Norman Huynh

Norman Huynh, the fourth visiting music director candidate to the Bozeman Symphony this season, poses for a photo. 

Norman Huynh wants to close the gap between the orchestra and those in the seats.

“I love to be that bridge between the audience and the musicians,” he said.

Huynh, 31, is the fourth music director candidate and guest conductor to visit the Bozeman Symphony so far this season, with two more to go.

Huynh was born and raised in Alabama and began playing trombone in junior high school. In high school he picked up euphonium, a brass instrument similar to a tuba, which he played in the University of Alabama’s marching band while getting his degree in music education. His sophomore year of college, he began taking conducting lessons and discovered orchestral music.

“That discovery was like, okay, this is why I want to be a conductor,” he said.

Huynh went on to hold conducting positions in two cities: three years at the Portland Symphony in Portland, Maine, and then three years and counting at the Oregon Symphony in Portland, Oregon. The Maine city is comparable in size to Bozeman, which Huynh says will help him understand how to grow the Bozeman symphony if he gets the job.

“I have experience working with a smaller organization and know the role an orchestra can have in a community of this size,” he said. His experience at the Oregon Symphony, he said, will help him help the Bozeman symphony “take the next step in terms of artistic vision.”

Every visiting conductor and music director candidate chooses at least two pieces to perform with the orchestra. Huynh chose “Among Mountains,” a piece unique because it’s by living composer Christopher Rogerson. The second piece Huynh chose is Benjamin Britten’s “Man of Good Will,” an orchestra piece based off of the Christmas carol “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”

“It’s an accessible piece, but it’s a real challenge for the orchestra, too,” he said of “Man of Good Will.”

Huynh is excited to be in Bozeman and working with the symphony.

“It’s so wonderful to get to know not only the musicians, but everyone in the community who supports the orchestra,” he said.

Melissa Loveridge can be reached at mloveridge@dailychronicle.com or at (406) 582-2651.