Tag Archives: Kentucky Symphony Orchestra

The ‘Pack is Back! (A Real Clambake with Frank, Dean & Sammy) from the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra


Photo by Jim Fausz.

The ‘Pack is Back!
(A Real Clambake with Frank, Dean & Sammy)

7:30 p.m. Saturday, September 3, 2022 (Devou Park) Covington, KY
7:30 p.m. Sunday, September 4, 2022 (Tower Park) Ft. Thomas, KY
7:00 p.m. September 5, 2022 (Woodside Arboretum) Middletown, OH

The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra closes its 2022 Summer Park Series with a tribute to three iconic crooner/ entertainers of the 1950s-80s — Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. Their nostalgic sound still has a universal and multi-generational following due to great songwriters, arrangers and the trio’s suave and confident delivery, combined with superb comedic timing and amazing voices and talent. Scroll through this 1964 performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nboaNyIaccY

In 1953, actress Lauren Bacall returned to her Holmby Hills, CA home to find her husband (Humphrey Bogart) with a drunk and disheveled group of friends including Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Cary Grant and others. She dubbed them a “Rat Pack.” After Bogart’s death in 1957, Sinatra became the defacto leader of the gang that would add Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford and others. Though Frank eschewed Bacall’s label, the media kept the Rat Pack monicker alive. The Pack went on to make the original Ocean’s 11 film (1960), and the Vegas glitz and glamor portrayed by these singer, actor / entertainers became synonymous with “The Strip”.

The 1950s and 60s were a heyday for songwriters, arrangers and singers up until the British Invasion, but the swing and swagger of the Rat Pack sustained a loyal following for another decade and more. The KSO’s nouveau Rat Pack features three local singer/entertainers that can be heard with groups around town — Dan Radank (Frank), Mickey James (Dean) and Corey Tucker (Sammy) — backed by a big band with strings playing many of the original recorded arrangements by Nelson Riddle, Marty Paich and Quincy Jones, along with some adaptations of other originals by long-time KSO arranger and orchestrator Terry LaBolt. (See complete playlist attached.)

Join the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and “Rat Pack” stand-ins 7:30 p.m. Saturday, September 3, in Devou Park (Covington); 7:30 p.m. Sunday, September 4, at Tower Park (Fort Thomas); and 7 p.m. Monday (Labor Day), September 5 at Woodside Cemetery & Arboretum (Middletown, OH). Bring blankets, picnics or lawn chairs. Concessions and or food trucks are available at the parks. For the Devou Park show TANK offers shuttles from Covington Catholic for $1 each way. For more information, registration (for weather updates and drawing chances) and directions, visit the KSO at www.kyso.org or call (859) 431-6216. A $5 (per person) suggested donation is encouraged. Free parking at all venues. Sunday’s 7:30 p.m. performance will be live-streamed at kyso.org.

Song | As performed by: | Words / Music

Bugle Call Rag | Doc Severinsen | Eubie Blake, arr Bill Holman
Come Fly With Me*| Frank Sinatra | Sammy Cahn, Jimmy Van Heusen
You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You | Dean Martin | Larry Stock, Russ Morgan
The Lady Is a Tramp | Sammy Davis, Jr. | Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers
The Way You Look Tonight* Sinatra | Dorothy Fields, Jerome Kerns
Volare | Martin | Franco Migliacci, Domenico Modugno
What Kind of Fool am I* | Davis | Anthony Newley, Leslie Bricusse
Strangers in the Night | Sinatra | Bert Kaempfert, Eddie Snyder
Ain’t That a Kick in the Head | Martin | Cahn, Van Heusen
Fly Me to the Moon | Sinatra | Bart Howard
Birth of the Blues | Davis | Buddy DeSylva, Ray Henderson
Luck Be A Lady* | Sinatra, Martin, Davis | Frank Loesser


