosic fiddler, banjo player and mandolinist Rich Kirby is in the spotlight. Both free public concerts will take place at noon at the Niles Gallery, located in the University of Kentucky Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center.

 

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Growing up in Berea, Kentucky, Julia Weatherford’s magical youth was filled with traditional old-time music, handcrafts, folk dancing, baroque ensembles and church choirs. She studied cello from the age of 10, sang in harmony vocal groups, performed and sang in summer theater and puppetry theater, and folk danced her way through high school and college. 

 

In 1980, Weatherford settled at the family home place near Black Mountain, North Carolina, and has lived in a cabin built by her grandfather ever since. For 13 seasons, she has played cello with the Asheville Symphony, meanwhile moonlighting as a traditional dance fiddler. In addition, she previously was the artistic director of the legendary Black Mountain Festival from 1986 to 1995. Weatherford has performed and taught at such venues as the LEAF, the Black Mountain Festival, Berea Country Dance School, Pinewoods, Moondance, The Gypsy Meltdown and Folkmoot International. 

 

Weatherford has been a longtime member the Akira Satake Band, Far Horizons, Fly by Night and The Free Range Ensemble. Currently, she is the logistics director at the Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College and the coordinator of Fiddle Week for that same event. A visual artist as well, Weatherford is a member of the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild and is the mother of Pearl.

 

Pearl Angeline Shirley grew up in Black Mountain soaking up traditional Appalachian music and dance almost without noticing. She picked up a tiny violin at age 5, and since then has fiddled her way through hundreds of footstomping contra and square dances and concerts.

 

Shirley has toured with the popular contra dance band Mock Turtle Soup from Alnwick, England, to Santa Barbara, and currently performs with the acclaimed old-time band, Blue Eyed Girl. She is a step dancer and the director of Asheville’s “Twisty Cuffs” Cape Breton performance dance troupe. Shirley is a first grade teacher and the mother of two.

 

Traditional Music Virtuoso Rich Kirby Returns

Rich Kirby is a virtuosic fiddler, banjo player and mandolinist, who has served as news director for WMMT, Appalshop’s radio station. He has played and recorded with a number of bands including Wry Straw and Rich and the Po' Folks, and has produced many albums for the June Appal label including a recent release of his grandmother’s music, "Addie Graham: Been a Long Time Traveling."

 

Kirby is a founding member of the celebrated East Kentucky old-time string band, Rich and the Po’ Folks, the best (and only) old-time string band in Letcher County, Kentucky. The band explores the full range of traditional mountain music — fiddle tunes, ballads, coal mining songs, Carter Family pieces and contemporary mountain songs. Rich and the Po' Folks' repertoire comes from the members' home territory of eastern Kentucky and southwest Virginia, hot spots for one of America's great musical traditions. They recorded the album "When the Whistle Blew" on the June Appal label in 2010. 

 

The “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series celebrates the old-time roots of American folk music by featuring a diverse range of traditional musical expression. The concert series will showcase 13 different artists, duos and groups from southern Appalachia ranging from artists straight off their front porch to those who have earned international acclaim. The concert series is generously presented by the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, a collaborative research and performance center maintained by the UK College of Fine Arts, UK School of Music and UK Libraries.

 

For more information on the “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series or the concerts featuring Julia Weatherford and Pearl Angeline Shirley or Rich Kirby, contact Ron Pen, director of the Niles Center, by email to Ron.Pen@uky.edu or visit the website at http://finearts.uky.edu/music/niles.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Women's Choir Celebrates 20 Years of Music

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 1:25pm

UK Women's Choir singing "Pie Jesu" at Ely Cathedral.

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Women’s Choir will celebrate 20 years of music as they present their fall concert 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, in the Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall. UK’s award-winning female a cappella group, Paws and Listen, will begin a pre-show performance at 7 p.m.

 

The fall concert is a special event in commemoration of the past 20 years of Women’s Choir at the university. The show will feature alumnae from the group, as well as from Paws and Listen.

 

The program includes a special four-song section by select Paws and Listen alumnae, who will be led by former coach Raye Hurley.

