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Masterminds behind Splash of Favorites interview

Photo credit: Sophia Robledo-Borowy

The Beach Boys, Daft Punk and Duke Ellington are just some of the names that North State Symphony and Uncle Dad’s Art Collective have twisted into their own symphonic versions. There was a two night event, April 7 in Redding and April 8 in Laxson Auditorium. The Orion had a chat with two of the men behind the show: Scott Seaton, conductor of North State Symphony and Joshua Hegg, managing director of Uncle Dad’s Art Collective.

Scott Seaton

What do you do?

I am the music director and conductor of North State Symphony.

Tell me about the Splash of Favorites.

It’s a concert that really reaches across the music spectrum and tries to bring at least something everyone can love. There’s a wide variety.

Is this the first time you have done this? What inspired this?

This is the first NSS (North State Symphony) pop series, so the whole thing is new. Most orchestras have a pop series. It’s a way to do a concert that’s not just including art or classical. It’s a way to do Halloween or Star Wars and collaborate with a local band that opens a lot of doors.

How did you come up with the songs and music?

It’s a giant collaboration – the second part is with Uncle Dad’s Art Collective. We eventually came up with several different hits over 110 years, which is quite the variety. Once we established a theme, it was easy to narrow down.

How many people are in the symphony?

There are about 40 people in just the symphony, but with UDAC (Uncle Dad’s Art Collective), it’s altogether about 50.

What is the biggest challenge with this show?

Working things out for the band and orchestra- bringing it together is a condensed process. We meet Thursday.

Will this be a yearly thing?

Yes, this will continue next year and it will be a John Williams theme.

Photo credit: Sophia Robledo-Borowy

Joshua Hegg

What is your official title?

I am the Managing Director at Uncle Dad’s Art Collective, where I handle more business related aspects.

Tell me about the Splash of Favorites

“Splash of Favorites” is a collaborative project with UDAC (Uncle Dad’s Art Collective) and NSS (North State Symphony). NSS (North State Symphony) is the only professional symphony North of Sacramento for hundreds of miles and we (Uncle Dad’s Art Collective) do a lot of production in our group. Scott got in touch and we arranged new versions of classical songs. We wrote for this orchestra, and you won’t see it anywhere else.

What is the biggest challenge with this show?

We started the concept about a year ago and arranged it for about four months. We sent drafts to each other. The thing with the symphony is that people come from Oregon. So there’s not a lot of rehearsal time and everything has to be perfect.

How is this similar or different than what you usually do?

This is different in scale – it is the biggest thing we have done so far. We (Uncle Dad’s Art Collective) are looser and if we play something, we can always change it. There’s definitely lots of spontaneity. We want people to not be able to distinguish between UDAC (Uncle Dad’s Art Collective) and NSS (North State Symphony).

Is/was there a particular song that was difficult to do? If so, what made it difficult?

One that was intriguing was a version of “I Wanna Be Like You” by the Jungle Book. It’s such an iconic tune, and we were deciding how to pay tribute. We didn’t know if it would be cool, but then we played it and thought this was cool.

What kind of themes would you like to use in future shows?

It would be fun to hear some local stuff. I would love to see more local composers.

How long have you rehearsed for this show?

The talks lasted about six months. Three months of arranging and two days of rehearsal.

Julia Maldonado can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_arts on Twitter

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