UK Symphony Orchestra pulls big crowd for galactic-themed show

Annaliese Levy

The UK Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Lori Hetzel and conductors John Nardolillo and Jan Pellant, performed John William’s original theme from “Star Wars” and Gustav Holst’ “The Planets” Friday night at the Singletary Center for the Arts.

There was a packed crowd for the celestial-themed show. Extra seats had to be added near the pit because of the large turnout. Many patrons said they had never seen it so crowded.

“I usually go to all the concerts that I can. I’ve never seen it as full as it tonight,” said Karen Mingst, a retired UK professor and regular attendee of the symphony orchestra’s events.

Many UK students who did not recognize the classical pieces, but immediately recognized the “Star Wars” theme.

“It’s my first symphony,” freshman Taylor Pinson said. “I’m really excited because I’m a big Star Wars fan.”

The show began with Star Wars: Main Title (1977) theme song. Christine Sallas, oboe player, and Caden Holmes, trumpet player, performed solos.

“I was very excited to see the soloist perform,” UK graduate David Baynnam said. “I usually come out to the UK and Lexington Philharmonics. I especially like the program tonight.”

To prepare for the show, the UK symphony practices every day for at least an hour.

“The show went really well. We’ve been practicing a lot, but it’s been fun,” kinesiology sophomore Katie Jones said. Jones has been playing the cello for 12 years. and joined the UK symphony in August. “The orchestra improves as a whole every time we play.”

Allison Pin, a senior at Henry Clay High School, came to the performance to support her friends.

“I always look out for events at Singletary. It’s nice to have easy access to these shows,” Pin said. “I love Star Wars, so I thought I’d come out and listen to some good music while supporting my friends.”

The evening’s finale was “The Planets” by Gusav Holst. It was a seven piece set on each planet: “Mars, the Bringer of War;” “Venus, the Bringer of Peace;” “Mercury, the Winged Messenger;” “Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity;” “Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age;” “Uranus, the Magician;” and “Neptune, the Mystic.” The UK Women’s Choir accompanied the final performance.

The UK Symphony Orchestra will perform classical, chamber and education concerts throughout the semester. For information on upcoming shows, visit: