Music News & Reviews

UK women's choir to give benefit concert

The University of ­Kentucky Women's Choir will present a benefit ­concert at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Hillary Boone Center to support its trip to the Music Educators National Convention in Milwaukee.

The invitation to perform at the conference is one of two prestigious honors that director Lori Hetzel and the Women's Choir have received this year. The group also has been invited to perform for the Southern Region Division of the American Choral Directors Association.

The fund-raiser will feature UK Opera Theatre star Brandy Lynn Hawkins, performing selections from ­Georges Bizet's Carmen, and Megan McCauley, one of the ­winners of the 2007 Alltech competition. The concert also will feature a new ­spiritual by Roger Holland II, renowned composer for the Harlem Boys and Girls choirs, and UK professor Noemi Lugo singing two unpublished Venezuelan works. Tickets are $40, and they are available at the door.

New acting group

Michael Grice, director of the Singletary Center for the Arts and ­Summerfest, has formed a new company that will present its first show at Studio Players' Carriage House Theatre this summer. The ­Lexington Stage Co. will debut with the bluegrass-and-gospel comedy Smoke on the Mountain on July 10 to 13, 17 to 20 and 24 to 27. Grice will direct, and Mitch Barrett, formerly of the band Zoe Speaks, will be the music director. This will be a co-production with Studio Players, and Grice says he is planning other productions around town.

Documentary duo

Lexington documentary filmmaker Tom Thurman and writer Tom Marksbury will be at The Kentucky Theatre on April 10 for screenings of two of their films: Sam Peckinpah's West, which was featured on the Starz Western ­channel, and Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride, a film about Louisville native and new journalism pioneer Hunter S. Thompson. ­Thurman and Marksbury will talk about the films after the screenings. The event begins at 7 p.m. Admission is $6.50.

On CD and live

If you subscribe to BBC Music Magazine, you probably just received the April issue, which includes a CD of organist David Briggs performing organ ­symphonies by Louis Vierne and Charles-Marie Widor.

At 7:30 p.m. April 11, you can hear Briggs live in First Presbyterian Church's recently renovated sanctuary. The program will include music by Gustav Mahler and Nicholas Rimsky-Korsakoff.

While in ­Kentucky, Boston-based Briggs will record an album on the organ at the ­Presbyterian Church in Danville.

Tickets are $15 and are available at the Downtown Arts Center ticket office. Call (859) 225-0370 or go to

Chamber finale

The Chamber Music Society of Central Kentucky wraps up its 2007-08 season, as with most years, with the Central Kentucky Chamber Players. But the concert, at 7:30 p.m. April 6, is far from routine. The ensemble consists of violinists Daniel Mason, Ella Chang and Jessica Tzou; violists Brice ­Farrar and ­Lauren Nelson; ­cellist ­Andrea Kleesattle; ­bassoonist Peter ­Simpson; and guitarist Andrew Leonard. The program includes music by Francois Devienne, Antonio Vivaldi, Astor Piazzola and Serge Prokofiev. Tickets for the adventurous program are $20 for adults and $6.50 for students, and are available at the Singletary Center ticket office. Call (859) 257-4929 or go to

"La Boheme' in HD

The seventh ­offering in the Metropolitan Opera's Live HD series is Giacomi Puccini's La Boheme, ­featuring ­Angela ­Gheorghiu as Mimi and Ramon Vargas as ­Rodolpho. It shows at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Hamburg Pavilion 16, Lexington Green Movies 8 and Richmond Mall ­Cinemas 8. There's an encore showing at 3 p.m. April 6 at Lexington Green and Richmond Mall. Tickets are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors and $15 for children.

Herald-Leader staff report