Christopher Dragon

Wyoming Symphony Orchestra conductor Christopher Dragon sits for a portrait in January at Natrona County High School's John F. Welsh Auditorium. The new symphony conductor will not be able to perform at Saturday's "Pops in the Park" concert due to a delay with his new visa. The delay has been resolved and he is scheduled to open the upcoming season in October. 

The Wyoming Symphony Orchestra’s new music director, Christopher Dragon, won’t be able to conduct Saturday’s Pops in the Park concert due to a delay with his new U.S. visa, according to the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra.

The “Pops in the Park: A Musical Tribute to John Williams” will continue as scheduled with guest conductor Scott O’Neil.

A “paperwork delay” outside of his control has been resolved, and Dragon is expected to return to the U.S. soon, said Wyoming Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Rachel Bailey. Dragon plans to begin the symphony’s 2019-20 “Celebration” season, which opens with an Oct. 5 concert, she said.

“There wasn’t anything wrong with the visa,” Bailey said. “And there weren’t any question about letting him back into the country.”

The symphony in May announced Dragon as the new music director after a year-and-a-half search. Dragon last month attended the symphony’s annual Wine on the River fundraiser and had planned to conduct its third summer concert in Washington Park before the visa delay arose early last week, she said.

The symphony received word Tuesday morning that Dragon, from Australia, has received his two-year visa, Bailey said. He traveled to Australia last month before his prior visa expired at the of July, she said.

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With his current visa approved, the symphony does not anticipate any further issues with Dragon’s upcoming scheduled performances, Bailey said.

Dragon, who lives in Denver, was promoted last spring to resident conductor for the next two years of the Colorado Symphony after four years as its associate conductor. He has worked with guest conductor O’Neil, who had earlier spent nine years as resident conductor of the Colorado Symphony, according to the symphony’s Facebook page.

“He’s very familiar with the repertoire that we’re playing and was highly recommended by both Christopher (Dragon) and the Colorado Symphony to come in and do the pops concert,” Bailey said.

The Pops in the Park concert features guest soloist Sandy Cameron playing selections from the “Schindler’s List” film score on violin.

Dragon worked with Cameron in May when she performed a piece Danny Elfman composed for her, called “Eleven, Eleven,” with the Colorado Symphony. The Pops in the Park concert will feature music from Williams’ film scores including “Harry Potter,” “Jurassic Park,” and “Star Wars,” Bailey said.

“But again, the silver lining is that we have some really great musicians coming to work with the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra,” Bailey said. “And it’s going to be a great night.”

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Follow reporter Elysia Conner on Twitter @erconner


Star-Tribune reporter Elysia Conner covers arts, culture and the Casper community.

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