Edmonton Symphony Orchestra To Audition Jug Players

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.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker (artshacker.com) website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (http://www.creatingconnection.org/about/)

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


1 thought on “Edmonton Symphony Orchestra To Audition Jug Players”

  1. We do enjoy Bill and all his wiggling ass-ets! He certainly makes concerts much more accessible – a comment we’ve heard from many attendees since he became music director.


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