 

Approximately 50 women from past years of the choir will join the concert. Some long distance members who couldn’t make the journey have sent along special notes to be read at the performance.

 

“I am super excited for this concert because it is the first time we are doing something like this,” said Lori R. Hetzel, conductor of the UK Women’s Choir and associate director of UK School of Music. “I am thrilled to see all the people who have graduated.”

 

UK Women's Choir is made up of more than 100 women of all ages and academic disciplines. The choir has been internationally recognized, traveling to England, Ireland and Wales for their third international tour in the summer of 2012. More recently, Hetzel and the choir served as a demonstration choir at the 2013 American Choral Directors Association National Conference in Dallas, Texas.

 

Tickets for the 20th Anniversary Concert are $10 for adults and $5 for students, seniors and UK Women’s Choir alumnae. They can be purchased through the Singletary Center ticket office at 859-257-4929, online at www.scfatickets.com, or in person at the box office.

 

The UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered national recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Death Takes Center Stage in UK Orchestra's 'All Hallows Eve'

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 12:47pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 28, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra (UKSO), under the direction of John Nardolillo, continues its 96th season with "All Hallows Eve" concert. The free public concert, featuring guest violinist and UK faculty member Daniel Mason, begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31, at the Singletary Center for the Arts Concert Hall.

 

Mason will perform Alban Berg’s powerful Violin Concerto. The major 20th century work was written in response to the death of a young woman, a family friend of Berg's, and it was the last work he wrote before his own death. Mason is in his 32nd year as a professor of violin and head of the String Department at UK. He is concertmaster of and frequent soloist with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. He was also, for 17 years, concertmaster of the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra. Mason has performed in Europe, Brazil, Korea, China and throughout the U.S.

 

Also on the program are "Tragic Overture" by Johannes Brahms and the great tone poem of Richard Strauss, "Death and Transfiguration," which describes the death of man, and the release of his soul into the infinite. The piece shows the man on his deathbed, where he remembers his childhood, his youth, his loves and life. He dies and receives the longed for transfiguration. Strauss wrote the work when he was just 24 years old. When Strauss himself was dying in 1949, at age 85, he told his family: "It's a funny thing, dying is just the way I composed it in 'Tod und Verklärung.'"

 

Since Nardolillo took the conductor's podium of the UKSO, it has enjoyed great success accumulating recording credits and sharing the stage with such acclaimed international artists as Itzhak Perlman, Lynn Harrell, Marvin Hamlisch, as well the Boston Pops. In addition to its own concerts, UKSO provides accompaniment for much of the UK Opera Theatre season. UK's orchestra is one of a very select group of university orchestras under contract with Naxos, the world's largest classical recording label. To see the UKSO season brochure, visit http://finearts.uky.edu/sites/default/files/14-15_UKSO_layout.pdf.

 

The UK School of Music at UK College of Fine Arts has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Choirs Lend Their 'Voices' to Concert Series

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 5:38pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 24, 2014) — The 2014-15 University of Kentucky Men’s Chorus and Women’s Choir will make their fall debut in a joint concert presented as part of the "Voices! Choral Concert Series" at  First United Methodist Church this weekend. The Men’s Chorus, under the direction of Jefferson Johnson, director of UK Choral Activities, and the Women’s Choir, under the direction of Lori R. Hetzel, associate director of UK School of Music, will feature world premiere commissions specifically for UK Choirs as well as special performances by UK’s premier a cappella ensembles — the acoUstiKats and Paws and Listen. The concert will begin 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26, at the church, located at 200 W. High St.   

 

"Gaudete" performed by the UK Men's Chorus. Video courtesy of American Choral Directors Association.

 

The UK Men’s Chorus is a 90-voice ensemble composed of students who range from freshmen to graduate students. These young men represent a variety of musical backgrounds and academic disciplines at the university. Begun in the fall of 2002, the Men’s Chorus has grown in size and popularity each semester. The choir’s challenging and diverse repertoire includes literature that spans from Gregorian chant to music of the 21st century. Rehearsing only twice weekly, UK Men’s Chorus maintains an active performing schedule throughout the state of Kentucky, touring each semester.

