News / RSO 2.0

For Immediate Release
Date: 24 February, 2014
Contact: Rodney Overstreet, Marketing Director
540.343.6221 ext.227 or rodney.overstreet@rso.com


BALL CELEBRATES 60 YEARS OF ROANOKE SYMPHONY

Roanoke, Virginia - The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra announces new details surrounding its Diamond Anniversary Ball. The black-tie, fund raising event takes place April 5, 2014 at the Roanoke Ballroom at Hotel Roanoke. Admission to the event includes gourmet dinner, wines, open bar, free valet parking and dancing to live music from the RSO. The event's Chairs are Drs. Nancy and Kevin Dye.

TRADITION
The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra was founded in the spring of 1953, with the first concert season occurring between the fall of '53 and the spring of '54. The "Symphony Ball" quickly became the RSO's signature fundraiser. The last Symphony Ball was "Carnevale - A Masked Musical Ball" in February 2012. This year's Diamond Anniversary Ball celebrates the orchestra's 60th anniversary and celebrates the grand tradition of the RSO's early, 1950's era Ball.

NEW DETAILS
The Diamond Anniversary Ball evening will feature a live auction of diamond jewelry from Fink's, Ginger's Jewelry, Good Looks, as well as a custom made commemorative brooch from R.M. Johnson & Sons Jewelers. Live orchestral music with selections from Johann Strauss, Jr., Richard Rogers, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller and others will be led by music director David Stewart Wiley. In addition to the RSO, musicians will also include vocalists Scott and Amy Williamson. Music and dance floor space will be available throughout the evening. Hotel Roanoke's new Executive Chef, Stephen DeMarco makes his RSO Ball debut with a colorful five course dinner that recalls the sophistication and elegance of mid-century American dining and French wines. The event will begin with cocktails at 7 p.m.

The funds raised by Diamond Anniversary Ball will help support concerts and education programs that reach into the community year round. The Ball enables the RSO to hire professional musicians and to present renowned solo artists at affordable ticket prices. The support generated by Ball sponsors, in-kind contributors, volunteers and ticket buyers is vital to the RSO's mission. Admission is $250 and is all inclusive. Reservations are required. For information and the reserve, call the RSO at 540.343.9127.

The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra celebrates its mission to enrich lives, to educate, and to entertain diverse audiences in western Virginia with the highest quality instrumental and choral music.
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For Immediate Release
Date: 1 October, 2013

Contact: Rodney Overstreet, Marketing Director
540.343.6221 ext.227 or rodney.overstreet@rso.com


ROANOKE AREA STUDENTS WORK WITH WORLD-CLASS CELLIST

Roanoke Virginia - Four cello students from Southwest Virginia will have the opportunity to play for and be coached by Zuill Bailey, an internationally renowned cellist in a masterclass presented by the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra. The masterclass will be held in "The Green Room" inside the Symphony's downtown office space on Monday morning, October 7 beginning at 10:00 a.m. The students range in age from 10 years old to college student.


About Zuill Bailey

Zuill Bailey is widely considered one of the premiere cellists in the world. His rare combination of celebrated artistry, technical wizardry and engaging personality have secured his place as one of the most sought after and active cellists today.

Network Television appearances include a recurring role on the HBO series "Oz," NBC's "Homicide", A&E, NHK TV in Japan, a live broadcast of the Beethoven Triple Concerto performed in Tel Aviv with Itzhak Perlman conducting the Israel Philharmonic, and a performance with the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico City. Mr. Bailey is also featured in the televised production of the Cuban premiere of Victor Herbert's Cello Concerto No. 2 with the National Orchestra of Cuba. He has been heard on NPR's "Morning Edition," "Tiny Desk Concert," "Performance Today", "Saint Paul Sunday," BBC's "In Tune," XM Radio's "Live from Studio II," Sirius Satellite Radio's "Virtuoso Voices," the KDFC Concert Series, Minnesota Public Radio, WFMT and RTHK Radio Hong Kong.

Mr. Bailey has appeared at Disney Hall, the Kennedy Center, the United Nations, Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd St. Y and Carnegie Hall, where he made his debut performing the U.S. premiere of Miklos Theodorakis' "Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra." In addition, he made his New York recital debut in a sold out performance of the complete Beethoven Cello Sonatas at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

His international appearances include celebrated performances with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra in its 50th anniversary tour of Russia, as well as concerts in Australia, the Dominican Republic, France, Holland, Israel, Spain, Hong Kong, Jordan, Mexico, South America and the United Kingdom. Festival appearances include Ravinia, the Interlochen Center for the Arts, Manchester Cello Festival (UK), Consonances- St. Nazaire (France), Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Deia Music Festival- Mallorca (Spain), Santa Fe, Caramoor, Chautauqua, Bravo Vail.

