Owensboro Symphony music director and conductor Troy Quinn on Wednesday said he is excited for their free outdoor concert featuring legendary singer Lee Greenwood on Saturday, but he’s also eager to continue the outreach efforts to introduce more young people to the symphony.
The Symphony’s Summer Salute with Lee Greenwood” is set for 7 p.m. at the McConnell Plaza. Quinn — the featured guest during Wednesday’s virtual Rotary Club meeting — said the concert will be dedicated to “all heroes,” including those who gave their lives in the line of military duty and those who served on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The concert is emblematic of a pledge Quinn made with Symphony CEO Gwyn Morris Payne to do something for the leaders of the Owensboro community.
According to Quinn, having Greenwood’s participation in this weekend’s event is a “big deal” for Owensboro. The concert will include “country fiddle tunes” and many of Greenwood’s famous hits, including God Bless The U.S.A.
Quinn, who’s garnered international recognition for his musical talent, also shared his background and career with Rotary members.
Some of Quinn’s most notable achievements include directing the Venice Symphony in Florida and starring in a number of TV shows and movies such as GLEE, The Voice, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He even served as actor Shia LeBeaf’s stand-in during the filming of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
However, Quinn said he didn’t grow up with a lot of money to his name. He didn’t learn to read music until he was in college. His upbringing was what inspired him to start reaching out to those who didn’t have the opportunity to attend the symphony and hear quality classical music.
“Part of it is a lifelong pursuit — not just from a music standpoint, but an appreciation,” he said. “You don’t have to academically understand it. No matter what age you are, you can enjoy it.”
Quinn has been involved in a number of outreach programs to introduce more people in Owensboro to the symphony. A partnership with the Owensboro Regional Farmers’ Market will include symphony members who will play at the event during June.
Through Quinn’s leadership, a concert lineup featuring a number of “world-renowned” artists will be coming to the RiverPark Center as well. Quinn said Eric Rigler — known as the most recorded bagpiper of all time, and whose music was used in movies such as Braveheart, Titanic, and Million Dollar Baby — will hit the RPC stage in January, while five-time Grammy nominee Michael Feinstein will make an appearance later this year.
“A lot of this music has never been performed in concert halls,” Quinn noted.
Owensboro Symphony will also present its annual Holiday Concert in December, and a Superheroes Concert will serve as a “great concert for the kids,” Quinn said.
“I felt I had the mind, memory and gift for music,” he said. “I try to instill that in young people. No matter where you come from, your gifts can be developed later in life.”
In recent years, Quinn said he’s seen more and more young people attending concerts held by the Owensboro Symphony. It’s his goal to keep that momentum going.
On Friday, Quinn will be at English Park to talk music with anyone interested, and to spread the word about the free concert on Saturday.
“Music is a universal language for a reason, but it has to be accessible, and it has to be enjoyable,” he said. “Hopefully, that’s why I’m here.”