Music in the Mountains’ Pete Nowlen tests “arena acoustics” at Kings’ opener

Pete Nowlen, whose roles include artistic director of Music in the Mountains, conducted the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera for a special halftime performance at Golden 1 Center in the Kings’ opening game this week.

We noticed Pete on the floor and later on the arena’s state-of-the-art video board, a Panasonic “4K, ultra HD” — the biggest in the NBA at 44 feet wide and 24 feet tall. A Facebook clip of the Philharmonic’s performance is HERE. We conversed with Pete at the game via Facebook.

“It was a hoot and went really well,” Pete told our magazine. “Some challenges dealing with arena acoustics.” A Northwestern University alum, like us, we joked that we was surrounded in purple —the team colors of Northwestern but also the Kings.

The performance was a reminder that Golden 1 Center is Sacramento’s newest hub for local art and music that embody the city’s culture and diversity — not just NBA basketball games. MIM’s holiday performances in Grass Valley, along with others, are HERE, in our fall issue.

Julian Dixon, senior director of operations and community partnerships for the company, expressed the orchestra’s enthusiasm for the evening’s festivities. “We pride ourselves in our role to use orchestral and opera music to serve Sacramento and transform our area to fully represent the capital of California,” Dixon said.

The Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera seeks to inspire, lead artistic growth, provide support to musical education and engage Sacramento in celebrating diversity. From classical and opera to The Beatles and David Bowie, the group performs a wide variety of genres for audiences at the Sacramento Community Center Theater.

Along with his role at MIM, Pete is also UC Davis’ director of concert bands, opera musical director at CSU Sacramento and artistic director of Sacramento›s VITA [Vocal & Instrumental Teaching Artists] Academy, Camerata California (a chamber chorus) and the Rancho Cordova Civic Light Orchestra. He performed with the Sacramento Symphony from 1987 to 1996 and is active as a conductor, orchestral and chamber musician.

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