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Devou Park bandshell

KSO Announces August 4 Show: Sombreros Versus Lederhosen

James Cassidy, Program Director for the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra (KSO), has announced the orchestra's August 4 show which features two new KSO subsidiary groups -  a Mariachi and a polka band, both making their public debuts in Devou Park.


“Celebrate, appropriate, just don’t over-orchestrate," Cassidy said.


“Actually these are two very identifiable cultural and musical genres with which Americans love to engage, whether they travel south of the border, to the land of schnitzel and sauerkraut, or simply visit their local ethnic restaurants,” Cassidy continued. “With the Mariachi’s we can dabble in Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass hits of the 1960s, while bringing Munich’s Polka tunes to Cincinnati a month before the Oktoberfest celebrations begin in earnest."


"Why? Because we can, thanks to great arrangers and versatile musicians playing instruments commonly found in the orchestra,” Cassidy explained.


The first half of the concert will consist of a nine-piece Mariachi band - three violins, two trumpets, a trombone, a guitar, a bass, and an accordion - in authentic sombreros to perform a Latin variety from De Colores and Besame Mucho to Spanish Eyes, The Mexican Shuffle and La Bamba, plus La Cuccaracha, Cielito Lindo and many more.


Then, after making a quick headgear change, the nine musicians - now toting two clarinets, a trumpet, a trombone, a tuba, a bass, a guitar, an accordion, and drums - return from intermission donning Alpine hats for a trip across Bavaria for some polkas, yodeling, and audience singing and dancing, including the Chicken Dance. Besides the requisite beer drinking songs — Ein Prosit and Beer Barrel Polka — KSO vocalist and Scherzmeister, Troy Hitch will lead the crowd in today’s Munich favorites — In München Steht ein Hofbräuhaus, The Donkey Song, Viva Colonia and Rock Mi


Picnics are welcome, and drinks and concessions will be available.


James Cassidy and the KSO's Ft. Mitchell Mariachis and the Mainsträsse Polkateers debut in the 24th Summer in Devou Park show is Saturday, August 4, at 7:30pm. The TANK Shuttle from the Covington Catholic parking lot to the band shell runs from 6 to 7:30pm and will return at 9:15, following the concert - the shuttle costs one dollar each way per person. Audience members are asked to bring blankets or lawn chairs.


Admission to the concert is free, though donations are encouraged and appreciated. For more information, visit the KSO at or call (859) 431-6216.


-Staff report