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Symphony Of The Hills Focuses On Dance

Phil Houseal
Gene Dowdy

Kerrville's Symphony of the Hills targets another discipline--dance.  I spoke with symphony music director Gene Dowdy. While the thematic program is music, it's music through the prism of dance. And it covers everything from Bach to a hoedown

"That's exactly right," Dowdy laughed. "We're going to be doing music across the ages--inspired and influenced by the dance."

"So, when we open with that Bach suite, the people of that time--the 18th century--would've been thinking that's a gavot--three, four one, and so on," he said, counting off a dance beat. "And so all these pieces are sort of aligned with that theme of how movement and the beauty of dance is portrayed in music by composers.

Here's an overview of the 7:30 p.m. Thursday concert.

"We're going to open the concert with Bach's Orchestral Suite in D Major. We're going to do several dance movements from that suite, and it's delightful because it features more of a Baroque Orchestra. We're going to proceed right in to Vienna. Two of the most popular Viennese waltzes ever written, The Invitation to the Dance by Von Weber, and Strauss's Tales from the Vienna Woods. And we're going to close the first half with the hilarious fast polka called Dance of the Comedians.  It's Smetana's 'Bartered Bride' opera; it has a little quick dance in it. After the intermission we're going to feature famed American composer John Adams. Lot of people doing his music; this is The Chairman Dances. We're going to do Faure's Pavan, that beautiful post-impressionist dance.  Aaron Copland--the dean of american composers. His Hoedown from the ballet Rodeo."

Dancing -- with out some actual dancing? No.

"We're going to also feature some dancers. Michelle Petrie, a wonderful local choreographer is going to have a couple of dancers do a couple of numbers at the end, so the audience is going to be in for a treat. We also have a surprise encore that is rip-roaring in the dance category."  

As always, they start the evening with a wine social.  

Find more on the Symphony of the Hills here

Find specifics on the evening here