Kentucky State University professor creates new musical arrangement for international conference

FRANKFORT — Kentucky State University’s (KSU) director of choral activities’ work will be featured early next year during the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Show.

Dr. Keith McCutchen, who is also the director of the KSU Concert Choir, is creating a new arrangement of Duke Ellington’s “Come Sunday,” which will be performed on 10 pianos to open an event called “Roomful of Pianos” at the NAMM Show. The event will feature nightly performances of works on multiple pianos.

“The music of Ellington has become a life-long pursuit, both as a research area and as a source of musical inspiration,” Dr. McCutchen said.

While creating the new arrangement is a challenge, Dr. McCutchen is up for it.

“The task of writing an arrangement for 10 pianos allows me to think of having 10 orchestras or big bands to write for in one piece,” Dr. McCutchen said. “I will definitely have to apply the principle of ‘more is less.’”

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is a not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry. The NAMM Show is the global crossroads of the music, sound and event technology industries.

“The NAMM show is one of the biggest exhibits of its kind in the entire world so I am honored to have an opportunity to present my work at this prestigious event,” Dr. McCutchen said.

“Roomful of Pianos” takes place Jan. 25 – 27, 2018 in Anaheim, California. Dr. McCutchen’s arrangement is scheduled for performance Jan. 25.


Kentucky State University, building on its legacy of achievement as a historically black, liberal arts, and 1890 Land Grant University affords access to and prepares a diverse population of traditional and non-traditional students through high-quality undergraduate and select graduate programs. Located in Kentucky, KSU offers associate (two-year) degrees in two disciplines, baccalaureate (four-year) degrees in 24 disciplines, master’s degrees in eight disciplines, and one advanced practice doctorate in nursing. KSU has 129 full-time instructional faculty members and more than 2,000 students.