Symphony in Richmond

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In 1961, the University of Kentucky's Department of Agriculture needed background music for a film it was producing. Roughly 65 musicians volunteered, including students and faculty from surrounding universities. Fast-forward four years and this motley crew became The Lexington Philharmonic. Central Kentucky's largest arts organization, LexPhil has since performed more than 100 concerts annually, bringing orchestral music into schools and concert venues alike to inspire citizens and bring music to the masses.

401 W Short St.
Lexington,
KY
US

The Louisville Ballet prides itself on a commitment to dance education within its community, highlighting its dance school as an ideal place to provide movement instruction for toddling tots and graceful grownups alike. Hoofers ages 15 and up can boogie down, up, or backward in time in the adult-division classes, which span all levels of ballet, Zumba, jazz, hip-hop, and tap classes. Classes are held six days a week in the morning, afternoon, and evening. These fun, low-pressure classes present an excellent opportunity to learn new skills, dust off old gym or toe shoes, and meet new people, putting an end to awkward dance battles with your cumbersome coat rack.

4121 Shelbyville Rd
Louisville,
KY
US

Beloved boy bands New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys rev the engines of adoration among droves of fans with their poptastic summer tour. New Kids on the Block has been plucking heartstrings and handcrafting harmonies since 1986, combining a collection of international hits such as "Hangin' Tough" and "Step by Step" with five-part choreography and fashionable duds. Following in their footsteps, the Backstreet Boys began blowing up charts in the '90s, producing a songbook replete with favorites such as "I Want It That Way," "All I Have to Give," and "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)." The NKOTBSB Tour brings both acts together for a songful extravaganza, forming the more perfect union prophesied nearly 50 years ago by the Constitution. The May 25 concert also includes the vocal virtuosity of special guest and American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, adding to an ear-pleasing stew of dulcet melodies sure to soothe the most savage beast or most irascible mail carrier.

625 South 4th Street
Louisville,
KY
US

Many symphony orchestras take themselves very seriously. And while Kentucky Symphony Orchestra is consummately professional, they also regale audiences with unconventional performances that may involve silent films, comedians, country bands, and Civil War–battle reenactments, a formula that has worked for the past 21 seasons.

642 Mount Zion Road
Florence,
KY
US

Founded in 1895, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra?under the direction of Louis Langr?e?has matured into one of the nation's melodic heavyweights. Not only was the ensemble the first American orchestra to tour the world, backed by the US Department of State, it also hit the road stateside, playing Carnegie Hall 47 times since 1917. With such an enormous history, it's no surprise that some of classical music's biggest names are associated with the institution. It has housed famous conductors such as Leopold Stokowski and Max Rudolf, and has premiered the works of Debussy, Mahler, Ravel, and Bart?k. It's not only responsible for introducing Aaron Copland's A Lincoln Portrait to audiences, it also commissioned his Fanfare for the Common Man into existence. Attracting only the finest players from Ohio and around the world to its stable of musicians, the orchestra continues its second century as an ambassador of symphonic culture.

6295 Kellogg Ave
Cincinnati,
OH
US

Famous for playing Elphaba in the hit musical Wicked, a role on Glee, and for being part of the original cast of Rent, Tony Award–winning actress and singer Idina Menzel wows audiences with powerful pipes and heart-strumming emotion. Backed up by the orchestral pros of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Menzel will unleash vocal fireworks that will enrapture showgoers and temporarily deafen unprepared police surveillance teams. The show will be recorded for Menzel's second PBS special, set to air in March of 2012, which will allow audience members to excitedly point themselves out during reruns. The Royal Conservatory's Koerner Hall ensconces guests in tune-friendly environs, with high ceilings and exquisite acoustics.

1241 Elm Street
Cincinnati,
OH
US