By Nicholas Palmer
It’s such a great thrill every year when I have the opportunity to conduct the phenomenal Evenings Under the Stars (EUS) Festival Orchestra for our yearly concert at the Jane Carr Amphitheater at South Shore Conservatory (SSC) in Hingham! There is a tremendous synergy in our concerts that comes from an intangible but clear connection between the audience and the performers. Maybe it’s the beautiful setting, maybe it’s the great acoustics, maybe it’s just being out in nature and listening to great music; whatever it is, it brings people back year after year.
As conductor, I like to program a variety of light classical and popular music each year, in the style of an Arthur Fiedler Boston Pops concert. This season it’s Von Suppe and Mozart to start, followed by John Williams and friends in the second half. When possible, we have a soloist with a connection to SSC, and this year is no different. Talented clarinetist and SSC faculty member Peter Bianca soloes on Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major, which we are presenting in its entirety.
Music on the second half includes some of the best known Sci-Fi movie tunes from blockbusters such as Star Wars 7, E.T., Star Trek, and ends with audience favorites 1812 Overture Finale and, of course, The Stars and Stripes Forever.
I find it an honor and a great pleasure to conduct the EUS Festival Orchestra, one of the finest orchestras anywhere. Members of the orchestra perform with the Boston Pops and Esplanade orchestras, Boston Ballet, Rhode Island Philharmonic, etc., and they return every year to play together in Hingham. It’s become a “gathering of friends” for 21 years now. What they achieve, year after year, in one short rehearsal is nothing short of remarkable!
South Shore Conservatory has been part of my life and that of my family for five decades: my brother and I and several of my cousins took lessons here and performed with many different ensembles throughout the years. I’ve conducted orchestras at SSC on and off for 35 years, and my mother Dorothy Palmer and aunt, Phyllis Godwin, have been big supporters of SSC since its inception.
For me it’s a busy life being a conductor: I currently work with several orchestras across the USA, including the Lafayette Symphony (IN), North Charleston POPS! (SC), Dubuque Festival Orchestra (IA), and the Seasong Music Festival (FL). I am excited to be making my London Philharmonic debut in September at the Abbey Road Studio. But my favorite concert every year is the Evening Under the Stars Festival Orchestra right here in my hometown, Hingham. Hope you can join us for a fun evening!
South Shore Conservatory’s Evenings Under the Stars concert series kicks off its 21st season on July 8, as the Evenings Under the Stars Festival Orchestra, with Conductor Nicholas Palmer, presents Out of this World with Mozart. For more details and tickets, visit www.sscmusic.org or call 781-749-7565, ext.22. “Like” South Shore Conservatory on Facebook to learn about upcoming SSC programs and performances.