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Kentucky Symphony Set to Open 25th Year of Education Series

The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra is set to launch the 25th year of its free education series for Northern Kentucky schools.

The "Getting to Know You" program, created in 1995, introduces instruments of the orchestra to students.

At the program's start, KSO music director James Cassidy said it was important that future generations of orchestra audiences to learn about the orchestra, its history, and how it relates to them.

KSO has performed free concerts for more than 142,000 students at 252 different schools, a news release said.

The orchestra will perform on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 Hills Church in Florence as part of its Halloween edition, which opens with Paul Dukass’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”. It includes a narration to guide the audience through the magical tone painting made famous by Mickey Mouse’s iconic portrayal of the apprentice in Disney’s Fantasia. Troy Hitch, a former actor and now chief global innovation officer for Proximity Worldwide, narrates, and also brings the Harry Potter characters to life as the KSO performs John Williams’s "Children’s Suite" from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

The KSO series still includes, in alternating years, “Back in My Day”, a historical survey of the orchestra and its music from Handel to Hans Zimmer.

Secondary schools have the opportunity to learn about the roots of America’s popular musical heritage with “Rags to Riches”. This program, performed by the KSO’s Newport Ragtime Band, covers the development of ragtime, blues, Dixieland, and early jazz. The authentic performance includes a video accompaniment as well as national and local Cincinnati history and stories of perseverance in an upbeat and participatory learning experience. These free morning shows will take place February 25, 2020 during Black History Month at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. 

Teachers are provided with printed programs to distribute to each student back in class, as well as a survey that they complete and return to provide the KSO and its funders feedback. Students are also encouraged to write reviews.

-Staff report