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The race for the DSSO baton

(Editor's Note: The following is a recap of the DSSO's four finalists for the position of conductor/music director.) Giancarlo Guerrero Gincarlo Guerrero, in a high-energy performance, seemed to win the hearts of the crowd and the orchestra. He r...

(Editor's Note: The following is a recap of the DSSO's four finalists for the position of conductor/music director.)

Giancarlo Guerrero
Gincarlo Guerrero, in a high-energy performance, seemed to win the hearts of the crowd and the orchestra. He received a standing ovation and conducted much of the concert from memory, burning so much energy he was holding the railing as he took his first bows. The orchestra showed a brass-heavy sound under his baton.
Andrews Sill
Andrews Sill conducted a very tight, eclectic program, highlighted by Maxwell Davies' "An Orkney Wedding, With Sunrise" and Âits bagpiping surprise. Sill was poised, confident and flexible, showing musicality and a penchant for big sounds.
Steven Amundson
The college orchestra conductor didn't get as much from the orchestra as they're capable of, but he came on toward the end. He scored points for his community vision for the orchestra.
Markand Thaker
Thakar was put in the awkward position of musical point guard in his audition, tasked with an accompanying role the entire concert. However, he showed an intensity and musicality that helped skilled soloists and a marvelous chorus sound even better.
If I had to guess, I'd say the job offer will go to Thakar or Guerrero, with Sill as a dark horse. Amundson seemed likable and sincere, and he may be a much better conductor than he showed in his audition, but the other three candidates all fared better. Guerrero seemed like an orchestra and crowd favorite; Thakar seemed the most skilled, intense and demanding.
Judging by the performances and media interviews with the candidates, this reviewer's pick would be Thakar.

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