 

 

UK Women's Choir singing "Pie Jesu" at Ely Cathedral. The UK Women’s Choir is a select ensemble composed of more than 100 of the school’s most talented female voices. These singers, ranging from freshmen to graduate students, also represent a variety of musical backgrounds and academic disciplines. The choir’s challenging and diverse repertoire includes literature spanning from Gregorian chant to eight-part music of the 21st century. With an emphasis on music by female composers, the ensemble performs works of many different languages and compositional forms.

 

UK's Men's Chorus and Women's Choir are excited to be part of the "VOICES! Choral Concert Series" at First United Methodist Church, which is celebrating its 225th anniversary this year. The series is organized by UK doctoral candidate Brock Terry, who serves as director of music at the church. All concerts are open to the public and admission is free. Donations to the concert series are suggested.

 

For more information on the "Voices" concert or the UK Men’s Chorus, contact Evan Pulliam, administrative assistant to UK Choirs, at evan.pulliam@uky.edu.

 

UK's Men's Chorus and Women's Choir are part of UK School of Music at UK College of Fine Arts. The school has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Celebrated Jazzman Branford Marsalis 'Goes for Baroque' in Return to Singletary

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 2:28pm
  Branford Marsalis and Sally Beamish perform Robert Muczynski's Sonata for Saxophone and Piano, Op. 29 at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 23, 2014) — From jazz (Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock) to rock (Dave Matthews Band, Grateful Dead) to hip-hop (Public Enemy, Gang Starr) and now Baroque music, few instrumentalists showcase their versatility and skill as well as Branford Marsalis. A Grammy Award-winning saxophonist and composer known for his extensive selection of musical collaborations, Marsalis returns to the Bluegrass with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia in “Marsalis Well-Tempered” beginning 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26, at the University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts Concert Hall. A special rate will make it possible for children to college students to take in this master musician.  

 

While Marsalis is known as being the leader of one of the finest jazz quartets today, he is also a frequent soloist with classical ensembles as he is one of the most revered instrumentalists of his time. His "Well-Tempered" tour has a decidedly more classical bent featuring Baroque masterpieces by Tomaso Albinoni, Johann Sebastian Bach, François Couperin, Pietro Locatelli and more. The stop in Lexington is one of only 20 in the nation.

 

A three-time Grammy Award-winner, Marsalis has continued to exercise and expand his skills as an instrumentalist, a composer and the head of Marsalis Music, the label he founded in 2002 that has allowed him to produce both his own projects and those of the jazz world’s most promising new and established artists.

 

A founding resident company of The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia is a 33-member professional ensemble led by Music Director Dirk Brossé. The Chamber Orchestra, founded in 1964, has a well-established reputation for distinguished performances of repertoire from the Baroque period through the 21st century. Approximately 22 members of the orchestra will perform with Marsalis.

 

The Chamber Orchestra has performed with such internationally acclaimed guest artists as Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Mstislav Rostropovich, Issac Stern, Rudolph Serkin, The Eroica Trio, Jean-Pierre Rampal, The Romeros Guitar Quartet, Julie Andrews, Bernadette Peters, Ben Folds, Elvis Costello, Sylvia McNair, Steven Isserlis, Joseph Silverstein, Ransom Wilson, Gerard Schwarz, Jahja Ling and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, among others. The ensemble travels regularly, having toured the United States, Europe and Israel.

 

The Singletary Center is offering deeply discounted student tickets for Sunday’s performance, just $15. 

 

“The Singletary Center is dedicated to providing musical experiences of the highest caliber, and we believe that a student’s chance to see great performers live in concert is an unparalleled learning moment. We want to make this opportunity available to as many students as possible,” said Singletary Center Marketing Director Matthew Gibson. 

 

The student rate for Sunday’s concert applies to all students, elementary through college (college students require Student ID); student tickets are available throughout the concert hall.

 

General admission ticket prices are based on seating location and range from $25 to $50 plus processing fees. The tickets can be purchased via phone at the Singletary Center Ticket Office at 859-257-4929, online at www.SCFATickets.com, or in person at the ticket office 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 

A part of the UK College of Fine Arts, the Singletary Center for the Arts presents and hosts around 400 artistic, cultural and educational events annually for the university community, Lexington community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Men's Chorus Lends its 'Voices' to Concert Series

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 2:39pm

 

"Gaudete" performed by the University of Kentucky Men's Chorus. Video courtesy of ACDA.

