The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra Samples Broadway's Golden Age in the Concert Bowl at Devou Park.

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The KSO dusts off 12 stellar overtures by Broadway's royalty (1926-64) to close its 24th Summer Series in Covington's Devou Park.

KSO Summer Series in Covington's Devou Park

These [overtures] are the classics for which Broadway will continue to be remembered generations from now.” — James Cassidy, KSO Music Director

The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra closes its 24th summer in Devou Park with a program of overtures celebrating the Golden Age of Broadway (1926-64). The overture — an introductory musical piece that sets the tone and spirit of the story to come —
descended from opera and operetta before musical comedies adopted the concept of warming up the audience with recognizable selections (teasers) from the score. By the 1960s, prologues and opening numbers provided an alternative to the traditional overture, and the anticipatory instrumental piece disappeared from evenings on “The Great White Way.”

In the age of the masters — Gershwin, Kern, Rodgers, Berlin, Porter, Bernstein, etc — the overtures became showpieces themselves, and prepared the audience for what was to come. It was rare for the show’s composer to actually write the overture. The assembling of the musical’s memorable tunes was often left to the arranger or orchestrator of the show.

“Setting the table with several tunes that folks can readily sing” is how KSO Music Director James Cassidy characterizes these overtures. “The Tin Pan Alley composers wrote stellar songs that endure today. These are the classics for which Broadway will continue to be remembered generations from now.”

The KSO has pulled together 12 showtune-packed instrumentals to fill Devou Park with melodies from Show Boat, South Pacific, Damn Yankees, My Fair Lady, Gypsy, and others — perfect for the Labor Day Weekend family outing.

Support for the concert is provided by Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America, Macy’s, and Fischer Homes. Together these generous sponsors cover nearly 45% of the production costs.  Donations are encouraged at the concert to help raise the remaining funds necessary to present the series each summer.

Picnics are welcome, though drinks and food concessions will be available. Join James Cassidy and the KSO for the closing of the Symphony’s 24th Summer in Devou Park, Saturday, September 1 at 7:30 p.m. The TANK Shuttle from the Covington Catholic parking lot to the band shell runs from 6:00 -7:30 p.m (returning 9:20-30 following the concert) for $1 each way. Bring blankets or lawn chairs as it is a natural setting. Free admission and parking, though donations suggested. For more information, visit the KSO at or call (859) 431-6216.

About the KSO:
The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra takes the “phony” out of symphony through live thematic concerts that culturally enrich, educate and entertain the residents of Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati. Current Music Director, James R. Cassidy founded the group in 1992 with an ambitious purpose – to create a new, broader audience for symphonic music. Through unique and innovative presentations, classical and other genres of music, the KSO has made concerts attractive, accessible and affordable without compromising quality and integrity. The KSO, with offices in Newport, KY, can be found throughout Northern Kentucky (the Commonwealth’s second largest population center) performing three series of concerts in churches, schools and parks. For more information visit

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