The Fall River Symphony Orchestra is bringing a diverse array of orchestral music to an increasingly diverse audience. It may seem timely given the past year’s public outcry over systemic racism, but really it’s been the game plan for years.

Douglas McRay Daniels, conductor and musical director of the Fall River Symphony Orchestra, is leading the group through a performance season that focuses on Black composers.

“Fall River is a fantastic community and we have reached out and found more and more people who are interested in what we’re doing. And we’re continuing to find music that will engage this audience,” said conductor and music director Douglas McRay Daniels.

A Black conductor puts his own spin on the orchestra

Daniels, who is Black, took his own unique path to his current position. One of 12 siblings, he grew up in a small town in Alabama.

“In the South, band is king,” not orchestras, he said.

And as for the farm where he grew up, “It’s not really the typical place when you think of an orchestra conductor.”

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