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 17, 2014) — The 2014-15 University of Kentucky Men’s Chorus will make their fall debut as part of the "Voices! Choral Concert Series" at First United Methodist Church this weekend. The concert featuring the chorus, under the direction of Jefferson Johnson, director of UK Choral Activities, and including a special performance by UK's male a cappella group, the acoUstiKats, will begin 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, at the church, located at 200 W. High St. in Lexington.   

 

The UK Men's Chorus concert will feature several world premieres and works commissioned exclusively for the chorus as they prepare for their trip to the 2015 American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA) National Convention being held Feb. 25-28, in Salt Lake City.

 

The UK Men’s Chorus is a 90-voice ensemble of students who range from freshmen to graduate students. These young men represent a variety of musical backgrounds and academic disciplines. Begun in fall of 2002, UK Men's Chorus has grown in size and popularity each semester. The choir’s challenging and diverse repertoire includes literature that spans from Gregorian chants to music of the 21st century. Rehearsing only twice weekly, the UK Men’s Chorus maintains an active performing schedule throughout the state of Kentucky, touring each semester.

 

UK Men's Chorus is excited to be part of the "VOICES! Choral Concert Series" at First United Methodist Church, which is celebrating its 225th anniversary this year. The series is organized by UK doctoral candidate Brock Terry, who serves as director of music at the church. All concerts are open to the public and admission is free. Donations to the concert series are suggested.

 

For more information on the "VOICES" concert or the UK Men’s Chorus, contact Evan Pulliam, administrative assistant to UK Choirs, at evan.pulliam@uky.edu.

 

UK Men's Chorus is part of UK School of Music at UK College of Fine Arts. The school has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Bands Welcome Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet to Campus

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 12:04pm

The Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet plays the Third Movement of Carl Nielsen's Quintet, Op. 43.

 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 16, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Bands will present the internationally renowned Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet in concert this weekend. The program will include works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Paul Hindemith, Jaques Ibert, Darius Milhaud and Jean Francaix. The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17, at the Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall.

 

The Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet has performed all over the globe and is, according to Manchester Evening News, “arguably the best ensemble of its kind in the world.” The quintet was founded in 1988, during the era of Herbert von Karajan, the first permanently established wind quintet in the famous orchestra's rich tradition of chamber music.

 

Members of the quintet are living musical witnesses to the hugely productive and influential musical partnerships of the Berlin Philharmonic not only with Karajan, but also with its two most recent musical directors: Claudio Abbado and Sir Simon Rattle. Naturally, as members of the Berlin Philharmonic, they have also enjoyed important collaborations with every other major conductor of their times, whether Leonard Bernstein, Carlos Kleiber, Sir John Barbirolli, Günter Wand, Carlo Maria Giulini, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, Pièrre Boulez, James Levine or Daniel Barenboim, to name a few.

 

Credited with changing the sound of the classic wind quintet, Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet found themselves recording with Swedish company BIS Records in 1991. In most recent years, Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet has been coaching youth in workshops in many different countries. They have a special commitment to the youth orchestra program of Venezuela.

 

Cody Birdwell, director of UK Bands, saw the quintet perform with the Berlin Philharmonic while attending a conducting workshop in France in 2012. Birdwell began correspondence and now is excited that UK Bands will host the quintet for their final performance on their current tour. The members of the quintet will also be working with UK students during a series of master classes Saturday, Oct. 18.

 

To learn more about Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, as well as see photos and video from performances, visit their website at www.windquintet.com.

 

Tickets for the Berlin Wind Quintet are $30 for general admission or $20 with a valid UK student ID. For more information regarding this concert, contact Cody Birdwell at cody.birdwell@uky.edu.

 

UK Bands is part of UK School of Music at UK College of Fine Arts. The school has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

 

Singletary Center to Welcome Back Jazzman Branford Marsalis

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 2:13pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 15, 2014) — The University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts will welcome back a legendary jazz musician from the celebrated Marsalis family, Branford Marsalis, this fall. Marsalis will be joined by the renowned Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia for 20 performances only, on his national "Well Tempered" tour. The Singletary Center has the honor of hosting one of these stops at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26.

 

Marsalis is a Grammy award-winning and Tony award-nominated saxophonist and composer, as well as being the leader of one of the finest jazz quartets today. Also a frequent soloist with classical ensembles, he is one of the most revered instrumentalists of his time. This particular tour has a decidely more classical bent featuring Baroque masterpieces by Tomaso Albinoni, Johann Sebastian Bach, François Couperin, Pietro Locatelli and more.

 

Ticket prices are based on seating location and range from $25 to $50 plus processing fees. The tickets can be purchased via phone at the Singletary Center Ticket Office at 859-257-4929, online at www.SCFATickets.com, or in person at the ticket office.

 

A part of the UK College of Fine Arts, the Singletary Center for the Arts presents and hosts around 400 artistic, cultural and educational events annually for the university community, Lexington community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Tommy Jarrell's Sound Makes 'A Kindly Visitation' at UK

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 3:24pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 13, 2014) — As part of a residency with artist James Leva, the life of traditional folk musician Thomas Jefferson Jarrell will come to life in two performances from the play "A Kindly Visitation." Bluegrass audiences can take in the play 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14, at University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall. Later the same week, Leva and his fellow musicians from the play will present music from the work as part of the "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series. The concert performance will be presented noon Friday, Oct. 17, in the Niles Gallery, located in the Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center. Both events are free and open to the public.

 

"A Kindly Visitation," a play by Leva, is based on the stories and music of the legendary North Carolina musician Thomas Jefferson Jarrell (1901-1985). Two narrators, both musicians, recall their own youthful visits with Tommy Jarrell in the 1970s and early 80s. Two other musician/actors use simple props (a fedora, a pair of glasses, for example) to enact flashbacks of Jarrell's stories.

 

Jarrell learned most of his music before recordings and radio became available. He was of that last generation of musicians who learned from other musicians. Every tune or song he played had a story to go with it, usually including the musicians from whom he’d heard the piece.

 

The actors recall this cast of characters whose lives reach back into the early 19th century and the frontier culture in early 20th century Appalachia. The play features flashbacks of Jarrell’s telling of these tales and playing the tunes with which they are forever linked for the narrators, who are representative of the large number of visitors who were welcomed into the musician’s home. The music and storytelling is enhanced by over 100 photographs which are projected on a screen behind the four actor/musicians. The play also features several dance numbers.

 

"A Kindly Visitation" is performed by Leva, Riley Baugus, Danny Knicely and Ira Bernstein. Leva, a native of Rockbridge County, Virginia, is a fiddler, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who began playing traditional Appalachian music as a teen. His visits to, and friendships with such great traditional musicians as Jarrell and Doug Wallin, informed his music with a great appreciation and respect for the deep roots of the music and culture of the mountains.

 

Leva has used this foundation to explore the Celtic and African roots of the music in projects with Irish guitarist John Doyle and Mande musicians such as Cheick Hamala Diabate and Bassekou Kouyate. He has also experimented with the role traditionally based music can play in contemporary music with bands such as The Free Will Savages, The Renegades, Plank Road, The Hellbenders and his current band, Purgatory Mountain. His CDs with Carol Elizabeth Jones, as Jones & Leva on the Rounder label, consisted of all original material and the recordings won wide praise and rave reviews. 

 

As a musician, Leva has performed at most of the major festivals in North America and Europe, including Telluride, Merlefest, RockyGrass, Strawberry, Wheatlands, Grey Fox, Tonder, Nyon and many others. More recently he has performed at Aulnay All Blues, outside of Paris, and in Tunisia and Morocco on a tour sponsored by the U.S. State Department. Leva has a doctoral degree in French literature from the University of Virginia and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Paris after receiving his undergraduate degree from Washington and Lee University.

