News Column

Simsbury Native To Conduct 'Celebrate America'

July 3, 2014

By Savannah Mul, The Hartford Courant

July 03--SIMSBURY -- Local native Eric Dudley will be back in his hometown Friday to conduct the Hartford Symphony in the Talcott Mountain Music Festival for the "Celebrate America" performance.

Dudley, who lives in New York, grew up in Simsbury and attended town schools.

"It's a nice thing to be able to go back to the town where I grew up," said Dudley, who graduated from Simsbury High in 1997. "It'll be an exciting show."

Dudley said when he was asked to be a guest conductor of the symphony for the show, he chose orchestra pieces commemorating American music.

"I wanted the program to be as much music by native composers as we can," he said. "There are a lot of homebrew classical composers, jazz songs to film scores."

Dudley said he can remember the introduction of the Talcott Mountain Music Festival when he was in his junior or senior year at Simsbury High.

"I can sort of remember it being in its first or second summer around the time I was leaving. But when I was away, I kept hearing about it and how it's been growing every year in attendance and with their concerts, it's nice to hear that," Dudley said.

The symphony performs every week at the summertime music festival, held at the Performing Arts Center at Simsbury Meadows. The symphony performs a different genre of music each week from Ella Fitzgerald to music from The Who.

Dudley said when he is facing an orchestra or choral group, he does many things at once to bring the music together.

"The idea of what a conductor is doing to most people is very different than the actuality," Dudley said. "I'm always thinking what does each piece of music means to me and what to draw out of each piece of the music to make for a more exciting show. It's very complicated and awarding."

The Simsbury Performing Arts Center allows food and drink inside the venue during Friday's performance, which begin at 7:30 p.m.

Dudley said the orchestra will have about 50 to 60 musicians, along with a separate choral group.

"There is a chorus performing a few numbers with the orchestra, which adds a nice element to the concert," Dudley said.


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Source: Hartford Courant (CT)

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