Magic Flea | Count Basie | Sammy Nestico
Everybody Loves Somebody* | Martin | Sam Coslow, Ken Lane
Begin the Beguine | Davis | Cole Porter
I’ve Got You Under My Skin | Sinatra | Cole Porter
That’s Life | Sinatra, Martin, Davis | Dean Kay, Kelly Gordon
Airegin | Bill Holman | Sonny Rollins, arr. Holman
Mr. Bojangles | Davis | Jerry Jeff Walker
On the Street Where You Live | Martin | Alan Lerner, Frederick Loewe
Theme from New York, New York* | Sinatra | Fred Ebb, John Kander

*Arrangements adapted by Terry LaBolt

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KSO_The Greatest Showman promoTHE GREATEST SHOWMEN
(Charlie Chaplin & P.T. Barnum)

The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra continues its 30th anniversary season under the “big top” on 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5, at the Drees Homes Auditorium (St. Henry District H.S.) in Erlanger. This circus themed program features music from two films spanning nearly 90 years from Charlie Chaplin’s silent film — The Circus (1928) —and the Hugh Jackman 2017 portrayal of P.T. Barnum in The Greatest Showman.

Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977), through his influences, remains one of the giant figures in the film industry. He wrote, directed, produced, edited, starred in and composed the film scores for most of his films. Chaplin co-founded United Artists distribution corporation with Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith to retain complete control of their respective films and producing activities.

The Circus won Chaplin an Academy Award at the first Academy ceremony in 1929. The film was fraught with production set backs, including a storm, fire, reshoots, and Chaplin’s own very public and messy divorce. The Circus was re-released in 1969 with a new Chaplin film score, and Charlie, at age 79, singing a newly composed song — “Swing Little Girl” — appearing at the beginning of the film. It is this version the KSO will screen and accompany live.

Phineas Taylor Barnum (1810-1891) was an American showman, entrepreneur, author, politician and museum and circus owner-operator and promoter. His concepts and marketing successes were
revolutionary and set the stage for Broadway, concert touring and eventually the travelling circus dubbed “The Greatest Show on Earth.” The Hugh Jackman film musical — The Greatest Showman — loosley based on P.T. Barum and his circus was released, with music by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Following the Chaplin film, the KSO will offer several production numbers from the 2017 boxoffice hit, with vocalists Michelle Wells, Christian Arias, members of St. Henry’s chamber choir and performers from Circus Mojo.

Tickets for each show remain $35 to experience great musicians, guest artists and innovative programming unique to our region. The KSO will adopt the safety protocols of each respective venue that are in place on the date of the performance. For those who need to stay home, the KSO continues live streaming each concert (with multiple cameras) for your ‘at home access’ for the price of a single ticket. Tickets are available online at kyso.org or by phone at (859) 431-6216.

KSO_logoJames R. Cassidy, Music Director

7:30 P.M. Saturday, March 5, 2022
Drees Homes Auditorium
St. Henry District High School
Erlanger, Ky.

James Cassidy, conductor
Michelle Wells, Christian Arias, Eli Wells, vocals
Members of St. Henry H.S. Chamber Choir
Ethan Avina, director
Performers from Circus Mojo,
Paul Miller, ring leader

The Circus               Charles Chaplin
Tristate premiere


Selections from The Greatest Showman
Benj Pasek & Justin Paul
“The Greatest Show”
“A Million Dreams”    

“Never Enough”            
“Rewrite the Stars”           
“This is Me”

The Circus © Roy Export S.A.S.
Music for The Circus copyright © Roy Export Company Ltd. and Bourne Company
Charlie Chaplin © Bubble Inc. S.A.
All rights reserved.

The KSO is supported by the generosity
of the Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund of the Greenacres Foundation
and the R.C. Durr Foundation
The KSO is supported by the generosity of tens of thousands of contributors
to the ArtsWave Community Campaign.