Zuill Bailey is an exclusive recording artist on Telarc International. His "Bach Cello Suites" recording immediately soared to the Number One spot on the Classical Billboard Charts. Other critically acclaimed recordings on Telarc include his live performance of the Dvorak Cello Concerto, with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, "Brahms" complete works for cello and piano with pianist Awadagin Pratt, and "Russian Masterpieces" showcasing the works of Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich performed with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. His discography also includes a debut recital disc for Delos, Cello Quintets of Boccherini and Schubert with Janos Starker, Saint-Saens' Cello Concertos No. 1 and 2 "Live," with the RSO & David Stewart Wiley and the Korngold Cello Concerto with Kaspar Richter and the Bruckner Orchestra Linz for ASV.

Zuill Bailey was awarded the Classical Recording Foundation Award for 2006 and 2007 for Beethoven's complete works for Cello and Piano. The highly touted two disc set with pianist Simone Dinnerstein was released on Telarc worldwide. In celebration of his recordings and appearances, Kalmus Music Masters will release "Zuill Bailey Performance Editions," which will encompass the core repertoire of cello literature.

For more information please visit www.zuillbailey.com.

The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra celebrates its mission to enrich lives, to educate, and to entertain diverse audiences in western Virginia with the highest quality instrumental and choral music.
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For Immediate Release
Date: 1 October, 2012

Contact:

Rodney Overstreet, Marketing Director
540.343.6221 ext.227 or rodney.overstreet@rso.com

James C. Sears, President and General Manager, Cener in the Square


IMPOTANT NEW PARTNERSHIP IN THIS REGION'S CULTURAL COMMUNITY

We are pleased to announce a new partnership between Center in the Square and the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra. RSO will become a new beneficiary organization of Center in the Square joining our other seven organizations that are part of this very successful affiliation:

• Harrison Museum of African American Culture
• The Historical Society of Western Virginia
    •History Museum of Western Virginia
    •O. Winston Link Museum
    •Crystal Spring Pump Station
    •Kegley Publications
• Mill Mountain Theatre
• Science Museum of Western Virginia
• Opera Roanoke
• Roanoke Ballet Theatre
• The Arts Council of the Blue Ridge

The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra will be moving their administrative offices and studio space to the historic Shenandoah Hotel building at 128 East Campbell Avenue, Roanoke, Virginia. The Shenandoah Hotel in downtown Roanoke is owned by The Western Virginia Foundation for the Arts and Sciences (DBA Center in the Square). The property was completely renovated in 2000 at a cost of $4.5 million and is located in the Historic Downtown Market District, near Center in the Square, the Roanoke Farmer's Market, and the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center.

As part of the strategic plan adopted at the formation of the Western Virginia Foundation for the Arts and Sciences in 1982, initiatives have been undertaken that create stable yet dynamic partnerships for arts, culture, and education in this region. "Organizations are selected on public impact, artistic excellence, sound fiscal practices, and organizational strength. RSO certainly fits within those parameters," says James C. Sears, President and General Manager of Center in the Square. "This new partnership serves to strengthen and advance our mission by enhancing the capacity of all our organizations and lending itself to economic strength and growth through these solid alliances." Jim Sears continues, "For some time the RSO has been seeking highly visible, ground level office and studio space in the downtown area. This is a perfect fit and breathes new life into the beautiful Shenandoah Hotel."

The administrative offices for RSO will be located on the second level of the Shenandoah building with studio space for David Stewart Wiley, Music Director and Conductor of the RSO, occupying the north-east corner of the building on the ground level. Picture windows open up the space and invite observers to enjoy a glimpse into the excitement of theSymphony. Wiley, together with RSO musicians and staff, will be able to advance opportunities for participation in the arts and strengthen the RSO's integration into the cultural and educational mainstream of our community. The opportunity to engage the public in downtown Roanoke to see and hear students and musicians on special occasions is exactly what the RSO was looking for. The Shenandoah building location will complement the RSO's list of venue partnerships in the Roanoke Valley, including Shaftman Performance Hall at Jefferson Center, Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre, and Salem Civic Center. "This is a spectacular opportunity for the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra to broaden its service to the community by showcasing artistic and educational offerings, including music lessons, in the heart of downtown." said Beth Pline, Executive Director of the RSO.

