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Delius at 150 Festival Comes to Danville

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Danville, VA-- A worldwide celebration of music is striking some chords here locally.

A group of people in Danville are taking part in the international festival, called Delius at 150. Since Thursday, people have been getting together to celebrate a musical composer.

This four day celebration is all for a British musical composer called Frederick Delius. Delius actually lived in Danville for a year, so his fans saw fit to celebrate what would be his 150th birthday right here.

Although Frederick Delius is not considered a well-known musician and doesn't have millions of fans, the fans he does have are very dedicated.

"He has some fans, who think that he's the greatest composer that ever lived and they're rabid about that they feel that very strongly and they won't be argued against," violinist Gregory Fulkerson said.

His fans are part of what's called the Delius Society, with its headquarters in London. They want to bring more awareness of Delius' work and get more musicians to perform his music.

"This is fantastic music of great genius, it's a little weird to get into at first but you find it, there's nothing like it," Fulkerson said.

The society feels like a worldwide birthday celebration for the composer is the best way to get his name out there.

" A wonderful impressionistic composer that most people don't know a lot about but we're having a wonderful birthday bash for him mainly because he spent some time here," event organizer Jean Vernon said.

Most of the celebrations are in England, but Danville has special ties to Delius, he actually taught at was is now Averett University back in the mid 1880s.

"Mr. Delius spent all of one year and came back and kept in contact of the rest of his life in Danville, and so many of the people in Danville decided it would be nice to honor his memory by having some of his music played," Fulkerson said.

"We are just having a wonderful time and we want more people to know about Delius," Vernon said.

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The festival ended at the George Washington High School auditorium where the Richmond Symphony Orchestra performed Delius' work.

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