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Live and Streamed Performance CZECH IT OUT Presented by KSO on March 6

KSO_Strange Noir promoCZECH IT OUT
(All Dvorák)
7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 6, 2021
Verst Group Logistics
1985 International Way, Hebron, KY

The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra returns to an industrial warehouse for Czech It Out — an all Antonin Dvorak program — featuring local cellist prodigy, Miriam K. Smith. Even in a pandemic, the beauty of music, with its transcendent consoling and uplifting qualities, generates the power to bring our community together. Finding venues with the required space to appropriately distance and offer opportunities thas been challenging. Since October, thankfully neighbors and friends at Verst Group Logistics (VGL) and St. Peter in Chains Cathedral Basilica, have graciously opened their doors to live KSO rehearsals and performances. While distribution warehouses are continually moving product in and out, VGL has gone out of their way to make room for the KSO to use its 60,000 sq ft. heated industrial warehouse for live, in-person concerts.

Dvorák’s 7th Symphony in D minor will open the program. Inspired by premiere of Brahms’ Third Symphony, Dvorák’s
seventh symphony is a beautiful, yet somber and darker hued work, reflecting Dvorák’s mindset after the losses of both his mother and Bedrich Smetana — the father of modern Czech music. Symphony No. 7 is often regarded as Antonin Dvorák’s best symphony, though his 9th Symphony (“From the New World”), written in the U.S., remains his most popular.

KSO_Miriam K SmithDvorák’s renowned Cello Concerto in B minor was also composed in the U.S., though premiered in London. Local 14-year old Miriam K. Smith will make her KSO debut with her first performance of Dvorak’s masterwork. Miriam made her orchestral debut at age 8, and has since appeared as a soloist with the Cincinnati Symphony, Louisville, and Wisconsin Chamber Orchestras. Winner of numerous competitions, Ms Smith has also won awards for her recordings. (See full bio below)

The KSO continues to employ musicians to safely make great live music available for residents of Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati. Join us as Miriam K. Smith and the orchestra fill a Hebron, KY warehouse with the music of Dvorak —7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 6th. Kentucky Safe at Work Guidelines will be employed, and patrons are required to don masks and maintain distance.

Tickets for each show this year remain — $35 — to experience great musicians, guest artists and innovative programming unique to our region. For those who must stay home, the KSO is live streaming each concert (with multiple cameras) for your ‘at home access’ for the price of a single ticket. Tickets are available online at kyso.org, by phone (859) 431-6216, or at the door. Czech us out!

Czech it Out
(All Dvorák)
7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 6, 2021
Verst Group Logistics
1985 International Way, Hebron, KY

Antonin Dvorák – Symphony No. 7 in D minor

      • I Allegro maestoso
      • II Poco Adagio
      • III Scherzo: Vivace
      • IV Finale: Allegro


Dvorák – Cello Concerto in B minor

      • I Allegro
      • II Adagio, ma non troppo
      • III Finale, Allegro moderato
      • Miriam K. Smith, cello

Miriam K. Smith made her orchestral debut at age 8 playing the Haydn Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major with the Seven Hills Sinfonietta. Recent engagements have included her debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Louisville Orchestra, Blue Ash Montgomery Symphony Orchestra, the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra and the Wright State Chamber Orchestra. Miriam opened the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra’s 2019 Masterworks Series performing the Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1 in A Minor.

She has twice performed in recital at Carnegie Hall as 1st place winner of American Protégé International and American Fine Arts Festival competitions, as well as the Cleveland Orchestra’s Rainbow concerts. In 2018 Miriam performed solo recitals in Cincinnati and Chicago, and for an outdoor crowd of 40,000+ with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra’s “Concerts on the Square.” That same year she recieved a Global Music Award as an emerging artist for her recording titled – Ignite!

Ms. Smith has studied with Sarah Kim and Alan Rafferty since she began playing the cello at age 4. She has also appeared in masterclasses with world renowned cellists. Visit her website www.miriamksmith.com for more details.

