Kansas City Symphony to premiere Kellogg’s “The Golden Spike,” about Transcontinental Railroad

Posted on: October 4, 2019

“Although Kansas City was not on the initial line [of the First Transcontinental Railroad], it would soon become an essential hub for rail lines running in all directions,” writes Paul Horsley in Thursday’s (10/3) Kansas City Independent. Music Director Michael Stern will lead the Kansas City Symphony’s season-opening program on October 4 “with a new work commemorating this critical moment in our history, exactly 150 years after the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad. [Daniel Kellogg’s] The Golden Spike … takes its name from the actual stakes (there were four) that were driven into the Utah ground on that day in 1869…. The Golden Spike’s … three movements reflect, with considerable nuance, the pros and the cons of this undertaking. ‘Black Powder and Hell on Wheels’ is a depiction of the primitive explosives used in the rail-building process …. ‘Promontory’ is about … ‘the decimation of the Native American tribes,’ [says Kellogg].” The third movement, “Manifest Destiny,” touches upon “the controversial idea that it was the inevitable future of America to settle this land and to move West, Kellogg said…. ‘I imagined this big locomotive, pushing us onward into our future.’ ”

Posted October 4, 2019