‘The Music of Queen’ show will rock you

Cincinnati native Brent Havens of Virginia-based Windborne Music, which had its previous appearance with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra cancelled by coronavirus shutdowns in March 2020, joins the DPO for the Rockin’ Orchestra Series concert, “The Music of Queen” at the Schuster Center on Saturday, June 5. CONTRIBUTED
Cincinnati native Brent Havens of Virginia-based Windborne Music, which had its previous appearance with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra cancelled by coronavirus shutdowns in March 2020, joins the DPO for the Rockin’ Orchestra Series concert, “The Music of Queen” at the Schuster Center on Saturday, June 5. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Windborne Music returns to live shows with the Dayton Philharmonic

Given the craziness of the past 14 months, events from last spring are a bit fuzzy for Brent Havens of Windborne Music. When the Cincinnati native answered some questions in advance of the group’s return to the Schuster Center in Dayton for “The Music of Queen” with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday, June 5, he had forgotten the previous scheduled appearance was canceled. “The Music of the Rolling Stones,” the DPO Rockin’ Orchestra Series concert slated for March 21, 2020, was an early victim of last spring’s COVID-19 shutdowns.

ExploreMindfulness Walks are good for the body and soul

Havens recently discussed the effects of the pandemic on Virginia-based Windborne Music.

How have things been for you and your people?

Horrible, horrible. It’s been absolutely brutal. We had zero shows. You can’t do a show if people can’t get together. It’s the same with the Dayton Phil. I mean, good grief, it has been a brutal year. Everybody is thrilled we’re doing it, obviously, but even now, it’s limited people getting in the building. Everybody is waiting for their vaccines but it’s slowly coming around. It’s definitely been a weird time, so it’s no wonder I don’t remember what happened with that Stones show.

Did you do any 2020 performances after March?

We did two drive-in shows in Atlanta in the fall. We did the Bowie show on one weekend and Zeppelin the following weekend and that was it for 2020. We actually had two crews out in the middle of March of last year. One group was going to Kansas City and one was already in Denver. They were setting up for their show and the governor said, ‘Oh, yeah, we’re done. No events as of this moment.’ They literally just looked up, packed up their gear, got on a plane and came home. I was scheduled to go to Kansas City for two Stones shows, so thankfully that governor shut it down before we got on the plane. I was ready to leave the house and head to the airport when I got the news.

Have you done anything yet this year?

We just started up again in early April. We did three shows in Oklahoma City but that was streamed. They had a few people in the audience, but it was limited to 25% capacity or something like that. They’re short shows, you know, 65-minute shows. They didn’t want people milling about in the lobby trying to get drinks and stuff like that. They weren’t selling drinks or snacks or anything like that. They were just doing single shows, which is kind of what we’re doing in Dayton. We’re doing a single set rather than a full show but we’re doing two of them, one at 6 and one at 8:30.

Virginia-based Windborne Music, which had its previous appearance with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra cancelled by coronavirus shutdowns in March 2020, joins the DPO for the Rockin’ Orchestra Series concert, “The Music of Queen” at the Schuster Center on Saturday, June 5. CONTRIBUTED
Virginia-based Windborne Music, which had its previous appearance with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra cancelled by coronavirus shutdowns in March 2020, joins the DPO for the Rockin’ Orchestra Series concert, “The Music of Queen” at the Schuster Center on Saturday, June 5. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

You’ve been doing the Queen show for a while haven’t you?

Oh, yeah, I believe 2009 was the first time we did it and it’s hugely popular. We’ve been all over the world with it. They’re one of the biggest bands ever, particularly in Europe. They’re massive there but, I mean, they’re huge here too. It’s pretty amazing because we sell out show after show. The movie in 2018 helped big time. We exploded on top of what we were already doing. That was really crazy.

ExploreFormer Mrs. Ohio is surviving and thriving post stroke

Did you come up with any new concepts or approaches for Windborne Music during the downtime?

Not really, it was more so, ‘What do I want to do next? Who is the next group we’re going to do?’ It was interesting because Sony sent me a note that said, ‘Hey, we just signed Def Leppard to a publishing deal and they’d love for you to do the show.’ So, our next show up will probably be Def Leppard. The guys in that band are obviously still out touring, but they’re all excited we’re actually going to be doing the show. It’s always great to hear, ‘We want you to do our music.’ That’s just fantastic.

Are there plans to bring the Stones show to Dayton?

I’m guessing the Stones show will come back at a later date. The Dayton Phil is getting their feet wet now just getting live people in the theater and just figuring out what’s going on. Now that we don’t have to wear masks if you’re fully vaccinated, that’s changing everything again. It’s got to be really tough on orchestras around the country to decide on what to do and how to do it.

What does the summer look like for the group?

It’s slowly opening up. We’ve got six shows booked in June so that’s good news. Now, our normal June is way more than that. In June 2019, we probably did 13 shows that month. We had zippo in 2020 so the fact we have six shows this June is fantastic. That’s really good news. A lot of smaller orchestras couldn’t actually afford to do streaming or to keep their staff on the payroll. They’re just now getting back in the offices and trying to wind things back up and getting marketing and development on the way again. We’re getting calls every day now as orchestras start coming back online and that’s great.

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at donthrasher100@gmail.com.

HOW TO GO

What: “The Music of Queen” with Windborne Music and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra

Where: Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton

When: 6 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday, June 5. No intermission

Cost: $50 in-person, $25 live stream

More info: 937-228-3630 or www.daytonlive.org

Artist info: www.windbornemusic.com