Dr. Pearse Lyons and his wife Deirdre Lyons received the 2011 Governor's Award in the Arts for their work to promote the arts in Kentucky during and in advance of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Mrs. Lyons, Alltech's Director of Corporate Image and Project Management, commissioned a life-size horse sculpture by Louisville glass artist Mark Payton. During the games it hung in the main tent of the Alltech Experience Pavilion, which also featured a photo exhibit, a glass sculpture exhibit and working bronze sculptor.
The centerpiece of Deirdre and Pearse Lyons' efforts was the Alltech Fortnight Festival, a phenomenal concert series that brought dozens of artists to venues around the state. Notable performers included: Marvin Hamlisch, Tony Bennett, John Lithgow and the Vienna Philharmonic with Gustavo Dudamel conducting.
Another highpoint of the festival was a benefit concert for the Alltech Haitian Harmony Children's Choir, featuring the Chieftains. The choir was conceived by Dr. Lyons as a vehicle for raising awareness of the ongoing plight of the Haitian people following a devastating earthquake in January 2010. University of Kentucky music professor Dr. Everett McCorvey and UK vocal students Eric Brown and Manuel Castillo worked with the students in Ouanaminthe, Haiti to assemble and train the choir. The choir joined the Chieftains on stage to close out the show.
Read more about Pearse and Deirdre Lyons' Governor's Award