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Mission Statement...

The Hillyer Festival Orchestra is committed to offering the highest quality classics and "pops" musical standards in a professional symphony concert format to audiences of all ages.  Orchestra and vocal music from the best of Broadway, film, and Big-Band literature presented in a fun, Boston Pops-like atmosphere, including sing-a-longs, educational comments, funny anecdotes and superlative entertainment.  Effort is given to pleasing the audience with familiar favorites bringing to light special new compositions by American composers.

The Orchestra…

The Hillyer Festival Orchestra (HFO) was founded in 1998 by (then) Mayor Peter Torrigian of Peabody, Massachusetts.  Through his generous support and kind tutelage the orchestra was commissioned to perform one Spring Pops Concert and one Holiday Concert each year.  Since then, the December Holiday concerts have extended to three sold-out evenings and the series was expanded to include a Children's Concert in February, a Summer Concert on the common and various special events including a George Peabody celebration and a campaign concert for the Mayor.  It has become a widely acclaimed Pops orchestra in the greater Boston area with spin off concerts in Marblehead, Salem, Lynn and for the Essex National Commission at the Hynes Auditorium in Boston.  Recently, the HFO has been invited to close out the WCRB's Summer Concert Series at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade.  This has been an exciting addition for the orchestra these past three years, performing to ever increasing crowds.  Such crowds already gathered on the North Shore evidence by the 15,000 plus that have attended the annual July 4th Concerts in Salem, Massachusetts for four years.

Our Music…

The Hillyer Festival Orchestra is committed to introducing new works and new arrangements of existing works into the pops repertory.  New or seldom performed works that the HFO has performed recently include Three American Pieces by Lucas Foss, Trumpet Sonata by Rob Bradshaw, Piano Concerto by Gerard Finzi, Mascagni's Intermezzo from "Guglielmo Ratcliff", When You Wish Upon A Star arranged by Bishop, Fanfare from Mahler's "Seventh Symphony" arranged by Groth, and film music from "Silverado" arranged by Tap.

The orchestra also regularly features soloists from its first chair positions.  There have been recent outstanding performances by Jeff Hoefler (Summon the Heroes), Emily Roos (Composers Holiday), James Mosher (Mozart Horn Concerto #3), Karen Gahagan (Finzi's Piano Concerto). Lynn Shane (Moore's Silver Aria) and Courtenay Schowalter (Bernstein's Glitter and Be Gay).