By Kirsten Allen
Not many people knew what they wanted to be when they grew up since they were four. Daniel Fridley, who will be graduating this June with a major in music and triple minor in vocal performance, choral studies, and piano performance, had it all figured out from the moment he heard a recording of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Rigoletto.”
Fridley has a knack—as a matter of fact, he has several—when it comes to music. When Fridley was just a freshman, OSU symphony conductor and music professor Marlan Carlson recognized the potential and passion that he exuberated. “Daniel has a unique quality to inspire the best out of other people. He is already a very accomplished musician, but it is the best performers who can not only get an ensemble group to a certain level of performance, but to then also inspire and push them to an entirely new level,” Carlson said. As an undergraduate, Fridley has amazingly already conducted three orchestras, a feat made possible by his steadfast dedication.
This Saturday, June 21 will mark Fridley’s next accomplishment, as he will be conducting the Greenbelt Land Trust’s Symphony on the Land at Bald Hill Farm. The symphony will include works by Haydn, Vivaldi, Gabrieli, Handel, and Telemann, as well as noted soloists Jay Chen, Anne Ridlington, Jill Pauls, and Nicholas Larson.
“I am excited about every piece in this program. One work that I am particularly looking forward to is Handel’s ‘Ye Verdant Hills,’ which is actually a choral piece. It seems to have been made to be performed in a natural setting like Bald Hill Farm,” said Fridley.
Fridley, who has lived in the Willamette Valley since he was five, has enjoyed growing up in an area with such natural beauty, and adds, “I see this symphony as a way to give back by linking the joy of music with a cause like the conservation work of Greenbelt Land Trust. Music creates connections among an audience, and can nurture a communal passion for a cause. I also like the idea of playing outdoors just as most of the composers were as they took to nature for inspiration in the writing process.”
Jessica McDonald, development director at Greenbelt Land Trust, is very pleased to have the chance to work with him, especially in ways that will help preserve land in the Willamette Valley. She said, “It has been such a pleasure working alongside Daniel, to see his innate professionalism and his passion for music. This benefit symphony helps Greenbelt Land Trust to protect and restore lands that we all care about in the Willamette Valley. Music is such a wonderful way to unite around this common cause to help preserve these special lands and rivers in our backyard.”
He will continue his melodious career by attending graduate school, in addition to spending a year with choral practices and piano performances. His future is undoubtedly looking bright, and we have a chance to see him perform here in Corvallis before he spreads his wings as he unites music and land lovers in an evening of sound and nature.
Symphony on the Land is on Saturday, June 21 at 6 p.m. at Bald Hill Farm. Proceeds benefit the Greenbelt Land Trust. The event features conductor Daniel Fridley and soloists Anne Ridlington, Jill Pauls, Jay Chen, and Nicholas Larson. Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 for Greenbelt members and students. For more information, visit www.greenbeltlandtrust.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.