Orchestra Kentucky not just about classical music

Director Jeff Reed swings his baton while conducting Orchestra Kentucky’s performance of “Endless Love” in Van Meter Hall on Friday night. The orchestra performed love songs from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s and included strings, brass, drums, piano, harp, harmonica and vocals.

Kevin Allen

Many people may think going to the orchestra means dressing up and hearing classical music.

But that doesn’t need to be the case, said John Cracken, guitarist and vocalist for Orchestra Kentucky.

“The Orchestra Kentucky is not your grandmother’s orchestra,” Cracken said.

Orchestra Kentucky is a group of professional musicians that live in Bowling Green and make up a classically trained orchestra, rock band and choir.

In addition to classical music, Orchestra Kentucky also plays popular music from the past such as The Eagles, The Beatles and Motown. 

Webb Hendrix, a percussionist for the orchestra, said Orchestra Kentucky aims to sound as close to a live version of an album as possible. 

This past weekend, the orchestra performed “Endless Love,” a selection of classic love songs from the 1960s to the 1990s.

Selections included songs such as Etta James’s “At Last” and Huey Lewis’s “The Power of Love.”

A rainbow of colors set the mood for each song — warm and vibrant colors for fast-paced love songs, cooler and softer colors for slower-paced ones.

Several students attended the concert in celebration of Valentine’s weekend.

Emily Hockett, a junior from Thompson Station, Tenn., couldn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day with her boyfriend  because he is serving as an Air Force military police officer in Minot, N.D.

“My boyfriend is living a thousand miles away,” Hockett said. “I thought this would be a way to connect with him.”

The group’s next show will be “Music from the New World,” on Feb. 28, with a performance of Dvorak’s “New World Symphony” along with spirituals sung by Larnelle Harris, Office Manager Diane Crowley said. 

Students can call the orchestra office at (270) 846-2426 before the event and get tickets for as little as $10 as part of  the Arts Access for All program, Executive Director Darrell Edwards said.