March 26, 2018 (Hyannis, MA) – Dermot Mulroney has appeared in more than 100 films and TV shows, but he has yet to fulfill his lifelong dream of conducting a live orchestra. He will be able to cross that item off his bucket list this summer when he steps onstage as the guest conductor for the 33rd Annual Citizens Bank Pops by the Sea.
“One of my top, lifetime goals is to conduct in front of a real orchestra,” he said. “This is a real genuine pinnacle moment for me. As a lifelong classical musician, I always pictured myself doing it and now it’s coming to pass.”
While he grew up in Alexandria, Virginia and now calls Los Angeles his home, Mulroney has long had a close connection to the Cape. Nearly six decades ago, his mother’s aunt purchased a home in Orleans, and as kids, Dermot and his four siblings visited every summer with their parents, Ellen and Michael.
Eventually, the Mulroneys bought the property in the late 1970s, moving here full-time after Michael retired as a professor and administrator at Villanova University School of Law in 2013.
Julie Wake, executive director of the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod which organizes the annual Pops by the Sea, said Dermot is a perfect fit to serve as this year’s guest conductor. “It’s wonderful to have someone as talented and successful as Dermot give back to a place that he has enjoyed for so long,” she said.
“The guest conductor always adds an element of excitement and energy to the concert,” said Jerry Sargent, president of Citizens Bank Massachusetts. “Once again the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod hit a home run with Dermot Mulroney participating in this year’s concert. His talent as an actor and musician is a thrilling addition to the Boston Pops and Maestro Keith Lockhart.”
Wake said that Mulroney’s musical background – he is a classically-trained cellist – will bring an entirely new dimension to this year’s concert. Both she and Mulroney hinted at the possibility that he may serve double duty, not only conducting, but playing the cello alongside the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, marking a first for a guest conductor at the summer event.
If that happens, it will represent familiar territory for the 54-year-old Mulroney, who has lent his musical talents as a cellist to several of composer Michael Giacchino’s soundtracks, including “Incredibles 2,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” and “Jurassic World.”
Mulroney began playing the cello in the fourth grade and continued through high school and at Northwestern University in Chicago. While he temporarily put down the cello to pursue a full-time career in acting – “Young Guns,” “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” and “August: Osage County” are a few of his more notable credits – he eventually returned to music, first with his former band, The Low & Sweet Orchestra, and at present with Cranky George, which includes his brother Kieran, record producer Brad Wood, and James Fearnley of The Pogues.
While Mulroney is comfortable performing onstage, he admitted there will be some nerves if he is asked to play the cello at the Hyannis Village Green this August. “I haven’t performed in front of an orchestra – that’s a real heart thumper in and of itself – since I was a teenager,” he said. “That is more nerve-racking than acting.”
Mulroney, who recently reunited with Julia Roberts, his co-star in “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “August: Osage County,”, on the new Amazon TV series “Homecoming,” will have plenty of time to calm those nerves as this year’s Pops does not take place until Sunday, August 12th.
This isn’t the first time Dermot has performed locally; in 2013, he and his mother Ellen, who is a theatre actress, did a staged reading of “Peter Pan’s Mother” at the Cape Rep Theatre in Brewster.
Five years later, Cape audiences will have another chance to catch Dermot as he lends his talents to benefit the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod. The Pops by the Sea is the nonprofit’s major fundraiser of the year, with funds going to support the foundation’s artistic and cultural grants, fellowships, and scholarships on the Cape. Tickets for the Pops can be purchased at www.artsfoundation.org.
Past guest conductors at the Pops have included, among others, Dr. Gregory Skomal in 2017, Blue Man Group in 2016, Jim Belushi in 2012, the Farrelly brothers in 2011, Rachael Ray in 2010, and Ray Romano in 2007.
About the AFCC
The AFCC’s mission is to support, promote, and celebrate the arts and culture of Cape Cod. It fulfills its mission by funding grants, fellowships, and scholarships; by advocating for more awareness on the impact the Cape’s creative economy has on our region and beyond; and by building a strong arts community network through membership.
Julie Wake, 508-362-0066, ext. 111, firstname.lastname@example.org