TIMELINE
The Historical Society of Western Virginia currently occupies this space temporarily while renovations to their permanent space in Center in the Square are completed. They will vacate their administrative offices by January 15, 2013 moving into their newly renovated administrative space on the third floor of Center in the Square. The History Museum of Western Virginia (currently occupying the ground level of the Shenandoah building) will close January 1, 2013 as they prepare and move to their new museum space on the third floor of Center.

One Block East gallery currently occupies the ground level corner at Campbell and Williamson which will become the studio space for David Stewart Wiley. One Block East will vacate the building at the end of December 2012.

RSO will acquire their new space in the Shenandoah building January 16, 2013 for upfits -- alterations to accommodate their specific needs. Completion of these upfits is scheduled for April 1, 2013 at which time they will make their permanent move to 128 East Campbell Avenue.

USE OF SPACE
The Shenandoah building has approximately 6,800 square feet on the ground level. RSO will occupy a total of 3,590 square feet. Upfits by RSO will include offices, studios, kitchenette, restrooms, box office, library, and a 500 square foot shared lobby. These modifications will be done under the supervision of two architectural firms -- Balzer & Associates and Spectrum Design.

Center in the Square will continue to be committed to promoting innovative, dynamic, and diverse partnerships supporting common goals and maximizing awareness of our strengths as they apply to the region's economic growth.

Center in the Square, at One Market Square in the heart of downtown Roanoke, is currently undergoing a 30 million dollar renovation and is scheduled to reopen to the public in May, 2013.

For more information about Center in the Square, please contact James C. Sears, President and General Manager 540.342.5701, jsears@centerinthesquare.org. www.centerinthesquare.org.

For more information about the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, please contact Rodney Overstreet, Marketing Director, 540.343.6221 ext.227, rodney.overstreet@rso.com. www.rso.com. The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra celebrates its mission to enrich lives, to educate, and to entertain diverse audiences in western Virginia with the highest quality instrumental and choral music.
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For Immediate Release
Date: 5 September, 2012
Contact: Rodney Overstreet, Marketing Director
540.343.6221 ext.227 or rodney.overstreet@rso.com

ORCHESTRA'S CRESCENDO HEARD

Roanoke, Virginia -- The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra announced today that it is debt free. The announcement came at a press conference in which RSO Board President Joseph W. Ferguson outlined the state of the RSO -- from recent fundraising efforts to newly initiated product and marketing approaches to its artistic vision. Music Director David Stewart Wiley provided highlights of the RSO's upcoming concert season which is to include stars LeAnn Rimes, Bernadette Peters, as well as the RSO's Masterworks series, and more.

Today's announcement comes as the RSO wraps up its "Crescendo Campaign" -- a last--quarter effort to raise $250,000 in order to balance the budget and to set aside cash reserves for financial ups and downs. President Ferguson stated, "I am pleased to announce that our line of credit has been paid off completely, and we just finished our fiscal year with a budget surplus." He added, "As we speak, and possibly before the end of today, we are reaching our quarter--million dollar goal." Ferguson also announced that the RSO is "in the pro--active stage of planning" for its 60th Anniversary.

Ferguson stated that the RSO's new Concert Memberships, announced in June, are now available. Considered "a pioneering move among symphony orchestras," the memberships allow concertgoers to attend some or all of the RSO's subscription concerts through low, monthly payments. The memberships are available for as little as $9 per month, and are initiated through an online sign--up form at the RSO's website, rso.com.

Describing the organization's leadership, Ferguson offered, "If it's not broken..." and described the RSO's Music Director David Stewart Wiley as "an artistic anchor." Wiley's contract with the RSO has been extended to 2016. "The RSO and I continue to have a great collaborative partnership," said Wiley. "I am grateful to our dedicated professional musicians, our hard working board, and our amazing staff." Wiley also continues as music director of the Long Island Philharmonic in New York.

The RSO's 59th season begins with "Opening Night Fireworks" on October 1 at the Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre. Tickets and information about the season are available by calling the RSO box office at 540.343.9127 and at the RSO's website at rso.com.

