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Application Deadline
October 1, 2024

Paducah Symphony Orchestra

Paducah Symphony Orchestra

Selected Soloists will be presented at the colORCHESTRA concert series with the Paducah Symphony Orchestra, at the Carson Center under the baton of Maestro Raffaele Livio Ponti. Concert dates Saturday, September 13, 2025
Saturday, November 15, 2025
Saturday, February 21, 2026
Rehearsal Schedule
Rehearsal 1. 15:00 - 17:30
Rehearsal 2. 18:30 - 21:00

Rehearsal 3. 14:00 - 16:30
Performance: 19:30

The concert will be Broadcast Live by Virtual Concert Halls on various public channels on YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Twitch, among other platforms
Video of the concert will stay available for playbacks on the channels.

Soloists will participate in interviews for media and other activities associated with the event.

Important dates: Application deadline - see dates on the website.
October 2024, January 2025 - Live Auditions Finals. Broadcast on video and social platforms. Meet the Judges and the Conductors. Streaming technology seminar in preparation for Live Audition - prior to performing LIVE.
No age restrictions.
Any instrumental Concerto, a single movement, or any Aria accepted.

Meet the Orchestra

The Paducah Symphony Orchestra (PSO) was founded in 1979 when a number of area musicians performed at the city's Summer Festival. That concert created enough enthusiasm to bring together a small group of founders who organized additional concerts. During the first two years, concerts were planned and performed one at a time as funds were raised. In the years since, the PSO has expanded its concert season to include seven classical concerts, and has grown its subscriber base to include over 700 patrons. Most PSO concerts now feature internationally recognized guest artists. Dr. Jordan Tang conducted the Orchestra for the twenty-three seasons from 1987 to 2009. In the spring of 2010, the PSO appointed Raffaele Ponti as its new Artistic Director & Conductor.

The mission of the PSO is to bring the rewards of great music to a growing and diverse regional audience. As the orchestra-in-residence at the Carson Center for the Performing Arts, the PSO encompasses a wide range of ensembles, including a professional orchestra, an auditioned adult chorus, a youth and children's chorus, as well as other music education programs and services. The orchestra members, all paid professionals, are drawn from over 30 communities in Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, and Alabama. The audience is even more diverse, representing over 60 communities in a five state area.

As the scope and quality of the organization's programs have grown, so has its operating budget. From a $45,000 budget in 1981-82, the Paducah Symphony's operating budget has grown to over $1 million.

For over 40 years, the PSO has served as the premier musical organization in Paducah and the surrounding region, expanding its appearances through collaborations with community partners and enhancing the area's cultural reputation.

Meet the Conductor

"Internationally recognized Italian Conductor, Raffaele Livio Ponti is one of the most exciting, and popular conductors of his generation."
An artist of Dynamic Personality, Charismatic Performances, and Superb Musicianship, known for his powerful musical interpretations, rich and unique quality of sound, and breath of colors that he inspires, and draws from every orchestra he conducts. Making his mark as a model for today’s conductors, Raffaele Ponti is recognized for his commitment to creative artistry, innovative programming, and to audience and community engagement.

Raffaele Livio Ponti is the Music Director of Paducah Symphony Orchestra.

Maestro Ponti maintains an active worldwide conducting schedule with the Lviv National Philharmonic of Ukraine, Sofia Symphony of Bulgaria, and multiple return engagements with the orchestras of Roma, Pescara, Siena, Arezzo, Pistoia, Lucca, Pisa, Firenze, Grosseto, Venezia, Padova, Pienza, Treviso, Spello, Milano, Perugia, Massa, Terni, Bologna, Ferrara, Ripatransone, Pesaro, Civitavecchia, San Gimignano, Genoa, Sinalunga, Cortona, Tocco da Casauria, Montepulciano, Montacatini Terme, Bagno Vignoni, and Prato. In the United States the Buffalo Philharmonic, Elgin Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Austin Symphony, Youngstown Symphony, Paducah Symphony, Billings Symphony, Binghamton Philharmonic, Charlotte Symphony, Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, Utica Symphony, and Schenectady Symphony.

Application and Audition Process

Application form is DUE by the DEADLINE June 10, 2024
Upload video of any piece (with or without accompaniment). YouTube or Google Drive links are accepted
Application fee $75

Selected musicians will be invited to audition live on a public Internet TV Broadcast* and will receive a preparation tech session with VCHS Broadcast Engineers.
You will meet the Judges during Live Audition.
Live Auditions are held virtually.
Live Auditions are judged in real time.
Judges provide participants with immediate on-air feedback.
During the live audition participants will be able to speak with Judges.
• The judges’ decisions are final and may not be contested.
• To participate in the live online auditions, each musician must prepare required technical setup
Live Audition Fee - $250
*Fee includes the Technology Preparation session with A/V and Broadcast engineers

You will be notified about your acceptance into the colORCHESTRA program


Application and video pre-screening - $75
Live Audition - $250
Performance - NO FEE ($0)

Selected soloists are expected to cover their own travel expenses.

Upon request colORCHESTRA provides supporting documentation for selected soloists' visa applications.

Selected soloists may request press releases, letters of recommendation, confirmations of their participation in the concert, in support of the soloist's grants applications.

The Carson Center

for the Performing Arts

Welcome! We are glad you are here! The Carson Center for the Performing Arts, also known as The Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center, is your regional, multiple-use facility with beautiful spaces for public and private events of all types. Enjoy superb staging and near-perfect acoustics for a wide variety of entertainment, cultural, and education programming.
The Carson Center is located in downtown Paducah, Kentucky, and overlooks the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers. It is a significant component of Paducah’s downtown area revitalization and serves a diverse population from a four-state region and beyond.

The stage tower is ten stories tall and can house performance equipment necessary for staging large productions, including 63 line sets for scenery, lighting, and curtains.

The main theatre hall seats 1806 people, with the farthest seat only approximately 112 feet from the stage.

The Paxton Family Foundation Lobby features terrazzo flooring, two sweeping staircases on either side, a stunning view from the balcony overlook, food/beverage areas, and cloakrooms. A commissioned hand-painted mural spans the entire back wall of the lobby that depicts the four rivers region on a quilt backdrop. (Home of the American Quilt Museum, Paducah is known as “Quilt City, USA”.)

The Myre River Room overlooks the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee rivers and provides an ideal space for small performances, dinners, dances, corporate training seminars, and other events.

Adjacent to the River Room is the Williams Family Terrace. This second-story patio overlooks the Ohio and Tennessee rivers and can be used for receptions, dinners, and medium-sized get-togethers.

The Ingram Founder’s Room, located on the 2nd floor, offers an intimate space for small receptions, lunches, private meetings, and more.

The Carson Center is a not-for-profit organization (501(c)(3).

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