 

Riley Baugus, who was born and raised near Winston-Salem, North Carolina, started playing banjo at the age of 10. He was inspired by the traditional Appalachian music that he heard in his family’s community in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina and on the records played and cherished by his family. He also learned as a young man from such greats as Jarrell, Dix Freeman and Robert Sykes. Baugus has played with numerous old time string bands, including The Red Hots and the Old Hollow Stringband, and currently plays with Dirk Powell, Old Buck and with Ira Bernstein.

 

Baugus built the banjos that appear in the Academy Award-winning film "Cold Mountain," and his singing features on the soundtrack. He has toured throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and more recently, in Australia. Baugus can also be heard on the Grammy Award-winning recording by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, “Raising Sand,” and the Willie Nelson release called, “Country Music.”

 

Danny Knicely comes from a musical family steeped in a mountain music tradition for generations. He first learned music from his grandfather, A.O. Knicely, who has been playing dances and social events in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia since the 1930s. Knicely has used his roots in old time and bluegrass to explore various types of music in the U.S. and from around the world. He has shared his music and collaborated with musicians in nearly a dozen countries spanning four continents, including U.S. State Department tours in Tunisia and Morocco.

 

As a multi-instrumentalist, Knicely has won many awards for his mandolin, guitar, fiddle and flatfooting expertise, including first place in the mandolin contest at the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival.

 

Born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, Ira Bernstein began dancing traditional Appalachian clogging and flatfooting and playing the fiddle as a college student in 1978 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where there was a vibrant old time music and dance community. Bernstein's education in these old time traditions was at weekly community-style square dances and numerous weekend and holiday social gatherings that were centered on the music and dance. His earliest group experiences were as a member of the Mill Creek Cloggers, and the Marlboro Morris and Sword team. He later went on to perform with the highly influential, professional companies the Fiddle Puppets, and the American Tap Dance Orchestra.

 

Bernstein was also the lead soloist in "Rhythms of the Celts," which ran for six weeks at the prestigious Waterfront Theatre in Belfast, Ireland, as well as a guest soloist with Rhythm in Shoes and the Vanaver Caravan. He has performed in concerts and at festivals all across the U.S. and Canada, as well as in 16 other countries around Europe and Asia. Bernstein has shared the stage with many of the world's greatest tap and step dancers, including Gregory Hines, Savion Glover, Honi Coles, Jimmy Slyde and Chuck Green, and has appeared numerous times on television and in theatrical productions. He was also one of the artistic creators and featured soloists in "Mountain Legacy," and is the director of the Ten Toe Percussion Ensemble. Bernstein has repeatedly won first place in the Mount Airy Fiddler's Convention old time flatfooting competition. He lives in Asheville, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina.

 

Leva's residence is presented as part of the “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series. The series celebrates the old time roots of American folk music by featuring a diverse range of traditional musical expression. The concert series will showcase 13 different artists, duos and groups from southern Appalachia ranging from artists straight off their front porch to those who have earned international acclaim. The concert series is generously presented by the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, a collaborative research and performance center maintained by the UK College of Fine Arts, UK School of Music and UK Libraries.

 

For more information on the “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series or the James Leva events, contact Ron Pen, director of the Niles Center, by email to Ron.Pen@uky.edu or visit the website at http://finearts.uky.edu/music/niles.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

 

'Appalachia in the Bluegrass' Presents Local Honeys, Ritchie Family

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 5:34pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 10, 2014) — From some Local Honeys to the beloved Ritchie family, "Appalachia in the Bluegrass" concert series is sure to pack the Niles Gallery. On Friday, Oct. 10, the old time music trio the Local Honeys will perform. A couple weeks later, on Friday, Oct. 24, the "Singing Family of the Cumberlands" is in the spotlight with an appearance by four of Jean Ritchie's nieces. Both free public concerts will take place at noon at the Niles Gallery, located in the University of Kentucky Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center.

 

The Local Honeys perform B.F. Shelton's "Darlin' Cora." 

 

A Sweet Old Time Trio

The Local Honeys are a vibrant female trio specializing in old time music, primarily connected to Kentucky. The group all met as students and faculty at the Kentucky

Center for Traditional Music at Morehead State University. The multi-instrumentalists also incorporate comedy and dance into their performances.