The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra celebrates its mission to enrich lives, to educate, and to entertain diverse audiences in western Virginia with the highest quality instrumental and choral music.
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For Immediate Release
Date: 25 June, 2012
Contact: Rodney Overstreet, Marketing Director
540.343.6221 ext.227 or rodney.overstreet@rso.com


RSO INTRODUCES LOW-COST CONCERT MEMBERSHIPS

Roanoke, Virginia - The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra announces the introduction of a revolutionary way to attend concerts. When subscriptions go on sale July 16, the RSO will begin offering Concert Memberships starting at $9 per month. Four membership packages will be offered, including the all-inclusive, "as much as you like" RSOMax membership (from $9/month), as well as "partial" membership packages. Each membership will be conveniently paid through a monthly charge to the member's credit card and will be sold through the RSO's website at rso.com. Members may choose to have their tickets mailed to them in advance or they may simply show up for the concerts of their choice.

The concept of Concert Memberships is the first of its kind in the Roanoke Valley, and is a pioneering move among orchestras nationwide. "This delivers on our promise to take innovative strides in fulfilling our mission" states incoming RSO President Joe Ferguson. "With Concert Memberships, we have a forward-looking plan to serve a new audience with accessibility and value in today's terms. It's a win-win situation for the RSO and concertgoers."

The new memberships will help fill the RSO's silver and bronze seating sections, with conventional (pay-at-once) subscriptions still offered in the better, gold and platinum, sections. Renewing subscribers with gold or platinum subscriptions may retain their seats and will not be affected by the new membership sales. Tickets to individual concerts will be offered in all sections when they go on sale on August 20.


"As Much As You Like" Membership:

RSOMax - All subscription concerts (Masterworks and Pops, plus Sci-Fi Live). Starting at $9/month in bronze seating. 12 monthly payments. Automatically renews, or cancel.


"Partial" Memberships:

ClassicNow - All Masterworks concerts plus Sci-Fi Live. $19/month in silver seating. 6 monthly payments.

PopStar - All Pops concerts. Starts at $19/month in bronze seating. 3 monthly payments.

FutureSeries - Great for children: Sci-Fi Live, Holiday Pops, and the RYSO's 2013 Spring Concert. $19/month for up to 3 family members. 3 monthly payments.



THE 2012-2013 SEASON

The RSO's 2012-2013 season includes five Masterworks Series programs performed in a combination of concerts at the Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre and Jefferson Center's Shaftman Performance Hall. This season's Masterworks theme is "Beethoven in the Blue Ridge" featuring at least one work by the classical master on each Masterworks program, along with popular classics by Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Vivaldi, Vaughan Williams, Copland and others. Masterworks series highlights include: the RSO's premiere of the Vaughan Williams Tuba Concerto with soloist Brian Kiser, and the premiere of David Stewart Wiley's Celebration Overture; a performance by pianist and NPR show host Christopher O'Riley with the RSO; Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" with RSO concertmaster and violin soloist Akemi Takayama; Beethoven's Choral Fantasy with the RSO, the RSO Chorus, and David Stewart Wiley at the piano; and Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring.

The Picnic at the Pops Series for 2012-2013 includes three concerts at the Salem Civic Center. The series begins with a solo performance by superstar LeAnn Rimes on Saturday, October 27, 2012; continues with Holiday Pops: It's A Wonderful Life featuring Miss Virginia 2011, Elizabeth Crot, on December 7, 2012; and concludes with Bernadette Peters with the RSO on March 8, 2013.

Also this season, the Roanoke Youth Symphony Orchestra and Roanoke Symphony Orchestra will perform side-by-side in Sci-Fi Live. This concert features a 100-piece orchestra from members of the RSO and RYSO combined, performing music from Star Trek, 2001 A Space Odyssey, The Lord of the Rings, Apollo 13, The Planets, and more.

Subscriptions and Concert Memberships go on sale July 16, 2012. Individual concert tickets go on sale August 20. To order, visit rso.com or call the RSO box office at 540.343.9127.

