Windborne backed by Dayton Philharmonic performs music of U2

Brody Dolyniuk and Windborne team with the DPO to perform U2’s best-known music.

By Tim Walker

Now into their fifth decade, Irish band U2 have stood the test of time in more ways than one. The list of instantly recognizable hit songs the band has written and recorded, from “New Year’s Day” and “Sunday, Bloody Sunday,” to “With or Without You,” “One,” “Beautiful Day,” and “Pride (In the Name of Love),” goes on and on.

The band got its start in 1976 in 14-year-old drummer Larry Mullen, Jr.’s kitchen in the Dublin suburb of Artane. Since then, the four musicians that make up U2—drummer Mullen, bassist Adam Clayton, guitarist The Edge, and singer Bono—have not only continued performing together, but are still writing relevant, interesting songs. The band’s albums, from their first release, 1980’s Boy, right up to last year’s Songs of Experience, are filled with music that means something and continues to touch people’s lives. In a transient world, where the public’s attention span is measured in seconds rather than weeks, U2 have carved out their own particular niche in the consciousness of music lovers worldwide.

This Saturday, April 7, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will celebrate the band’s sound and timeless songs with the performance “Windborne Presents the Music of U2” at the Schuster Center, part of the 2017-2018 Rockin’ Orchestra series. The DPO, which will be under the direction of guest conductor Brent Havens for the evening, will perform along with Haven’s rock ensemble Windborne and will feature Brody Dolyniuk as vocalist. This one-night-only performance starts at 8 p.m., and good seats are still available at press time.

“When you talk about orchestras to people in your community,” says Brent Havens, conductor/arranger and founder of Windborne, when speaking with the Dayton City Paper recently, “they think of just classical music. But at these shows, they realize these are world-class musicians who can play literally anything that you put in front of them. We’re thrilled to be able to bring a completely new audience to the orchestra’s venues. It’s just great to see the reaction of people who’ve never heard an orchestra in any kind of setting, much less in a classical or a rock setting. They’re so enthusiastic—the biggest applause we get is when the singer introduces the local orchestra, and they
just go nuts.”

Brent Havens trained in music at Berklee and has decades of experience writing music for film, television, and orchestras worldwide. He is the arranger and guest conductor for all of Windborne’s symphonic rock programs, including tributes to the music of Pink Floyd, Queen, Elton John, and Whitney Houston. In February, Havens conducted the DPO during its presentation “The Music of Led Zeppelin,” featuring vocalist Randy Jackson. This week’s “Music of U2” performance will feature vocalist Brody Dolyniuk.

“I’ve been a classic rock fan since before it was classic rock,” says Dolyniuk recently when speaking from his home in California. “I went to school in the 1980s, and I was into Boston and Rush and Van Halen, bands that were maybe a little older than my generation. I’m an even bigger fan of U2 now than I was then—I grew up when a lot of these songs were current, and while I liked them, I was never a diehard U2 fan. Then when I started doing the show, I began developing a higher sense of appreciation for the band, their songs, and for Bono’s voice. He’s really an underrated singer, and I don’t think most people think of Bono when they think of great singers, but his catalog is a real challenge to sing—he’s no joke.”

A multi-talented singer, Brody Dolyniuk also handles lead vocalist duties for Windborne on their tributes to Queen, Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, and Elton John. “I give them a package discount,” says Dolyniuk with a laugh. “That stuff has always been in my blood, I guess, and it just stuck with me.”

A favorite with local audiences, the Dayton Philharmonic’s Rockin’ Orchestra Series, which is sponsored every year by Dayton Freight, has proven to be one of the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance’s most popular annual series. At each Rockin’ Orchestra performance, the DPO performs an evening of popular songs by a particular artist while accompanied by a rock band and one or more talented vocalists.

The DPAA and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will host “Windborne Presents the Music of U2” at the Schuster Center, 1 West 2nd St., Dayton, on Saturday, April 7. The performance starts at 8 p.m., and tickets are still available. Call the box office at 888.228.3630 or visit for more information.

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Tim Walker is 51 and a writer, DJ, and local musician. He lives with his wife and their two children in Dayton, where he enjoys pizza, jazz, and black T-shirts. Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Walker at

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