Arts & Culture

'The Force' continues at University of Kentucky Bands concert 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 30, 2024) — The University of Kentucky Wind Symphony returns to a galaxy far, far away with their concert, “Star Wars!,” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, in the Singletary Center’s Concert Hall. The show will feature John Williams’ Oscar-nominated score of the “Star Wars” trilogy films, along with works by Ron Nelson, Anthony Barfield and George Gershwin.

Joining the UK Wind Symphony onstage will be the Lafayette High School Wind Symphony from Lexington, who will be performing the “KMEA Preview Concert” as they prepare for their appearance at the Kentucky Music Educators Association conference on Feb. 8. 

John Cody Birdwell, D.M.A, conducts the UK Wind Symphony and will be joined by guest conductor Brian Froedge and soloists Brad Kerns (trombone) and Jessica Bayne (soprano). The performance will be the culmination of the 2024 George R. Boulden Honor Band Weekend, and will feature Dee Bishop conducting the Lafayette High School Wind Symphony. The UK Wind Symphony program will include “Cuban Overture” by George Gershwin, “Aspen Jubilee” by Ron Nelson, “Red Sky” by Anthony Barfield, and the iconic “Star Wars Trilogy” by John Williams. Bradley Kerns, UK professor of trombone, will be featured soloist on “Red Sky,” and UK graduate student Jessica Bayne (soprano) will perform on “Aspen Jubilee.” The Lafayette program will include several outstanding works including “Aegean Festival Overture” by Andreas Makris, and “Firefly” by UK alumnus Ryan George. 

The UK Wind Symphony consists of the finest wind and percussion graduate and undergraduate students in the nationally recognized UK School of Music conducted by Birdwell, director of UK Bands. As the centerpiece of a band program that has served the Commonwealth of Kentucky for over 100 years, the Wind Symphony continues a rich tradition of performing the finest traditional and contemporary compositions in the concert band/chamber winds repertoire.    

Tickets for UK Wind Symphony concerts are $14 for adults and $7 for students (additional online processing fees may apply). UK Students can receive 1 free ticket to this performance — visit the Singletary Center for the Arts Ticket Office to receive your ticket (valid UK ID required.) Tickets are non-refundable and there are no exchanges.

Tickets are available at, by phone at 859-257-4929 or in person at the venue.  

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.