Kerrville’s Symphony of the Hills will soon be filling those hills with music. I spoke with its Assistant Conductor Gene Dowdy.
“It’s our annual holiday concert and one of the most spectacular parts of this concert is that we feature our Grand Symphony Chorus under the direction of Linda Ables, so we get the chorus and the orchestra together; it just makes for an impressive evening.”
[Hit 'Listen' above to hear a sample of what they will be playing]
Usually when we say "The Symphony" around here we’re talking about the San Antonio Symphony. But recently I headed to the hills to talk to another one. They are, in fact, the Symphony of the Hills and Gene Dowdy is their Associate Conductor.
“The Symphony of the Hills is a wonderful gem of the Hill Country. It was founded in 2001 in Kerrville," he said. "It’s closely aligned with Schreiner University. The citizens of that city and the University pulled together what today is a really fine regional orchestra.”
The Symphony of the Hills will soon be playing a pops concert in Kerrville.
"The title of this concert is America’s Favorite Music," said Conductor and Artistic Director Jay Dunnahoo, and he’s not kidding. The Symphony of the Hills’ January 11 concert at the Cailloux Theater runs the gamut of American music.
As Dunnahoo explained, the concert starts out with this one:
"'The Colonel Bogey March,' which is the music from the 'Bridge over the River Kwai,'" he said.
You may remember it as the popular song where the tune is kept by whistling.
You’re surely aware of the San Antonio Symphony, but it’s not the only area orchestra. In Kerrville, the 80-piece Symphony of the Hills performs five concerts a year.
"The orchestra is made up of professionals from the Hill Country community and as far away as San Antonio and Austin and the surrounding communities," says Dr. Eugene Dowdy, the symphony's Associate Conductor.
Great popular music of America, from Broadway to Hollywood, is featured Saturday night in Kerrville.
Typically, the Symphony of the Hills plays Thursday evenings. Nine times out of ten, they are also playing standard repertory, from baroque to modern masterpieces, but for their first concert of 2013, Symphony Director Jay Dunahoo had a new idea.
"Let's just try some different kinds of music, do it early in the year, and hopefully attract some people who might not normally come to a Symphony of the Hills concert."
Classical Favorites like the Messiah and Manneheim Steamroller on tap
Christmas Through the Ages shows many of sides to the Symphony of the Hills. They will play the first portion of 'The Messiah,' selections by Mannhein Steamroller's Chip Davis as well as A Canadian Brass Chrsitmas. Classical masterworks of Vaughan-Williams and Samuel Barber also round out the program at the Callioux Theater on Thursday, December 6 at 7:30 p.m..