By: Ryan Hoffman
On Sunday, Oct. 28, the Boise State Symphony Orchestra will perform their “Halloween Spooktacular” Concert in the Main Hall of the Morrison Center at 7:30 p.m. The Orchestra members will dress in costume, so expect a night of Halloween fun for all. Arts & Entertainment writer Ryan Hoffman sat down with professor Craig Purdy, director of the Symphony Orchestra, to ask him a few questions about his past experiences with music and preparation for the concert. Here is what he had to say.
Q: What inspires you?
A: Musically, just good music. Seeing my performers play is the nucleus of the program here; it’s just great to see them realize their own talents.
Q: How did you get your start in music and then at Boise State?
A: I originally graduated from the Eastman School of Music in New Jersey with a Bachelor’s in Violin Performance. Then, about 25 years ago, I was hired to teach the violin at Boise State, and about 5 years into it, I got hired to be the director of the Symphony Orchestra, and I’ve been doing this for 20 plus years. It’s been great.
Q: What are your goals for the orchestra this year, or any other year?
A: Leading the orchestra every year is a lot like leading a football team. Some players are there professionally, some not, and you get a constant turnaround of students every year. However, taking a team and molding them into the best team they can be for the end result is my favorite part.
Q: I see you have a nice variety of pieces lined up for the concert.
A: Yes, we have Saint-Saëns’ “Carnival of the Animals”, which is always a crowd-pleaser. That one features a number of soloists, including the “Swan” section of the piece, which has a cello solo. We also have Stravinsky’s “The Firebird” and John Williams’ “Harry Potter” Symphonic Suite.
Q: Out of those three pieces, which one is your favorite and why?
A: Definitely “The Firebird”, just because it’s extremely challenging.
Q: What was the hardest thing about prepping for this specific concert, whether it be picking the right songs, student’s performances, etc.?
A: Picking the right songs, for sure. You want to find music that’s challenging. That’s why I picked “The Firebird”.
Q: Finally, what is the coolest Halloween costume you’ve ever worn in your life?
A: Hmm, that’s a tough one. I will say that for last year’s concert, I dressed up as a vampire and the audience loved that. I’m still not sure what I’m going to be this year, though.