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Kentucky Symphony Orchestra offers 26th Summer Series (meeting health guidelines) in new place

At a unique time in history, the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra cautiously moves outdoors with its 26th free summer series, this year, at the beautiful amphitheater at Tower Park in Fort Thomas.

The KSO’s last performance was March 12, after which four scheduled programs and events were canceled due to the pandemic. The KSO looked forward to the Summer, where the ability to physically distance on the lawn and on-stage (with smaller resources), during sunny, warm weather offered opportunities for all.

Providing varying degrees of PPE for volunteers, staff and attendees, together with individual personal responsibility, the KSO and the City of Fort Thomas saw the summer series as a guarded way for musicians to return to work while providing a safe semblance of tradition and normalcy for residents, as we collectively find our way forward.

In compliance with Kentucky’s Healthy at Work Requirements, the KSO and City of Fort Thomas have taken extra measures to ensure the safety and well-being of its musicians, staff, volunteers and audience members. KSO General Manager, Angela Williamson, is coordinating directly with the City of Fort Thomas Recreation Dept. to meet current public health guidelines.

KSO meets Circus Mojo

For those considered to be at risk (health/age), or are sick/exposed can watch on Facebook Live. Seniors are also invited to attend the morning dress rehearsals in the park. Those planning to attend the performance are strongly urged to register on-line, observe distance postings and instructions, don masks as you share close proximity with others and pack your hand sanitizer. The KSO and its guest artists will handle the music, nostalgia and quality entertainment.

For 25 Summers the KSO performed at the WPA-built bandshell in Devou Park. With COVID-19 projections and guidelines evolving and uncertain, Covington city officials thought it best not to host the series at Devou Park this Summer. The KSO, in its efforts to safely employ its talented musicians, turned to Fort Thomas, which after deliberation, agreed to permit these three safe, distanced activities for its residents.

KSO 2020 Summer Series at Tower Park

Swingin’ Cirque Revue
(KSO meets Circus Mojo)
7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 11

The KSO and Ludlow’s Circus Mojo first teamed-up in 2010 to bring high- wire acts, jugglers and hi-jinx to the Symphony. Ten year’s later they are back together with the orchestra’s 10-pc. swing group (The Devou-Doo Daddies), performing the high-energy 1990s swing revival music of The Squirrel Nut Zippers, Royal Crown Revue and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and more. “Hey Pachuco” — What other symphony would combine zany high-flying acts with Swing?

An old-fashioned band concert

“The Band Played On”
(An Old-Fashioned Band Concert)
7:30 p.m. Saturday, August 8

100 years ago towns used to gather in the Summer to hear their own local or national touring concert band perform at the bandshell or gazebo. Most wind, brass, and percussion players of today’s symphony orchestras started their careers via middle and high-school band programs, playing the warhorse works penned in the early to mid-20th century. Current band students and teachers are invited to experience their musical heritage. The KSO’s wind ensemble re-creates this nostalgic setting and sound, with cornet soloist Michael Mergen from the President’s Own Marine Corps Band.

(Pop hits for Boomers to Centennials)
7:30 p.m. Saturday, September 5

The KSO’s 21-pc. studio orchestra with vocalists — The Boogie Band — has covered some of the most popular radio hits of the past seven decades. With 300 charts in its repertoire (adapted by arranger Terry LaBolt), the group this Labor Day weekend offers nostalgic hits for all generations attending, including chart-toppers from Patsy Cline to Camila Cabello and The Beach Boys to Bruno Mars. Be ready to dance, sing along and toe-tap to music of your youth (1950s-2010s), and say —so long to Summer.

Pop hits for Boomers to Centennials)

The circumstances of the last few months have made us all understand how simple gatherings and traditions, like sharing a nostalgic and cultural moment together, are quite fragile and can be lost to significant threats and fears. We hope that those who can attend will take precautions to protect your families and citizens, as well as the right to assemble at a distance.

The KSO appreciates the generous support of the following local corporate sponsors: St. Elizabeth Health Care, Fischer Homes, Duke Energy, Schneller & Knochelmann, The Milburn Family and the Wohlgemuth-Herschede Foundations, and the City of Fort Thomas for hosting the KSO’s 2020 free series of family-friendly and safe summer programs.

Join the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. — July 11, August 8 and September 5. Food trucks will be on-site. Bring blankets, picnics or lawn chairs.

For more information, registration and directions, visit the KSO
 at www.kyso.org or call (859) 431-6216. $5 (per person) suggested donation. Free parking in Tower Park (though it is limited).

Here are the details for the Saturday program:

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