- PHOTO COURTESY OF PATTY THAYER
- HOLLYWOOD HILLS : New Times Music Award winner Damon Castillo brings an entirely new feel to the SLO Symphony’s annual event, Pops by the Sea, in its 18th year. Six or seven of Castillo’s songs will be arranged specially for orchestra, rock band, and vocalist. Pops Goes Hollywood— Pops by the Sea takes place Sept. 6 from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. This annual SLO Symphony musical event on the beach will be hosted by Atascadero resident, long-time community volunteer, talented baritone vocalist, local real estate agent, and Frank Sinatra-style crooner Richard Summers. Gates open at 2:30 p.m. at the Avila Beach Golf Resort, 6464 Ana Bay Drive in Avila Beach. This is the first year the stage has been moved to the lagoon side. Possible music includes “Raiders March” from Raiders of the Lost Ark, Gone with the Wind, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Trek through the years, and much more. General Info and shuttle info: 543-3533 or slosymphony.org.
Damon Castillo I have no idea—I think most know everything they want to know about me, and some things they don’t want to know about me.
New Times The SLO Symphony has some kind things to say about you, and this is the first time they have played rock music. What do you think about that?
Castillo I’m so excited. It all began with the CD release. Michael Nowak (SLO Symphony maestro) heard us play live and we talked about doing something together and when they formally invited us to be a part of the Pops I was excited, but also intimidated and scared.
New Times In what way were you scared?
Castillo They’ve never played with a rock band before, but also we’ve never played with an orchestra before, so there’s a whole side of challenges in doing that. There is also the element of arranging and rearranging tunes so the band and orchestra work well together and that is a pretty daunting task.
New Times It’s a pretty forgiving audience. Have you ever been?
- PHOTO COURTESY OF PATTY THAYER
New Times Yes, and the Champagne! What will you bring to Pops?
Castillo I’m not going to reinvent my band or rewrite my music but I will say this, we play in Hollywood all of the time. If anything, rock’n’roll, pop music, is linked to Hollywood and hopefully people will feed into the theme of the show.
New Times What is your experience with the SLO Symphony? How have they shaped your career since you are from the Central Coast?
Castillo Over the course of the last season I really got turned on to the symphony’s music. I got turned on to a whole other world of music and it’s been inspiring for me over the last year. I’ve always flirted around the edge of the symphony but then I saw Craig Russell perform at the mission and I was blown away. A whole new world of inspiration. Something I wasn’t aware of before.
New Times What can audiences expect on Sept. 6?
Castillo Things are changing so much I am not even sure what to expect. I am going to be excited about this whole new world of music and from me, they can expect … it will be a great show. It will be more than just a band or more than just an orchestra playing together—something bigger and better. Reflecting on your initial question some more, I think it’s important that I decline to comment. I’m like the male version of Greta Garbo ... I need to preserve a certain aura of mystery about myself.
Christy Heron can be reached at email@example.com.