15th Annual Holiday Pops Concert to Feature Maestro Dirk Hillyer and The Hillyer Festival Orchestra
Maestro Dirk Hillyer
Maestro Dirk Hillyer and the more than 30 members of The Hillyer Festival Orchestra will fill historic Abbot Hall auditorium with magnificent music of the season on Saturday evening, Dec. 8, for the 15th Annual Holiday Pops Concert presented by the Rotary Club of Marblehead Harbor and VNA Care Network & Hospice.
The doors will open at 7 p.m. for the dessert reception, and the concert will begin at 8 p.m.
“This year’s musical program is rich with the holiday music we all cherish, from the splendor of childhood favorites to newer wonderful pieces that have become classics,” Jodi Vigneron, Holiday Pops co-chair said. “The selections resonate with the season’s spirit of celebration and reflect the significance of the 15th anniversary of this very special Marblehead tradition.”
From jazz, pop, and rock to musical theatre and on to the classics and opera, Dirk Hillyer delights Boston’s North Shore audiences with his musical expertise, wit, and vitality.
Even at age 12, Hillyer was putting musical groups together in his native Oregon, so it was no surprise when he founded The Hillyer Festival Orchestra in1998 in Peabody, Massachusetts, by bringing together accomplished local musicians. The orchestra has become one of the most well-recognized musical institutions on the North Shore, and has performed over 100 concerts in Boston, Danvers, Lynn, Marblehead, Northboro, Peabody, Salem, and Boston.
Hillyer’s respect for his fellow musicians has earned him a reputation as a valuable mentor and an enthusiastic advocate of live performance. A professor in Salem State University's Music Department since 1985, Hillyer earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees at New England Conservatory and his doctorate at Tufts University.
Last spring, Hillyer was awarded a sabbatical to study in Munich. The research involved the intense art and music relationship between Kandinsky and Schoenberg.
Hillyer maintains an active performance schedule as both a French horn player and a conductor. Recently, Hillyer was the music director for guitarist, composer, rock ’n roll star, and record producer Todd Rundgren’s 2011 national tour. Hillyer also annually conducts for 40,000 people on the Fourth of July in Salem.
His experience is substantial. He was invited to conductor workshops at Carnegie Hall led by Daniel Barenboim (2001) and Pierre Boulez (2002). Additionally, Hillyer conducted for the International Women’s Forum featuring Maya Angelou and Coretta Scott King. He has worked as stage or musical director at the Aspen Music Festival, Boston Lyric Opera, Lakewood Theatre (Oregon), Boston Conservatory of Music, and the Lake George Opera Festival.
He is a tenured member of the Boston Lyric Opera orchestra and performs regularly with other orchestras throughout the New England region. His more than 40 opera credits include La Traviata, Salome, Aknahten, Barber of Seville, Carmen on the Common, Aida, Magic Flute, Madame Butterfly, and Don Carlos.
As a horn player, Hillyer soloed in Stamford, England, with the Royal Academy of Music String Quartet in 2007, performing English chamber literature as well as Mozart’s Quintet for Horn and Strings.
In addition to performing with Keith Lockhart, Hillyer has also performed with Luciano Pavarotti, Maynard Ferguson, Arturo Sandoval, Shirley Jones, Carol Channing, Bobby Vinton, and others as well as new works with the Jazz Composers Alliance at Berklee School of Music.
Tickets will go on sale Nov. 8. Floor tickets are $50 each and are available exclusively by mail order using the form that will be published in The Marblehead Reporter and available for download on this website on Nov. 8.
Balcony tickets are available in person in Marblehead at Arnould Gallery and Framery, 111 Washington St.; Marblehead Bank, 21 Atlantic Ave.; National Grand Bank, 91 Pleasant St.; and, Spirit of ’76 Bookstore, 107 Pleasant St. They are also available at VNA Care Network & Hospice, 5 Federal St., Danvers, and through the order forms.
Raffle tickets for Racket Shreve’s original Holiday Pops logo art are $5 each or 3 for $10, and notecards featuring Shreve’s art are in packets of 10 cards for $10 at Arnould Gallery & Framery, Marblehead Savings Bank, and National Grand Bank. These items as well as giclee prints of the artwork for $50 can also be ordered through the downloadable, mail-in form available on this website on Nov. 8.
Program book sponsorship opportunities are available through Nov. 2.
Proceeds from the concert will benefit the philanthropic projects of The Rotary Club of Marblehead Harbor and patient care through VNA Care Network & Hospice.
For more information, contact Jodi Vigneron at 781-631-0932 or Jessica Barnett at 781-639-0624.
Posted: Oct. 25, 2012