WILLIAMSBURG, Va., May 25, 2016 - The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees today announced a three-year extended contract with Music Director Janna Hymes. During her 12-year tenure, the orchestra has seen tremendous artistic and internal growth, including the expansion of season concerts, additional staff members, the creation of an established endowment, and a recent international tour to the 2016 Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts, as well as a name change. The new contract ensures Hymes remains in Williamsburg as Music Director through the 2018-2019 season, the orchestra's 35th anniversary.
"The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra is very excited and privileged to renew the contract for Music Director Janna Hymes," said WSO Board Chairperson Ingrid Brown. "Hymes was chosen in 2004 because we believed in her ability to raise the orchestra's profile in our community. Under Ms. Hymes' direction for the past 12 years, the orchestra has grown in stature and prominence, not only locally, but internationally as well. Her energy and creativity have helped transform this group into a world-class symphony."
The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra's upcoming 2016-2017 season marks Hymes' fourth contract renewal since she began her tenure in 2004. Formerly known as The Williamsburg Symphonia, the orchestra recently changed its name to better reflect the professionalism of the symphony.
"It has been an honor to work with The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra the past 12 years. We have taken the orchestra from a small chamber group to a full professional ensemble with international touring and recognition," said Hymes. "I feel very privileged and humbled to work with such amazing musicians and guest artists."
In addition to leading the orchestra on its international debut, Hymes is also recognized locally for bringing outstanding programming to the greater Williamsburg performing arts arena. The symphony premiered its Bermuda concert locally in collaborations with both the Williamsburg Regional Library and the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. Also of note are the 2015 Summer of Freedom concerts, a three-day series featuring classical, pops and family-focused entertainment offered in partnership with the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance. In addition, the annual "Cabaret & Cocktails" concert at Colonial Williamsburg's Williamsburg Lodge has been sold-out two years running and will return in 2017.
"My goal over the next three years is to continue our growth by adding concerts and finding innovative ways to collaborate with the artistic community of Williamsburg," said Hymes. "I would also like to showcase the outstanding talents of our orchestra through touring and recording."
The WSO currently offers nine subscription concerts per year, as well as four Holiday Pops concerts during Colonial Williamsburg's Grand Illumination weekend. Each year educational programs with Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools reach approximately 7,500 students; these include Meet the Musicians, Instruments for Kids, and interactive family concerts such as the May 2016 performance of "Carnival of the Animals," which provided an opportunity to meet the conductor after the concert. In addition, Hymes conducts biannual Side-by-Side concerts with the Williamsburg Youth Orchestras.
A dynamic conductor, Hymes maintains two music directorships and a guest conducting career; in addition to Williamsburg, she is Music Director of the Maine Pro Musica Orchestra. Guest conducting appearances include the Houston, Indianapolis, Oregon, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Hartford (CT), Madison (WI), Florida West Coast, Stamford, Harrisburg (PA), Spokane (WA), Richmond (VA), Springfield (MA), Chappaqua Chamber (NY), Bangor (ME) and Omaha symphony orchestras as well as the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and the Florida Orchestra. Internationally, Hymes has been a frequent guest conductor of the Costa Rica National Symphony, the Delta Ensemble of Holland, the National Orchestre de Lyon, Besancon Chamber Orchestra and the Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico. She is a frequent guest of the Messiaen Academy in Zwolle, Holland.
About The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra
The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra is committed to providing vibrant and engaging live symphonic music in the classical and pops genres to entertain, inspire, and educate diverse audiences of all ages as an integral part of the cultural life of Williamsburg and the state of Virginia. For more information, visit www.williamsburgsymphony.org.
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