We Are Now the Kentucky Chamber Orchestra

In an effort to better serve the needs of our community, the Kentuckiana Philharmonic Orchestra will be transitioning away from focusing on symphonic orchestral repertoire and shifting our focus towards chamber music. The Louisville community has been blessed with a vibrant and talented pool of classical musicians, as well as several community organizations which offer those artists a place to practice their craft. The numerous community orchestras in the city and the Kentuckiana Philharmonic Orchestra have all worked to provide playing opportunities to our community’s instrumentalists. What all of them have in common is their instrumentation structure; they are symphony orchestras, groups of between 60-80 musicians that primarily focus on music from the romantic era and later. What Louisville has not had until now is a classical chamber orchestra, a group of 30-40 people with limited winds and brass and a smaller strings section. Being this type of group, what is now the Kentucky Chamber Orchestra will be able to give Louisville musicians the opportunity to perform music by composers such as Mozart, Haydn, Vivaldi, Handel, and the like.

           This will be a big transition for all of us, and we are very grateful for the support our community has given us since our conception in August of 2017. If you have any questions about what this transition will mean for our organization, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions below. If any questions are left unanswered, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to the next chapter in our organization’s life, and we hope we can continue to count on your support as we move forward.

Why the change?

Louisville has a lot of great orchestras, and they all serve as wonderful places for musicians to practice their craft and enjoy their favorite classical music. But none of these organizations’ primary focus is chamber music. It’s difficult to program Mozart and Haydn for an orchestra with a personnel count of 60 or more, knowing full well some of those people will get left out because there aren’t enough parts for everyone to have one. Changing our format allows us to offer equal playing opportunities to every one of our musicians, while at the same time representing an area of classical music that is under-served in our community.

How will instrumentation be different?

Chamber orchestras typically include two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, between 12 and 21 string players (between four and six first violins, three and five second violins, two and four violas, two and four cellos, and one or two basses), and typically one percussionist.

What if I play an instrument that’s not included?

Don’t worry! Chamber orchestras deviate from their core instrumentation all the time and bring in extra musicians to cover parts on repertoire outside of standard chamber music literature. If you’re a trombone player, for example, there will still be pieces for which we will need trombone parts covered.

Will ticket prices be the same?

Yes. Tickets are still $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 10 and under.

Will you still be rehearsing and performing at St. Matthews Baptist Church?

Yes, we will remain residents at SMBC. We’re very grateful for all they do for us! In the future, we may increase the number of locations where we perform, but our rehearsal location will remain the same.

Will you still be holding auditions at the beginning of each season?

We will. The only difference at the start of our 2019-20 season will be a change in how seating is done. There will be a maximum of two wind players per instrument. Those not given seats in the core ensemble will be substitute players, just in case a musician gets sick.

How many seats will be available for strings?

There will be five first violin chairs, five second violin chairs, four viola chairs, four cello chairs, and two bass chairs.

Again, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

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