 

The Kentucky trio is comprised of Montana Hobbs on clawhammer banjo and vocals; Stephanie Jeter on autoharp and vocals, as well as clogging and flatfooting; and Linda Jean Stokley on fiddle, clawhammer banjo and vocals. 

 

Regionally, the Local Honeys have appeared at the Red Barn Radio Show, the Kentucky Folk Art Center, Wallace Station and Willie's Locally Known. The band members consider themselves ambassadors of traditional music and are dedicated to the preservation of traditional songs, ballads, fiddle tunes and dance.

 

The Next Generation of the 'Singing Family of the Cumberlands'

Celebrated traditional singer, dulcimer player, author, songwriter and UK alumna Jean Ritchie wrote of her life growing up in the community of Viper, in Perry County, Kentucky, in the book "Singing Family of the Cumberlands." It was a remarkable singing family in every regard; they would spend evenings “singing up the moon” at their homeplace nestled in the mountains.

 

Ritchie wrote, “Best of all the singing. When we got started on ‘The Cuckoo She’s a Pretty Bird,’ we sang back all the happy days and ways of our growing up. Remembrances by the score swept over my mind. Funny happenings, happy days and sad days, and I could tell by the sound of the other voices that they were remembering too. The lovely past was not gone, it had just been shut up inside a song.”

 

Jean and her brother, Wilmer Ritchie, who lives in Berea, Kentucky, are the last of that generation, but the next generations of the "Singing Family of the Cumberlands" continue to “sing up the moon” together. Four of the Ritchie family nieces, Susie Ritchie, Patty Tarter, Judy Hudson and Joy Powers will gather for a special appearance at the Niles Gallery, creating a “blood harmony,” a very special understanding of music bound to a sacred place. Despite their jobs and lives in different parts of the country, the Ritchies still come together with their unique repertoire and sweet, close harmony.

 

"It is an honor to have Susie, Patty, Judy and Joy conjure up the beauties of the Appalachian Mountains here in the Bluegrass," said Ron Pen, director of the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music and host of the concert series.

 

The “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series celebrates the old-time roots of American folk music by featuring a diverse range of traditional musical expression. The concert series will showcase 13 different artists, duos and groups from southern Appalachia ranging from artists straight off their front porch to those who have earned international acclaim. The concert series is generously presented by the John Jacob Niles Center for American Music, a collaborative research and performance center maintained by the UK College of Fine Arts, UK School of Music and UK Libraries.

 

For more information on the “Appalachia in the Bluegrass” concert series or the concerts featuring the Local Honeys or members of the Ritchie family, contact Ron Pen, director of the Niles Center, by email to Ron.Pen@uky.edu or visit the website at http://finearts.uky.edu/music/niles.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

 

Triangle Soloist Appears in Concert

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 2:13pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 7, 2014) — Is there really enough music composed for a triangle soloist to offer a program the length of a concert? You will be delighted to learn that there is when you attend "Music for Triangle Soloist," a guest recital by percussionist Mark Berry beginning 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, at the Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.

 

For most percussionists, the triangle is a familiar instrument that is played frequently. However there is very little solo or recital repertoire available. Though the triangle has been played for centuries, in modern times it is rarely encountered outside of an ensemble context.

 

The Sounds, Shapes, and Synergy commissioning project evolved from this dichotomy. Berry began the project with three goals: to contribute repertoire; to propel the triangle in a solo or recital context; and to create modern music for an ancient instrument.

 

Berry is associate professor of percussion at Western Kentucky University. Since 2002, he has held the position of principal timpanist with Orchestra Kentucky.

 

"Music for Triangle Soloist" is presented by UK Percussion Studies at UK School of Music. The School of Music, part of the UK College of Fine Arts, has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Choristers to Perform at First Presbyterian

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 2:53pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 6, 2014) — The 2014 University of Kentucky Choristers will make their fall debut at First Presbyterian Church at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 171 Market St. The concert is free and open to the public.

 

Under the direction of doctoral candidate Adam Beeken, of Cleveland, Tennessee, the concert will feature a performance of Joseph Haydn’s "Missa brevis in F." Additionally, the program will consist of works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Paul Basler, as well as traditional folk songs. The UK Choristers will be accompanied by Karina Johnson and assistant directed by graduate student Cooper Schrimsher, of Hunstville, Alabama.

