Orchestra to provide soundtrack for Thunder over Louisville fire - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Orchestra to provide soundtrack for Thunder over Louisville fireworks


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Louisville Orchestra will play a major role in the next Thunder Over Louisville. The orchestra will provide the soundtrack for the 2016 fireworks show, which will be broadcast exclusively on WDRB.

The Kentucky Derby Festival has been working closely with the Louisville Orchestra to come up with the first of its kind plan. Musicians are recording pieces from over 40 well-known works by composers like Holst, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Mozart. Songs from My Morning Jacket, Katy Perry, Michael Jackson, and other pop stars are also included in the repertoire.

In addition, you’ll hear the traditional favorites such as “Colonel Bogey’s March,” “When You Wish Upon a Star,” and, of course, “My Old Kentucky Home.” The Collegiate Chorale – the premiere choral ensemble in the University of Louisville School of Music – is performing with the Orchestra in the soundtrack. After a two-day recording session this week, the music will be edited for the fireworks show.

It's another brainchild of the Orchestra's new director Teddy Abrams. He cut through decades of talk about a soundtrack with his vision to take the orchestra from the concert halls to the community.

Only WDRB was there as the orchestra began recording the soundtrack on Tuesday at the Brown Theater.

“Having a Thunder soundtrack from the Louisville Orchestra has been on the Festival’s bucket list for a while,” said Mike Berry, KDF President & CEO. “It’s really going to be something special we think the whole community will enjoy.”

Said Teddy Abrams, Louisville Orchestra Music Director, “One of my first introductions to Louisville when I was conductor designate was Thunder Over Louisville. It was so exciting to see a community rally around an event with such enthusiasm that I instantly had the goal to get the orchestra to be a part of it somehow. This collaboration is that dream come true!”

“There’s a natural fit between spectacular orchestra music and fireworks so this connection is long overdue,” said Andrew Kipe, Executive Director, Louisville Orchestra. “We are grateful for the visionary partnership of the Kentucky Derby Festival and their sponsors.”

Thunder’s fireworks show is choreographed to an original soundtrack each year. Over the years, those soundtracks have included a broad range of music from Top Ten and urban contemporary to pop and country, as well as rock n’ roll, Broadway show tunes and much more. Anywhere from 25 to up to 60 different tracks or sound effects are used to build the musical score for each soundtrack. 

“While there are signature songs used in every Thunder soundtrack, each year it’s different,” said Wayne Hettinger, Thunder Show Producer. “In over 25 years of producing the show, no two soundtracks are alike and we always try to include something for everyone.”

Thunder Over Louisville, a day-long air show along the banks of the Ohio River, will be held on April 23, 2016. The day ends with a 30-minute fireworks show, the largest one in North America.

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