Artistic Director & Conductor
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  This year’s Symphony of the Hills Christmas concert is simply themed, “Joy!” We set aside this time of year to celebrate the many blessings of life: our country, our family, our God, and a life of liberty in which to pursue happiness. Yet, with so much to be thankful for, when was the last time we felt sheer, unabridged joy—you know, the kind of exuberance where you had trouble going to sleep because you could not wait for the next day to dawn? Sometimes the heavy responsibility and challenges of life keep our feelings in check—perhaps, comfortably numb as Roger Waters penned. Well, now is the time to remember how fortunate we are and get past the constant drumming that drowns out the joy that exists in our lives… And, this is why we are all gathering at the Symphony of the Hills Joy! concert—to remember, or to be reminded through music, that Joy exists in our lives—a joy that can only be exercised through sharing.


gene conductor
Dr. Gene Dowdy
Associate Conductor

  On Thursday, December 4, the outstanding musicians of the Symphony of the Hills and the Grand Symphony Chorus will share with you the joy of this holiday season as expressed through their beautiful and heart-warming music. After opening with Sheldon’s rousing “A Most Wonderful Christmas”, the Grand Symphony Chorus will take the stage under the baton of Lynda Ables to perform Gustav Holst’s “Christmas Day.” The symphony chorus will follow with the Bennett/Shaw “Many Moods of Christmas,” a colorful and powerful work that starts simply with the “Greensleeves” melody, played on solo guitar by Kerrville’s own Kevin McCormick. The mood quickly changes and develops into a joyful chorus that will remind us all of “the reason for the season.” After intermission, we will present a classical setting of carols by Hely-Hutchinson in his ingenious work “A Carol Symphony.”


  Finally, we will share the holiday spirit from the Festival of Lights as celebrated by our Jewish neighbors in Holcomb’s arrangement “Festive Sounds of Hanukkah.” An encore worthy of the season will conclude the joyous evening—a hint:  you might hear Santa’s sleigh jingling by…

  The American author and humorist Erma Bombeck once said, “There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.” Let’s recapture and rekindle some of that childlike joy and wonder together. How fortunate we are this year to be free and able to celebrate the true joy of the season. Thank you for sharing with us in the festivities; may that joy follow you all your days.

Merry Christmas,

Gene Dowdy
Associate Conductor

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Photographs by Debbie Conner, unless otherwise noted.
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