Standing ovation for arts series

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By Calen McKinney

I could tell it was going to be good ... a performance by a band known to perform with some of the top names in bluegrass music. And I was right.

The Ozark Alliance performed at Campbellsville University on Saturday night as part of the 2010-2011 Central Kentucky Arts Series.

I am a fan of just about any kind of music, including bluegrass. I can't rattle off the names of famous bluegrass musicians, but I know that I enjoy hearing a good song with banjos, fiddles and a good bass line.

And that's exactly what I got on Saturday night. It seemed the crowd enjoyed it, too, and responded with a standing ovation.

The Ozark Alliance was formed in 2002, when members Alex and Jenny were 11 and 9. Their parents, Dennis and Robin, took the family to festivals and gospel events. They have won many awards and produced several CDs.

It takes a lot of talent to perform in a successful group like this. I am still in awe that Alex and Jenny have received no professional instrumental training. They are also exceptional singers, and with enough stage presence to command the group's performance.

My kudos to the arts series volunteer board for bringing The Ozark Alliance to Campbellsville. It's not every day you hear such music, and in the intimate setting of The Gheens Recital Hall.

Speaking of intimate settings, I recently saw Mary Chapin Carpenter in concert in Glasgow. Yes, Glasgow.

I'm guessing she performed as part of their arts series-type performance series. Tickets weren't very expensive. No one stood during the show. No one spilled their drinks on me or got too loud. The crowd was there to simply enjoy a good show. You can't ask for much more.

Our arts series offers a great service to our community, one that many do take advantage of but some may forget about.

The Central Kentucky Arts Series is a nonprofit organization with a volunteer board of directors who serve on a part-time basis.

Dr. Tony Cunha, who is in his first year as CKAS president, is passionate about bringing good music and performances to Taylor County residents.

And, so far, he's done just that, with The Ozark Alliance and the Kentucky Ballet Theatre.

Tickets to the arts series performances aren't that expensive. Just think what it would cost to see such groups in Louisville or Lexington?

For more information about the Arts Series, call 789-5340 or 789-2918 or visit www.centralkentuckyarts.org.

The next Arts Series event, on Friday, Feb. 18, will feature Joanna Ximenes and Teresa Tedder playing piano. The event will also be at The Gheens Recital Hall and will begin at 7:30 p.m.

You can bet it will be good, too, so be sure to put it on your calendar.