The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra celebrates its mission to enrich lives, to educate, and to entertain diverse audiences in western Virginia with the highest quality instrumental and choral music.
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For Immediate Release
Date: 21 May, 2012
Contact: Rodney Overstreet, Marketing Director
540.343.6221 ext.227 or rodney.overstreet@rso.com


ORCHESTRA PLAYING YEAR-END CRESCENDO

Roanoke, Virginia - As the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra weathers the recent recession, it will finish the 2012 fiscal year in the black with continued public support through the new Crescendo Campaign. With the Crescendo Campaign, the RSO will increase its fundraising and sales revenues by $250,000 over the next five months. To launch the campaign, the RSO acknowleges the receipt of an anonymous contribution of $100,000 towards the goal. The success of the Crescendo Campaign will place the organization in the black for FY 2012 and provide reserves to manage cash flow throughout the coming year.

"In order to continue to serve a growing audience with high quality programs and to educate young people in the Roanoke Valley, the RSO is coming to the community for support through the Crescendo Campaign," says RSO Executive Director, Beth Pline. "With an annual budget of $1.7 million, the goal to raise the remaining $150,000 will push the RSO across the finish line and bridge the gap necessary for a balanced budget."

HELP CONTINUE OUR DYNAMIC SUCCESS THROUGH THE CRESCENDO CAMPAIGN
  • Buy and enjoy RSO tickets for yourself or others; or buy a (new) subscription package for 2012-2013 this summer. Just 2 more tickets bought by 400 individuals could account for nearly one-quarter of the Crescendo Campaign goal.
  • Urge your favorite businesses to become a corporate sponsor of the RSO, and reap the benefits. Just 7 new corporate sponsors could equal nearly one-quarter of the goal. Attractive sponsorship/recognition packages are available for as little as $5,000.
  • Make a foundation gift to the RSO. $37,500 in foundation gifts would raise another one-quarter of the funds needed to reach the Crescendo Campaign goal. Contact our Development Department.
  • Make a new, individual gift in any amount. To follow the examples; 375 individuals who each give $100 would account for one-quarter of the goal, and drive the Crescendo Campaign to success. Campaign donors will be recognized by the RSO for one year.

Joining the Crescendo Campaign
Please join the Crescendo Campaign and help the RSO serve the community with high quality, diverse, exciting, live music performance and vital music education for Virginia's Blue Ridge. To make a contribution, please contact the RSO by phone at 540.343.6221 x.225; send an email to C.W. Markham, Development Director, at cw.markham@rso.com; or give online at rso.com/community. Contributions should be mailed to: Roanoke Symphony Orchestra | 541 Luck Avenue S.W., Suite 200 | Roanoke, VA 24016.

The RSO will use social media in part to drive the Crescendo Campaign. "Like" the RSO at facebook.com/RoanokeSymphony and follow on Twitter at twitter.com/RoanokeSymphony.

Tickets for current RSO subscribers are on sale now by calling 540.343.9127. Details about the 2012-2013 season will be made available to the general public in June; subscriptions go on sale to new subscribers on July 16; and single-tickets go on sale August 20.

Roanoke Symphony Orchestra
About to celebrate its 60th Anniversary, the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra remains a vital part of today's Roanoke Valley and the Blue Ridge. The RSO's mission has been supported and fulfilled each year since 1953 -- the organization has become increasingly responsive to the community and to changing times -- artistically and economically. The balance of innovative programming-products, budget cuts, and prudence, have kept the RSO lean yet unfailing to the community's expectations of a leader in arts and entertainment. The RSO is supported by over 14,000 individuals who attend at least one concert/event each year, many of whom come back for multiple performances during the season, and by hundreds of individual donors who contribute monetarily beyond the purchase of tickets.

The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra celebrates its mission to enrich lives, to educate, and to entertain diverse audiences in western Virginia with the highest quality instrumental and choral music.
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ROANOKE YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA SPRING CONCERT MAY 20, 2012

The Roanoke Youth Symphony Orchestra (RYSO) will present its Spring Concert on Sunday, May 20th at 3 p.m. at Jefferson Center. Tickets are $5 per person and will be available for purchase at the door.

The concert will feature Miss Emily Seibert, flute, the winner of the 2011 Young Artist Awards (YAA) in a performance of Vivaldi's "Bullfinch" Concerto in D Major, Opus 10. Miss Seibert is a native of Roanoke and recently completed her first year of undergraduate study at the University of Virginia. Additionally the RYSO will perform excerpts from Stravinsky's Firebird, Bartok's Hungarian Sketches, Rimsky-Korsakov's Procession of the Nobles and Danzon No. 2 by Marquez.

For all inquiries, please contact the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra's Education Director at (540) 343-6221, ext. 231 or liz.lochbrunner@rso.com.

