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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world. To listen to KPAC 88.3 FM, simply open the player in the gray ribbon at the top of this page and choose KPAC: Classical Music.

The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Symphonic Music

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Deborah Conner
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Symphony of the Hills

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.”

Their performances are themed, and the first concert on October 2 is called 'Journey Across Europe.' I asked Dowdy to describe it for me.

“Probably our centerpiece is Dvorak’s Symphony #8. We’re going to go to England, a composer by the name of Addinsell who wrote his 'Warsaw Concerto' for piano and orchestra. Then we’re going to go over to Germany--although London tends to claim Handel, I believe he’s from Germany--and we’re going to play his 'Royal Fireworks' music. It's going to be a wonderful collection of some of Europe’s greatest music.”

The Symphony of the Hills' next concert is in December, as Dowdy explains.

“That concert will just be a wonderful celebration of the holiday spirit. One of the most important concerts we do in the year is our 'Pops Concert.' That’s in January," he continued. " It’s always a sell-out at the beautiful Kathleen Cailloux Theater. Then in the spring we’re going to have a concert about 'True Romance,' and on that concert we’re going to present two of the great settings for 'Romeo and Juliet'—Prokofiev, and the one by Tchaikovsky.”

Dowdy says The Symphony of the Hills closes out the season with a big name.

“That concert is called 'Bach and His Disciples' and so it’s going to feature not only some great music by Johann Sebastian Bach, but also some of the people he influenced" explained Dowdy. "It’s just going to be a fantastic year, and I’m very excited by it. The community really supports the orchestra, so it’s a fantastic community to be an artist in.

The Symphony of the Hills fall and winter schedule: http://www.symphonyofthehills.org/programs/