After a two-year pause because of the COVID pandemic, Bellarmine University’s Music Department
has released its annual Kentucky Derby-themed music video, a jazz arrangement of Dan Fogelberg’s venerable classic, “Run for the Roses.”
The video was filmed at Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum, and the music was recorded at the university's Music Department by its Bellarmine Schola and a faculty jazz combo.
“The Bellarmine Schola is a remarkable group of talented, dedicated young student singers who learn copious amounts of music each semester,” said Dr. Timothy Glasscock, choral director and chair of the Music Department. “They have been
called upon to sing for graduation, convocation, Lessons and Carols, Knight of Knights, the inauguration of Dr. Susan Donovan and more -- you name it! The one thing they have done without fail since 2013 is to record a video Christmas card for Bellarmine
and, with only the exception of the COVID lockdown, a Spring video that is Derby-oriented. These videos have been wildly popular, garnering many more online impressions and views than any other thing we do.”
Fogelberg’s loving tribute to the Kentucky Derby, Run for the Roses, was released in 1981. It has been regularly featured on national broadcasts of the race on the first Saturday in May, and is regarded as the event’s unofficial theme song.
Bellarmine’s production was directed by Glasscock, with the music arranged by Todd Hildreth, a well-known jazz pianist who graduated from Bellarmine and has taught in the Music Department for many years. The faculty jazz combo, led by Hildredth
on piano, featured Dave Clark on saxophone, Danny Kiely on bass and Kiko Sebrian filling in for Terry O’Mahoney on drums.
“I grew up listening to Dan Fogelberg, and as only a Kentucky kid would understand, I always teared up as a kid listening to the song ‘Run for the Roses,’” said Glasscock. “We filmed one of our previous annual Derby videos
at Sun Valley Farm in Versailles, home to Bellarmine graduate, Brent Butzer and his family, and while we were there filming, the idea came to me to use that song when I watched Brett working with the newly-born foals. I asked Todd Hildreth to arrange
this song for us last year. Because of COVID restrictions, although the arrangement was done, we were unable to make the recording at the time. Right then, I swore we would get it done in 2022 --and here we are!”
The video was filmed by John Paul Johnson and produced by Theresa Beames of essentialmedia. Zack Stefanski was the audio engineer for the music recording, and Tina Kauffmann arranged access to Churchill Downs for Bellarmine.
Glasscock says his department’s student and faculty musicians are wrapping up a busy year that has included:
- More than 50 community members singing in the Oratorio Society at any given time.
- Hundreds of patrons attending concerts, including more than 500 at Handel’s Messiah in November.
- Connections with large numbers of high school students through school visits, an annual Jazz Workshop, and individual faculty outreach.
- Ongoing private lessons for around 75 local children and adults.
- Church music ministry in 25 local churches that are served by Bellarmine music faculty, graduates or current students.
Bellarmine’s Music Department offers an integrated program of both standard and commercial instruction, ideal for students who plan to pursue a career in music as well as those who wish to double major in an area outside of music.