Program Report: The Durham Symphony – Maestro William Curry


I don’t want to say conducting’s easy,” Maestro William Henry Curry told us last week, “but it is.”

We proved his point a moment later when, at his command, we all raised our spoons and bobbed them up and down in time with a phantom orchestra.

“Genius!” the Maestro proclaimed.

He was being modest about his profession by way of plugging a fundraising opportunity wherein a lucky raffle winner will get to conduct the Durham Symphony Orchestra in a performance of “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

But the fact that Curry, who also conducts the North Carolina Symphony, got all of us to raise and lower our spoons in unison is a testament in the leadership he’s shown in putting our hometown orchestra on the map. (President Don said no one has gotten that much coordinated audience participation out of our club since Coach David Cutcliffe led us in a snap count – good company, to be sure.)

The Durham Symphony was created 37 years ago by our own Vince Simonetti and has been performing steadily ever since. It’s been described as Durham’s best kept secret, but Curry came in four years ago to help change that. He has coordinated performances that reflect our city’s diverse people and musical tastes.

The symphony has performed with KidZNotes, the orchestral program for at-risk kids. It has performed Martin Luther King Day concerts at the Durham Armory. It does regular pops concerts outdoors. And has an upcoming concert April 14 at The Carolina Theatre.

“I am so proud of this orchestra,” Curry said.

“It really has risen to every kind of challenge I’ve given them.”

Curry has led orchestras in New Orleans, Taiwan, Chicago and L.A., and now he’s bringing that “world-class” ethos to Durham.

What a gem for our city. Let’s commit to support it, to spread the word and let everyone in on our little secret.

Submitted by Matt Dees.

More information about the Durham Symphony, the raffle and the concert on April 14 premiering “Southern Lights” by Stephan Jaffee is on the symphony’s website at



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