Seasoned Conductor Makes Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Debut For Annual Classical Roots Concert On 3/20/15


The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra announces acclaimed conductor, composer and pianist Charles Floyd will lead its hugely popular annual Classical Roots concert on Friday, March 20 at 7:30 p.m. at Music Hall. Mr. Floyd will lead the full CSO, along with the Classical Roots Community Mass Choir which is comprised of over 100 singers representing dozens of area churches. While more program details and soloists will be announced at a later date, the multi genre concert will include elements from the classical tradition as well as gospel, R&B and folk music, all celebrating the rich African-American musical heritage and bringing together friends and neighbors for a shared concert experience.

“Classical Roots, for me, offers an opportunity to trek together—to draw more attention to the notion that we have more to gain from our similarities rather than to itemize our differences. Whatever our ‘roots’ are, we are all American,” said Mr. Floyd.

Mr. Floyd has led similar programs throughout the country, and while the official program will be announced at a later date, the theme for the concert has already started to take shape based on works from composers such as Brahms, Verdi, Samuel Coleridge Taylor and William Dawson. The concert program has started to take the direction of depicting ‘A Journey of Faith,’ which embraces all

While Choir rehearsals officially begin in January, Mr. Floyd held a workshop in November with the choir and music ministers that will prepare the choir prior to the concert. “I heard nothing but favorable comments from some members of the choir after the workshop, and they’re looking forward to working with him,” said Eric Oliver, one of the music ministers (who also happened to be an Oberlin Conservatory classmate of Mr. Floyd’s). “He’s not only a great conductor, but a great composer and pianist,” said Mr. Oliver. “The blend of his musicianship and what we’re trying to do with Classical Roots is going to be rewarding for both the singers and the audience,” he said.

Mr. Floyd began playing piano at the age of four and enjoyed a full career as a solo pianist before delving into conducting and composing. As a conductor, he has been heard in concert by more than 500 orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Boston Pops, Chicago Symphony, Melbourne Symphony and many more. He has worked extensively with such artists as Natalie Cole, Elton John, Doc Severinsen, Stevie Wonder, Wynonna Judd, Howard Shore and others, and his compositions have been performed by such esteemed ensembles as the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.

Classical Roots started as a program performed by the CSO in churches throughout the region and moved to the Orchestra’s home at Music Hall in 2011 where it has taken place ever since.

Tickets for this concert are $25-40 for adults and $10 for students. VIP tickets include admission to a post-concert reception in Music Hall’s Corbett Tower and are $55. They can be purchased by visiting or calling the CSO Box Office at (513) 381-3300 or visiting

The CSO is grateful to Presenting Sponsor World Pac Paper; Chorus Sponsors Kroger Company, Mercy Health and Stone Financial Retirement Planning; Benefactor Sponsor Hightower Petroleum; Patron Sponsor Louise Gissendaner; and Community Sponsor Voice of Your Customer. Classical Roots is a presentation of Sound Discoveries: Music for the Community and is made possible in part thanks to The Corbett Educational Endowment established by Mrs. Patricia Corbett and The Corbett Foundation.