School of Music Benefit Features Beethoven and Brooks

April 23, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. − The Friends of the University of Kentucky School of Music present the school's Sixth Annual Scholarship Benefit Concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 24, in the Concert Hall of the Singletary Center for the Arts. The highlight of this gala concert is a performance of Beethoven's glorious Ninth Symphony, with the UK Symphony Orchestra, UK Choruses, and soloists from UK Opera Theatre. Special to this year's concert is an appearance by UK Football Coach Rich Brooks as a “Guest Conductor.”

Coach Brooks is receiving a bit of coaching himself from UK Symphony Orchestra director John Nardolillo in preparation for the concert in which the coach will conduct the orchestra in John Philip Sousa's “Stars and Stripes Forever.” Brooks is the featured celebrity in a program sponsored by Maker's Mark and the Keeneland Foundation to sell a signed, limited edition bottle of Maker's Mark bourbon commemorating Brooks, the proceeds from which benefit the UK Orchestra's educational outreach program into schools across the Commonwealth.

The annual benefit concerts from the Friends of Music involve as many students as possible from the UK School of Music in the performance of major works for large ensembles. Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, arguably among the greatest orchestral works of classical literature, includes a full orchestra, chorus and four vocal soloists culminating in the famous “Ode to Joy” in the final movement. The School of Music performed the piece on its first Benefit Concert in 2004. Maestro Nardolillo has decided to use this concert also as the beginning of a full cycle of performances of all Beethoven's symphonies over the next few years, arguing that all orchestral players at UK should graduate having played all of these important landmarks in classical music. Friday's benefit concert will include the First and Ninth Symphonies, Beethoven's first and last.

The Friends of Music is a community organization that supports the work of the UK School of Music. Proceeds from the concert directly benefit scholarships that help the School of Music recruit and retain high caliber students.

Tickets for the UK School of Music Sixth Annual Scholarship Benefit Concert are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors and UK faculty/staff, and $5 for students and children. A processing fee will be applied to the sale of tickets upon purchase. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the Singletary Center for the Arts ticket office at (859) 257-4929 or online at