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KSO Performs at St. Peter in Chains Nov 21 | Offered In-Person and Virtually

KSO_LOpera FamigliaL’Opera Famiglia
(Two couples, great arias)

7:30 p.m. November 21, 2020
St. Peter in Chains Cathedral Basilica
8th and Plum Cincinnati, OH

The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra continues its 29th season of in-person performances and live streaming with an evening of operatic and sacred arias. The KSO, over the last 20 seasons, has offered audiences complete concert operas — Tosca, Otello, La Boheme, Rigoletto, Samson & Delilah and Turandot. These productions featured a number of internationally recognized singers, many with local ties (CCM and the Cincinnati Opera). Four of these artists return as two couples for L’Opera Famiglia on November 21 at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains.

Mezzo soprano Stacey Rishoi appeared in a KSO “Sopranos” evening and as Delilah (Samson & Delilah). Her husband Gustav Andreassen (bass) sang the role of Sparafucille (Rigoletto). Stacey and Gus when not on the road reside Bellevue, KY. Stuart Neill (tenor) and Sandra Lopez (soprano) met as Rodolfo and Mimi in the KSO’s 2007 production of La Boheme. They were married a couple years later and live in Miami. “As with any team sport or artistic collaboration, cast chemistry is vital for success. We were fortunate for the stars to align to find these wonderful performers available this week,” commented KSO music director, James Cassidy.

Those who don’t think that opera is their cup of tea, might be surprised to find many of the selections on the program very familiar to a universal audience (see below). The first Act offers a variety of opera arias and duets
including tunes by Mozart, Boito, Offenbach and Puccini’s final scene from Act I of La Boheme. Following a brief intermission the couples return with sacred arias from operas and liturgical works by Verdi and Franck
befitting the concert’s setting. The program concludes with the famous quartet from Rigoletto and everyone’s favorite Puccini aria — “Nessun dorma.”

The KSO invites the community out for a live concert of beautiful music and singing at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 21. The distancing plan used by St. Peter in Chains Cathedral Basilica will be employed, and patrons
are asked to don masks for safety. Tickets for each show this year remain where they have been for several seasons at $35 to experience great musicians, guest artists and innovative programming unique to our region.
For those who need to stay home, the KSO is live streaming each concert (via multiple cameras) for your ‘at home access’ for the price of a single ticket. Tickets are available online at kyso.org, by phone (859) 431-6216,
or at the door.

L’Opera Famiglia
(Two couples, great arias)
7:30 p.m. November 21, 2020
St. Peter in Chains Cathedral Basilica
8th and Plum Cincinnati, OH

Atto I

  • Giacomo Meyerbeer
    “Coronation March”
    Le Prophete
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    “La ci darem la mano”
    Don Giovanni
    Stacey Rishoi & Gustav Andreassen
  • Arrigo Boito
    “L’altra notte in fondo al mare”
    Sandra Lopez
  • Mozart
    “O Wie will ich triumfieren”
    Abduction from the Seraglio
    Gustav Andreassen
  • Jacques Offenbach
    “C’est l’amour vainqueur”
    Les Contes d’ Hoffmann
    Stacey Rishoi
  • Giacomo Puccini
    Final Scene Act I
    La Boheme
    Sandra Lopez & Stuart Neill


Atto II

  • Giuseppi Verdi
    “Il lacerato spirito”
    Simon Boccanegra
    Gustav Andreassen
  • César Franck
    “Panis Angelicus”
    Mass op. 12
    Stacey Rishoi
  • Verdi
    Stuart Neill
  • Verdi
    “Ave Maria”
    Sandra Lopez
  • Pietro Mascagni
    Cavalleria Rusticana
  • Verdi
    “Bella figlia dell’amore”
    Sandra Lopez, Stacey Rishoi, Stuart Neill, Gustav Andreassen
  • Puccini
    “Nessun dorma”
    Stuart Neill

Sandra Lopez (soprano) has performed on the world’s greatest stages including the Finnish National Opera as Elisabetta in Don Carlo, Opera de Oviedo as Tosca, Venice’s Teatro la Fenice as Mimi in La Boheme, Opera de Massy, Opera de Fribourg and Festival de St-Cèrè in the title role of Madama Butterfly, the Salzburg Festival, Verbier Festival, and Tanglewood Festival. She has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera in numerous roles which include Catherine in Bolcom’s View from the Bridge, Frasquita in Carmen,
Vierte Magd in Elektra, Tebaldo in Don Carlo, among others.

