The Troy Arts Council will be hosting two returning events, guitarist Michael Kelsey and The Rose Ensemble, to kick off its season this year.
Experimental guitarist Michael Kelsey, who played on tour with rock band Blind Melon, will be in Troy on Thursday, Sept. 28. The Rose Ensemble, a vocal and instrumental ensemble based in St. Paul, Minnesota, will be performing in Troy on Oct. 2.
Kelsey, an Indiana native, said he has been playing the guitar for forty years.
“I was a shy one growing up, so playing music became my way of connecting with others,” Kelsey said. “[Guitar] fits my personality.
“It is easy to carry anywhere. You can rock on it or play lullabies on it. You can explore new galaxies.”
Kelsey has been to Troy multiple times. Event coordinator for the council, John Jinright, said that Kelsey has made appearances in Troy twice before.
“Always a great experience,” Kelsey said. “It is wonderful that the university has access to a program that can bring music into town.”
Kelsey will be performing for local schools before his public performance at the Johnson Center.
After Kelsey’s performance, The Rose Ensemble will be performing on Monday. The ensemble typically performs while also trying to give a history lesson to its audience.
“Singers and instrumentalists need to be adaptable to many different styles, since we perform music from all around the world. There is a lot of research that goes into every Rose Ensemble program, and the musicians are expected to have a good base of knowledge for each performance,” said Peter Carlson, general manager for The Rose Ensemble.
Carlson said that educating the audience is important to the ensemble’s performances.
“Taking all that knowledge and skill and connecting with the audience in a genuine and accessible way is something our ensemble excels at,” Carlson said. “Our regular audiences know that they will hear beautiful music, but they also expect to learn something.”
The Rose Ensemble performed in Troy in 2010. Carlson said that Troy is a good place to take an educational performance event like The Rose Ensemble.
“Being a college town, Troy obviously has lots of people who are intellectually curious about other cultures, religions, languages,” Carlson said. “That is definitely our audience.”
This weekend will be the first weekend the arts council will present an artist since the school year at Troy University started. While the university and the arts council are not related, many members of Troy faculty are on the council, and Jinright said that these two events in particular are important for Troy students.
“You don’t often see artists performing at this level of mastery,” Jinright said. “Michael Kelsey is gonna keep the excitement at a ten.
“The Rose Ensemble cares more about the audience and telling a story more than most groups like them.”
Kelsey will be performing at The Studio Downtown on Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. The Rose Ensemble will be performing at the St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church on Oct. 2 at 7 p.m.
General admission for these shows is $20 and student tickets are $5 if bought online. Free student tickets are available at the door for the first 150 students that present their student ID.