The Catholic University of America

Jan. 5, 2007

Sidlin Conducts 12th New Year's Eve Concert at Kennedy Center

Father O'Connell, right, celebrated with Dean Ferme and Dean Sidlin and his wife, Deborah Cooper Sidlin.

Murry Sidlin, conductor and dean of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, once again delighted a National Symphony Orchestra audience during his 12th annual New Year's Eve Concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

While others in Washington raised a glass of bubbly on the evening of Dec. 31, 2006, Sidlin raised his baton in the Kennedy Center's Concert Hall. As in years past, the audience had a say in the repertoire. As the musicians played snippets of several selections, the audience responded with applause for their favorites, which the orchestra then performed.

Sidlin, who conducts regularly throughout the year, described the annual concert as "a wonderful spectacle of engagement with the audience that puts everyone in a festive mood for kissing the old year good-bye and embracing the new with all of its promise."

The concert drew high praise from Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., university president, who attended it along with Monsignor Brian Ferme, dean of the School of Canon Law.

"It was truly a thrill, once again, to be present as Dean Sidlin worked his magic at the Kennedy Center this New Year's Eve," said Father O'Connell.

"His intensity and skill as a conductor partnered with his charm and sense of humor to produce a marvelous evening of music and entertainment," he added. "Dean Ferme and I both remarked how proud we felt to see CUA's maestro perform with the National Symphony Orchestra to a full-house audience at the Concert Hall."

At the New Year's Eve concert, Sidlin is known as much for his personality as for his conducting. A January 2005 Washington Post review of the 2004 concert noted that "Sidlin's high-octane charisma flowed like champagne, making his Concert Hall listeners giddy with laughter and charging the National Symphony Orchestra with a vibrant sound."

Garth Ross, director of the Kennedy Center's Performing Arts for Everyone, the office that programs the concert, said "We have been privileged to work with Murry Sidlin for the past 12 years for New Year's Eve at the Kennedy Center. Murry successfully blends tradition and spontaneity in his concerts, as well as a terrific sense of humor, and I think the audience responds positively to that."

Sidlin's appearance at the Kennedy Center continues his long association with the National Symphony Orchestra, dating back to the 1970s when he was appointed by Antal Dorati as resident conductor of the orchestra for four seasons.


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Media contact(s):
· Chris Harrison, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600,
· Katie Lee, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600,