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Kentucky Symphony Orchestra wrapping up free summer concerts at Tower Park with ‘Pop-Pourri’

The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra will conclude its 26th free summer series in Tower Park with “Pop-Pourri,” featuring seven decades of pop hit favorites of Boomers to Centennials at 7:30 p.m. on September 5.

Prior to the show the City of Fort Thomas is holding a Kentucky Derby Party beginning at 6 p.m., where folks can don their hats and watch the two-minute race at the MessHall (6:50), or watch by phone and hear the race and festivities live on their blanket while sipping mint-julips at the amphitheater in Tower Park.

Creating the live studio sound heard on radios, phones or favorite recordings (45 rpm to mp3) is the experience that the KSO’s Boogie Band seeks to emulate each time it assembles its 19 musicians and 8 vocalists. Nostalgia is the sentiment that takes people of all ages back to a “happy place.” “Pop music is an amazing time travel vehicle, which takes everyone back to fond youthful years to recall the car they were driving, who they were dating, and what was happening at the time” says KSO music director James Cassidy, who started this KSO subsidiary group 21 years ago.

The band — 5 piece rhythm section, 7 horns, 8 strings are comprised of some of the most talented musicians from across the Tristate, together with vocalists, who have sung Broadway tours, studio sessions, and with local bands. Arranger Terry LaBolt (IU Theater Music Director) has written nearly 300 authentic orchestrations for this group.

The evening playlist runs the gamut of style and genre, with rock, soul, country, pop, Latin and disco from Chuck Berry through Camila Cabello (1956-2018). People are always encouraged to sing along or get up and dance, but this year, we’ll need to do so cautiously to respect others. So, call up your friend and “Tell Her About It” and say
“Hey, Soul Sister,” let’s head to the Derby party in Tower Park for some “Fun, Fun, Fun” with the KSO, where we can “Shake, Rattle and Roll” to some “Uptown Funk.

“Oh, and don’t forget your hat and mask.”

The KSO will also perform the “Devil Went Down To Georgia” as a tribute to country legend, and former Newport resident, Charlie Daniels.

The KSO and the City of Fort Thomas are continuing to closely follow the Kentucky “Healthy at Work” requirements to advise both performers and attendees of ways to safely gather and perform outdoors.

Open dress rehearsals for seniors (10 a.m.) and Facebook Live streaming of the concerts allow those at risk to
participate, whereas distancing, masking, hand sanitizing stations will be promoted for those attending from the stage, signage, musical cues and video as reminders. The Derby Party / KSO concert is a safety first event. Given our intelligence and respect for our neighbors and fellow citizens, we can still hold outdoor events while following protocols.

Photo from last concert

The KSO thanks the City of Fort Thomas for hosting its summer (3 concert) series, together with the generous sponsors and supporters — St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Duke Energy, Fischer Homes, Schneller & Knochelmann,
The Milburn Family and Wohlgemuth Herschede Foundations, ArtsWave and the KY Arts Council — who also braved the
pandemic to help provide the community with family-friendly music, and the opportunity to gather responsibly.

Join the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra Saturday at 7:30 p.m. — September 5 at Tower Park (or 6:30 for the Derby
Party) in Fort Thomas. Food trucks will be on-site. Bring your Derby hats, masks, blankets, picnics or lawn chairs.

For more information, registration (needed for health guidelines and arts funding demographics) and directions, visit kyso.org or call (859) 431-6216. Admission is free but please consider a $5 (per person) suggested donation. Free parking in Tower Park (though it is limited).

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