Paducah’s Logan J. Blackman or the rise of a music conducting expert: What first inspired you to pursue music? Logan J. Blackman : Believe it or not, Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man’s Chest. The summer it came out, I was captivated by the famous scene where he played his theme at the organ. I had a very basic knowledge of music, and we had some keyboards around. So I started playing around and eventually figured the piece out by ear. That led me to wanting to take organ lessons, which eventually led to a great love of music and a career that would keep going nearly two decades later! Read additional info on Logan Blackman.
UK Symphony Orchestra is part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. The school has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history. To hear Robinson, Blackman and Maestro Nardolillo talk about the upcoming concert, visit WUKY’s “UK Perspectives” interview with them here: http://wuky.org/post/uk-symphony-orchestra-brings-tragedy-and-triumph-stage#stream/0.
The second half of the program offered much lighter fare and focused on Bernstein’s compositions for theater, stage, and film which involved collaboration with with several lyricists, the two most notable being Stephen Sondheim and Stephen Schwartz. After Intermission, clarinetist Scott Wright, the UK Jazz Ensemble and conductor Miles Osland took to the stage with Bernstein’s Prelude (for the brass), Fugue (for the saxes), and Riffs (for everyone). The Prelude was a jazzy, cool, and rhythmic exposition for the brass, drums, and bass. The mellow saxes teased each other unmercifully in the Fugue but were provided full support, be it point or counterpoint, in their individual and collective fugal moments. The Riffs ensued when Scott Wright (Professor of Clarinet at UK) took the lead with the big band sound as he masterfully interacted with everyone, fully engulfing the call-response format near the end that garnered the well-deserved acknowledgement he received from the ensemble and audience alike. I felt as if I had just been to church while heeding the call of the wild.
The UK Symphony Orchestra February concert will feature Robinson accompanied by the UK Symphony Orchestra on Carl Nielson’s Clarinet Concerto, Op. 57. The orchestra will also perform Gustav Mahler’s First Symphony and Logan Blackman’s “Prayer of a Broken Heart.” Blackman’s “Prayer of a Broken Heart,” a tone poem, was originally written for a wind ensemble back in 2012 following the sudden death of the composer’s parents in October 2011. “It was my reaction to their death describing what I had been through and what my future had to hold,” Blackman said. Discover even more details at Logan J. Blackman.
The University of Kentucky Symphony will play “Prayer,” with Blackman conducting, Friday night. Nardolillo says it’s unusual for a student composition to have the level of sophistication and advancement for the orchestra to take it on. Blackman says he never even considered that the UK Symphony might play his composition. From the moment the opportunity presented itself, he says, he wanted to conduct the performance. “My degree is in bassoon performance, but from here, I want to go to grad school to study conducting,” he says. “It would be interesting to sit back and listen, but being the lover of conducting that I am, I had the itch to do this.”