According to his letter to NPR’s All Things Considered in response to a recent story, Bill Eddins, the musical director of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, said he wanted his orchestra sound like the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a string band out of North Carolina. Well, actually he said “this is what I want my orchestra to do” (his comment is read at 1:30).
I can only assume there will be some auditions for jug and banjo players opening up soon so I thought I would get a jump on it.
Even though Bill and I both write for Inside the Arts, I have never met or spoken to him. But when I hear him say things like this, talk about his experience touring with Renee Fleming in South Africa with such verve and get in trouble for wiggling his butt while conducting, I get excited.
I have never been a big attendee of orchestra or even chamber music concerts but I really am convinced that if anyone can help me come to enjoy the music and the experience by sheer force of personality and enthusiasm it is Bill. (His co-writer Ron Spigelman’s efforts at outreach and lowering the intimidation factor would probably convince me to attend in the first place.) Of course, the fact that Bill’s family is from Buffalo, NY just like mine is already gave him points with me. I hope the folks in Edmonton realize what an asset they have.