At the first downbeat of her baton on September 14, Janna Hymes will inaugurate her 12th season as Music Director of The Williamsburg Symphonia. She has scheduled an exciting series of Masterworks concerts, which includes beloved classics by Brahms, Mendelssohn and Dvo¿ák and modern works by Jeff Midkiff and Florence Price, the first African-American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer and the first to have a composition played by a major orchestra. The season will also feature guest soloists of international stature: violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, pianist George Li, mandolinist Jeff Midkiff and violinist Akemi Takayama, the Symphonia's concertmaster.
The Symphonia's community engagement will continue with Meet the Musicians; guest artist Master Classes; and Instruments for Kids, a program that provides instruments and private lessons to students who do not have the financial resources to acquire their own instruments.
A new special event taking place July 31, August 1 and August 2 at Lake Matoaka is the Symphonia's series of concerts for the Summer of Freedom Music Festival sponsored by the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance. Music scheduled for this weekend ranges from the stunning and romantic for couples on Friday night, to movie tunes for families on Saturday, to a Sunday concert geared toward children, featuring Peter and the Wolf and an instrument "petting zoo," when the orchestra's professional musicians share insights and give children an opportunity to touch and play their instruments.
The goal of this music festival is to attract tourists as well as inspire the hometown crowd, and to create a "palpable buzz," to quote Karen Riordan, president and CEO of the Chamber & Tourism Alliance. In Ms. Hymes' vision, "the Festival will morph into a highly anticipated event in Williamsburg and take on a life of its own."
The Williamsburg Symphonia, beginning its 32nd season, is Williamsburg's own professional orchestra presenting two performances each of five Masterworks concerts each year as well as "pops" programs. The family-oriented Holiday Pops will be presented on December 5 and 6, at 1:30 and 3:00 p.m. daily, at the Kimball Theatre. In the planning stages is a repeat of last year's delightful Cabaret & Cocktails Pops, scheduled for January 2016 at the Williamsburg Lodge. Subscriptions for the 2015-2016 season are now on sale; buy the season and save - on both individual Masterworks and Holiday Pops tickets. For more information visit www.williamsburgsymphonia.org or call 757-229-9857.
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