Ms. Lopez was a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition, the Grand Prize Winner of the Florida Grand Opera Competition, First Prize at the Palm Beach Opera Competition, and World Finalist in the Luciano Pavarotti Competition. She is also a Zarzuela specialist and regularly performs this unique repertoire. Sandra Lopez is currently a lecturer, University of Miami’s Frost School of Music and Program Director, Miami Classical Music Festival.

Stuart Neill (tenor) rose to international attention after receiving the Folinari Scholarship as part of his winning the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition. Mr. Neill has sung successfully in title roles at The Metropolitan Opera, Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, The National Opera Bastille Paris, London’s Covent Garden, Royal Opera Sweden, to
name but a few, as well as performances with many of the finest symphony orchestras around the world with the greatest conductors including Gustavo Dudamel, Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta, James Levine, Sir Andrew Davis and many others. Mr. Neillhas been awarded Two Grammy Awards and has commercially released more than thirty CD recordings and three DVD’s world-wide.

Stacey Rishoi Has sung with some of the great orchestras and opera companies across the US including the New York Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Buffalo Symphony and others. Ms Rishoi has sung leading roles with Cincinnati Opera, the Seattle Opera, Washington National Opera, Calgary Opera and Wolf Trap Opera, etc.
She is a previous winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the Norman Treigle Award from New York City Opera. She has served as artist in residence at Festival Dos 100 Dias in Portugal and at the Beaumaris Festival in Wales.

Gustav Andreassen has appeared as Philippe in Don Carlos (Hamburgishe Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper am Rhein). Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin (San Francisco Opera, The National Symphony). Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Opéra Atelier, Boston Lyric Opera, Vlammse Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Wolftrap Opera). Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte (New York City Opera) Commendatore in Don Giovanni (Florida Grand, Cincinnati Opera, Deutsche Oper, Boston Baroque, Oper Graz). Sparafucile in Rigoletto (Deutsche Oper, Cincinnati Opera) Shostakovich’s 13th Symphony Babi Yar (Seattle Symphony). Mozart Requiem (Atlanta Symphony). Ghost of Hector in Les Troyens (Boston Symphony Orchestra). Ramphis in Aïda (Anton Coppola’s final performance with Opera Tampa)

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KSO Concert in Person and Virtual this Saturday

(Atmospheric String Classics for All Hallows Eve)
7:30 p.m. October 31, 2020
Verst Group Logistics 1985 International Way, Hebron, KY

KSO_Verst Group LogisticsThe Kentucky Symphony Orchestra opens its 29th season in an industrial warehouse with a Halloween mix of string classics that should provide a good scare for musicians and audience alike. Keeping musicians employed and playing during the Covid crisis requires following safety guidelines that are nearly impossible to enact with in traditional auditorium settings (visit kyso.org for safety guidelines). However, since the KSO possesses the will, it certainly has found a way, by turning to unconventional spaces. Verst Group Logistics generously offered the Symphony use of its Hebron warehouse with the square footage of a football field and 40’ ceilings to address adequate distancing and circulation concerns. Even the City of Bellevue helped out for a single rehearsal at the former Joe’s Crab Shak to assist with its season opening program dubbed Strings Noir.

The black and white Film Noir genre of 1940s-60s was characterized by its foreboding fatalism and menace. The KSO’s Strings Noir selections capture a similar aura and mood for All Hallows Eve. “String instruments have the ability to create a sublime beauty and then shift the mood and character to abject terror. The audience will experience all emotions in this program,” commented KSO Music Director and founder James Cassidy.

