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Interesting: Former IMAX at Levee to Play Host to KSO Gala

The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra will party to a 007 theme on Saturday as the KSO and friends rendezvous at the former IMAX Theater at Newport on the Levee. Music-loving KSO fans will find three levels of live music, video, bourbon tasting, food, drink, dancing, and a silent auction. KSO musicians will perform throughout the IMAX complex.

The annual KSO gala raises funds for the Symphony’s free educational and family offerings, which reach more than 20,000 kids and multiple generations each year.

“Imagine school children never hearing an orchestra, or summers without the traditional monthly Devou Park concerts,” says symphony founder and music director J.R. Cassidy.

Patrons will be greeted by a harpist and strolling violinist in the lobby, before adjourning after dinner to the theater, where the KSO's studio orchestra and vocalist Michelle Wells perform hit Bond songs from the Sean Connery through Daniel Craig eras.

After the concert, a KSO combo opens the first dance set in the cabaret with nostalgic instrumentals from the 1960S and 1970s. Emcee and vee-jay Troy Hitch gets the party thumping with infectious dance tunes and videos from Dr. No to today.  

As gala-goers explore the unoccupied IMAX, Cassidy mysteriously mentions they can consider what the center could become.

Live, silent and on-line auctions feature destinations, sports and entertainment tickets, dining options and much more. Bidding is now open online here where you can also purchase gala and raffle tickets. Winners need not be present to win.

Cassidy urges KSO fans to “Bid high and often” for a good cause. KSO educational and community programs are supported by foundations and some generous corporations, but, Cassidy says, “These gifts don’t cover all costs to produce these eight free performances. The gala provides the necessary gap funding for these outreach efforts.”

The evening’s two raffle drawings include a rare bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 23-year family reserve (raffle tickets $50) or a week’s stay anywhere in the world at one of 7300 RCI locations (raffle tickets $20.)

The VIP package with reserved seating, cocktails, bourbon tasting, dinner by the bite, wine, and dancing / live entertainment is $125 per person ($60 tax deductible) and begins at 6 p.m.

Gala tickets are $85 per person ($20 tax deductible) with a 7 p.m. arrival for cocktails, abbreviated bourbon tasting, dinner by the bite, dancing and live entertainment.

Call the KSO for reservations for Bourbon and Bond at 859-431-6216 or visit

Reservation deadline is April 20.

-Jackie Demaline, RCN Arts