Bill Husa shot the art
Appeal Features Writer
David Bugli and his wife, Eleanor, were both active in the community orchestra in Hartford, Conn., before moving to Carson City in 1983. David casually mentioned to Eleanor that they should play in the community orchestra in Carson City – and if they didn’t have one, he’d start one.
Famous last words – and he stuck to them.
Bugli is founder and longtime music director and conductor of the Carson City Symphony, formerly orchestra.
“I didn’t ever think we’d be big enough to perform symphonic pieces,” said Bugli. “On the average, we have 50 players.”
The Buglis moved to Carson City from Virginia. Eleanor, current president of the music organization, works for the U. S. Geological Survey and was transferred to the area in 1983. She is a hydrologist and geologist. David, by trade, is a computer programmer.
David’s interest in music began as a youth. He took piano lessons at the age of 8 and studied with the same instructor for 14 years. He also learned brass instruments, including coronet, trombone and tuba, and taught music to elementary school students for five years.
Bugli selects the music arrangements for the five concerts held each year. He gets some suggestions from the musicians, but most of the choices are his. He will select for three “serious” concerts and two lighter ones.
“One problem with selecting music is trying to figure out what will work for the symphony,” said Bugli. “I might find a number that will serve well with a strong player for a featured solo, but by the time we are to perform it, that player may have another commitment. So it wouldn’t work out. It’s hard to match music with the strength of the orchestra. It changes.”
Bugli is currently working on the 16th annual Holiday Treat Concert, set for 4 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Carson City Community Center. It will feature the symphony, Carson Chamber Singers and the Mile High Jazz Band, Bugli’s latest venture.
“I did some (jazz) writing 25 years ago. But not so much now. It’s a big commitment to put out a score. I am hoping someday to do that.”
Bugli is committed to the symphony and several other projects going on at the same time.
“I’m blessed with my father’s good genes. I can get by on 5-6 hours of sleep. Plus music gives me energy. It enriches me.”
Bugli wrote a piece called “State of Metamorphosis,” performed by the symphony 10 years ago for the celebration of Nevada’s 125th anniversary.
He would also like the symphony to perform more American music. Music by Virgil Thompson, selections from the 1930s, by black composers and women composers. Bugli attended a conducting workshop in San Francisco in January and hopes to go another in March and work with other composers.
The symphony is also involved in a nationwide project called Continental Harmony Project, a musical celebration of the new millennium.
Carson City is the only participant in the project for the state of Nevada. The project calls for a composer-in-residence who will create an original composition.
The guest composer is Jim Cockey of McCall, Idaho. His composition is titled “Nevada Dialogue: A Suite for Orchestra and Chorus,” based on Nevada themes. The number will debut in Carson City, accompanied by the Carson Chamber Singers in October.
“People don’t have to be afraid to listen to us,” he said. “We sound better live than on CAT-10. The experience of hearing music live rather than filtered through electronics is much better.”
In addition to the Holiday Treat Concert, Bugli is arranging a brass ensemble to perform at the tree lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, at the State Capitol. The evening will include about 300 elementary school children singing holiday carols.
“I love conducting. Thank goodness I have the energy to do these things.”