With the third suite of his Ancient Airs and Dances, composer Ottorino Respighi transcribed 17th century lute music for strings that reflects a distant, poignant melancholy. Arnold Schönberg’s Verklärte Nacht loosely follows Richard Dehmel’s poem describing a man and woman’s late night walk through a grove and the revealing of a deep dark secret. In 2018 The Florida Orchestra teamed up with visual artist Geff Strik to paint a work of art based on Schoenberg’s music and the poem. The result was a 5’x12’ oil on canvas painting. Strik’s painting process was captured on video and edited to simultaneously project over the orchestra as it performs Transfigured Night. (See more about the project below)

After a brief intermission, the strings return with a suite from Bernard Hermann’s film score to the Alfred Hitchcock classic Pyscho, starring Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins. The infamous murder scene with the slashing glisses in the upper strings represent the KSO’s trick and the audience’s treat. The program concludes with Ludwig van Beethoven’s fiendishly difficult Grosse Fuge. Beethoven turns 250 in December, and the KSO celebrates the composer’s great music and continued relevance with this late enigmatic, rarely performed tour de force arranged for string orchestra.

The KSO invites everyone to come out on Halloween for a unique live concert. Distanced seating is limited to 300. Don your favorite mask, and know that the KSO is committed to safety and keeping the energy and spontaneity of in-person performance alive and well in Northern Kentucky. Tickets for each show this year remain where they have been for several years at $35 to experience great musicians, guest artists and innovative programming unique to our region. For those who need to stay home, the KSO is live streaming each concert (via multiple cameras) for your ‘at home access’ for the price of a single ticket. Subscribers to all five shows get in-person, flexible use and access to livestreams with a 14% savings. Tickets are available online at kyso.org, by phone (859) 431-6216, or at the door.

(Atmospheric String Classics for All Hallows Eve)
7:30 p.m. October 31, 2020
Verst Group Logistics 1985 International Way, Hebron, KY

Ottorino Respighi | Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No.3
Arnold Schönberg | Verklärte Nacht (1943 revised)
Bernard Hermann | Suite from Pyscho
Ludwig Van Beethoven | Grosse Fuge

The KSO’s 29th season continues with the following programs November — May:

L’Opera Famiglia
7:30 p.m. November 21, 2020
St. Peter in Chains Cathedral Basilica
Married couples Sandra Lopez and Stuart Neill and Stacey Rishoi and Gus Andreassen
Join the KSO for arias, duets and more by Boito, Handel, Mozart, Puccini, Verdi and more

Welcome Bach
7:30 p.m. January 30, 2021
Greaves Concert Hall, NKU
The Best of the Bach Boys w/ flutist Demarre McGill

Czech it Out
7:30 p.m. March 6, 2021
Greaves Concert Hall, NKU
All-Dvorak — Symphony No. 7 & Cello Concerto featuring Miriam K. Smith

A Rat Pack Reboot
7:30 p.m. May 15, 2021
Greaves Concert Hall, NKU
A real clam-bake with Frank, Dean & Sammy

KSO_Transfigured NightGeff Strik‘s Verklärte Nacht is a live musical performance of Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht accompanied by a 28-minute dramatic short film of paintings done in real-time to the music. The paintings are inspired by the music and Richard Dehmel’s poem of the same name, which is also part of the video. The poem details a dark romantic story set in the 19th century. It begins, “Two figures pass through the bare, cold grove/the moon accompanies them, they gaze into it.”

The story comes alive on canvas as Geff depicts 18 key scenes from the music and poetry. Using only one canvas, he layers each scene in oil with a final layer of lacquer to seal in each scene. This is purposely done since the collective scenes are to be seen as layers of memories. Each layer can be taken off revealing the history and previous scene. The final painting shows the finale, but we know that underneath there is more than meets the eye.

Strik, a French-born painter, collaborated with videographer Joey Clay. The work was commissioned and premiered in 2018 by The Florida Orchestra with Michael Francis conducting.

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