 

UK Choristers is the oldest performing organization at UK. Filled with underclassmen and representing a wide variety of majors, the group frequently performs on and off of campus. This 55-voice mixed choir specializes in choral repertoire of all periods and styles, both a cappella and accompanied, and also performs a major work each year with the UK Symphony Orchestra as well as hosting a successful music theater cabaret, "Night on Broadway." The Choristers tour frequently throughout the region.

 

For more information on the concert or the UK Choristers, contact Evan Pulliam, administrative assistant for UK Choirs, at evan.pulliam@uky.edu.   

 

UK Choristers are housed at the UK School of Music at UK College of Fine Arts. The school has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

‘Sweeney Todd’ Serves Up Sweet, Sinful Revenge

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 11:10am

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 3, 2014) — University of Kentucky Opera Theatre lives up to its tradition of presenting some of Broadway's most popular hits again this fall as it presents a new production of Stephen Sondheim’s maniacal masterpiece "Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: A Musical Thriller." The dark musical comedy will haunt the Lexington Opera House stage Oct. 4-12.

 

From Broadway and West End stages, to the big screen featuring Johnny Depp, to its most recent presentation on PBS with a Lincoln Center cast featuring Bryn Terfel and Academy Award winner Emma Thompson, "Sweeney Todd" is known for seizing audiences' attention with its story full of murder, mayhem and revenge. Set in 19th century England, the musical explores the life of Benjamin Barker, alias Sweeney Todd, who returns to London after serving 15 years on trumped-up charges.

 

Stage director Richard Gammon has assembled a creative team that helps bring light to the dark comedy in a fantastical new production. Gammon is a graduate of the New England Conservatory and currently is the stage director for Ash Lawn Opera’s Young Artist Program. He previously worked in Kentucky when he directed the 2010 production of "Much Ado About Nothing" for the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, in Louisville. Rounding out Gammon's team are assistant director and choreographer Cassey Kikuchi Kivnick, set designer Carolyn Mraz, lighting designer Tanya Harper and costume designer Susan Dudley Wigglesworth.

 

“Richard Gammon has directed an innovative, creative and spectacular new production," said UK Opera Theatre Executive Director Everett McCorvey, producer for the show. "While the show is a dark comedy, Richard has really focused on the comedy aspect, and the truth and life in each of the characters.”

 

Bringing "Sweeney Todd" to "life" is a double cast of talented UK students including: Thomas Gunther and Matthew Turner as Sweeney Todd; Holly Dodson and Rachel Snyder as Mrs. Lovett; Christopher Baker as Judge Turpin; Peter LaPrade and Zackery Morris as Anthony Hope; Gabrielle Barker and Mary Catherine Wright as Johanna; Andrew Miller and Wesley Hammond as Tobias Ragg; Brittany Jones and Kathrin Thawley as Beggar Woman; Joshua Randall Price and Brock Terry as Beadle Bamford; and Jonathan Parham as Adolfo Pirelli.

Under the baton of John Nardolillo, 36 UK Symphony Orchestra members perform one of Sondheim’s most intricate scores. Performances will also be conducted by Lucía Marín and Jan Pellant, doctoral candidates and UK Symphony Orchestra assistant conductors.

 

Performances of "Sweeney Todd" take the stage 7:30 p.m., Oct. 4 and 8-11, and 2 p.m., Oct. 5, 11 and 12. Tickets range in price from $40.50 to $76.50, with student tickets available for $20.50. To purchase tickets in advance, contact the box office at 859-233-3535, visit www.ticketmaster.com or purchase in person at the Lexington Center Box Office. Tickets may be purchased at the Lexington Opera House 90 minutes before each performance.

 

For more information contact Patrick Joel Martin, marketing coordinator for UK Opera Theatre, at 859-257-4590.

 

UK Opera Theatre is one of a select group of U.S. opera training programs recommended by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. The Tucker Foundation is a nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to the support and advancement of the careers of talented American opera singers by bringing opera into the community and heightening appreciation for opera by supporting music education enrichment programs.

 

The UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

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