Sunday, June 22, 2014 'Fall River Symphony Orchestra names new conductor: Douglas McRay Daniels looking forward to new season'

Douglas McRay Daniels

Betty Yokell, Board Member of the Fall River Symphony Orchestra, writes of the four-way conducting competition in which Douglas McRay Daniels was rated the top candidate by audience members who completed evaluations after each concert:


There is a great article in the Herald News, 6/15/14, on Ray.

If you cannot access the article online see attachment.​

Enjoy your summer! 


Betty Yokell
Board of Directors Past President
Fall River Symphony Society

The Herald News
Fall River, MA
Lifestyle Editor 
Posted Jun. 14, 2014 @ 10:00 pm

FALL RIVER - Douglas McRay Daniels may not be the next American Idol, but he may feel like one after “competing” to become the Fall River Symphony Orchestra’s new music director/conductor.After trying out four guest conductors over the past season, the FRSO selected Daniels to lead the community orchestra’s upcoming season.

“The selection of a permanent conductor for the FRSO was a challenging process. The four guest conductors this season were all outstanding,” said Betty Yokell, FRSO publicity chairwoman.

The “Fall River Symphony Orchestra looks forward to an exciting season in 2014-2015,” she added. The FRSO’s longtime conductor/music director, Ann Danis, retired at the end of the 2012 season after leading the community orchestra for 10 years.

Over the past season the members of the orchestra and the audience filled out questionnaires at the end of each guest conductor’s concert and after all of the data was analyzed, Yokell said Daniels emerged as the season favorite. The contract is for one year, but Yokell it could be extended beyond the first year.

In addition to Daniels, the past season’s guest conductors vying for the position were Andy Chau, director of Career Support Services and Student Programs at The Boston Conservatory, Manager of the Rivers Conservatory Youth Wind Ensemble, and Managing Director of the Alcyon Chamber Ensemble; Channing Yu, Music Director of the Mercury Orchestra in Cambridge; and Benjamin Vickers, Zander Conducting Fellow for the 2012-2013 season of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra.

“I was really impressed with the ensemble,” said Daniels, adding he was elated to be selected to conduct and direct the orchestra from among such a strong group of candidates. “Musically, I thought they were easy to work with and very ambitious. And what I felt was more important was their personalities — they were very warm and welcoming, easy to get along with and relate to. I see myself generating some great relationships there.”

Daniels, a resident of Medford, is co-chair of the Gann Academy Arts Department, music director for the Bentley University Chamber Orchestra, associate conductor of the Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra and founder and artistic director of 3rd Sundays at 3 Chamber Music Series. Shortly after learning that the FRSO selected him, Daniels added another position to his impressive resume: musical director/conductor of the Lincoln Sudbury Civic OrchestrAs for the upcoming season with the FRSO, Daniels said, “my vision is to bring a freshness and a crispness to what we do. We’re there to serve the audience. In a way, we’re like civil servants bringing this music to the people.”

Daniels said he doesn’t anticipate making any drastic changes in the kinds of musical selections the FRSO performs at its concerts; instead, he said it will be a honeymoon period with him getting to know the community orchestra better, and vice versa.

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