Conductor Robert Dodelin’s distinguished and extraordinary musical journey all began, not in the august concert halls and conservatories of the world, but at age four, in a little duplex in Moorestown, NJ, at the knee of his grandfather, who gave him his first music lessons on, of all instruments, the ukulele. Though there is no straight line to be drawn from that early point to the podium, Bob’s life long love and enthusiasm for American popular music has served him well along his road to some of the most well respected stages and pits in the nation’s capital.
His special achievements underline his versatility. Bob is the founder and music director of the Salon Orchestra of Washington, director of Washington’s preeminent special events ensemble, Sidney’s Orchestra and conductor of the DC Pops Orchestra, entertaining thousands of listeners, dancers and gala goers for over 25 years. His tenure leading the waltzes at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Annual New Year’s Eve Party in the Grand Foyer dates back to 1990. He also serves as music director of American Russian Aid Society Ball, 1995 to the present, the Alfalfa Club, 1996 to the present, and the Annual Horatio Alger Awards, from 2000 to the present.
In addition to his conducting duties, he remains among the first-call bassists in the DC area for all styles including jazz, rock, and classical. Performances have included backing up artists as varied as Andrea Bocelli, Loretta Lynn, Barbara Cook, Kenny Rogers, George Benson, Frank Sinatra, Jr., The Muppets, Placido Domingo, Maureen McGovern, Rosemary Clooney, Garrison Keillor (A Prairie Home Companion), just to name a few.
Conductor Dodelin sees his main mission to be the propagation of the appreciation of music, in all its forms. If music is the universal language, why not become fluent? Have a conversation with art!