Home » Kentucky Symphony Orchestra safely navigates summer with distanced performances in the park

Kentucky Symphony Orchestra safely navigates summer with distanced performances in the park

KSO moves its 26th Summer Series of free family-friendly programming to the Tower Park amphitheater in Fort Thomas

FORT THOMAS, Ky. — At a unique time in history, the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra cautiously moves outdoors with its 26th free summer series 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 eagerly anticipated 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 June 29, 2020, 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 Department to meet current public health guidelines.

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, 2020

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 years 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 symphonies would combine zany high-flying acts with Swing? (Full playlist attached)

“The Band Played On”
(An Old-Fashioned Band Concert)
7:30 p.m. Saturday, August 8, 2020

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. (Full playlist attached)

(Pop hits for Boomers to Centennials)
7:30 p.m. Saturday, September 5, 2020

The KSO’s 21-pc. studio orchestra with vocalists — The KSO 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 the music of your youth (the 1950s-2010s), and say — so long to Summer.

“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 their families and citizens, as well as the right to assemble at a distance.” — James Cassidy, KSO Music Director.

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 http://www.kyso.org or call (859) 431-6216. $5 (per person) suggested donation. Free parking in Tower Park (though it is limited).

For 29 seasons the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra has taken the “phony” out of symphony by eliminating traditional barriers and presenting engaging, live, thematic concerts that enrich, educate, and entertain the residents of Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati. The KSO performs three series of concerts annually throughout Northern Kentucky.