About the RYSO
Under the direction of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra Associate Concertmaster James Glazebrook, the Roanoke Youth Symphony Orchestra (RYSO) provides professional orchestral training for young musicians from Southwest Virginia and eastern West Virginia. Over 65 young musicians attend weekly Sunday afternoon rehearsals and perform public concerts throughout the year. Musicians may participate with the RYSO through the spring semester of their senior year of high school and are expected to participate in their school band and/or orchestra programs, when available.

The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra celebrates its mission to enrich lives, to educate, and to entertain diverse audiences in western Virginia with the highest quality instrumental and choral music.
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For Immediate Release
Date: 1 February, 2012
Contact: Rodney Overstreet, Marketing Director
540.343.6221 ext.227 or rodney.overstreet@rso.com


NEW SYMPHONY BALL RAISES SUPPORT, EXTENDS REACH

Roanoke, Virginia - The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra announces new details surrounding its "Carnevale" Ball.  The black-tie, fund raising event is scheduled for February 11, 2012 at the Roanoke Ballroom at Hotel Roanoke. Admission to the event includes gourmet dinner, wines, open bar, free valet parking, pre-dinner entertainment, and live music from the RSO.  The event's Chairs are Dr.'s Nancy and Kevin Dye. Major sponsors include R.M. Johnson & Sons Jewelers and American Health Care, L.L.C.

Traditional Roots
In the long tradition of the Carnival of Venice, the RSO's Carnevale encourages celebration and the wearing of masks. In Venice, the Carnival is seen as a great opportunity for the community to gather and indulge in a variety of food while having a grand celebration prior to Lent. The RSO's Carnevale is a new twist on a traditional RSO event that reaches back through five decades, the "Symphony Ball".  With Carnevale, members of the community have assembled a celebration of the RSO's future.

New Details
Carnevale will include fire hooping entertainers, jugglers, and live orchestral music with selections ranging from those of Hoagy Carmichael, to Haydn, Rossini, Cole Porter, and others. Music and dance floor space will be available throughout the evening.  Dinner will be presented from concepts and traditions of Venice.  Shellfish, artichokes, lemon, fennel, duck, cherries, peas and pistachios will become flavorful notes in a multi-course composition by Hotel Roanoke Executive Chef, Bille Raper. Over 300 reservations have been made to date for the Ball, making it the largest in the RSO's history.  The event will begin with cocktails at 7 p.m.

The funds raised by Carnevale will help support concerts and education programs that reach into the community year round. Contributions to the RSO's general operating fund, and key fund raisers like Carnevale, enable the RSO to hire professional musicians and to present world renowned solo artists at affordable ticket prices. The support generated by Carnevale sponsors, in-kind contributors, volunteers and ticket buyers is vital to the RSO's mission.  Admission is $250 and is all inclusive. Reservations are required. For information and the reserve, call the RSO at 540.343.9127.

The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra celebrates its mission to enrich lives, to educate, and to entertain diverse audiences in western Virginia with the highest quality instrumental and choral music.
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Concert Review: Galways, RSO shine with wit, virtuosity
Date: 7 November, 2011
By Tim Gaylard
Special to The Roanoke Times
Read the review at roanoke.com

The famed Irish flutist Sir James Galway and his wife, Jeanne, were the featured artists with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra at the Performing Arts Theatre on Sunday afternoon. Maestro David Stewart Wiley led the appealing program of Glinka, Mozart, Mendelssohn and Cimarosa for a sold-out house of more than 2,000 audience members.

Galway, who has been a leading classical performer for decades, played a joyful rendition of Mozart's Flute Concerto in D major. Galway applied the sound of his golden flute with admirable breath control, and he displayed sensitive nuances in the dynamic shadings of his instrument, most notably in the sustained beauties of the slow movement.

The audience was lucky to have not just one Galway but two, when Sir James' wife, Lady Galway, joined him to perform Cimarosa's Concerto for Two Flutes in G major. The couple sailed through the elegant and graceful score, playing off each others' musical lines with a unified approach and delightful repartee. The audience responded to this expert partnership with a well-deserved standing ovation. The Galways reciprocated by playing a number of encores, the highlights of the whole concert.

Sir James amused the audience with his Irish wit and charm as he introduced the items. He and his wife played a zippy arrangement of Mozart's "Rondo Alla Turca," followed by Cindy McTee's beautiful arrangement of "Shenandoah."

Then Sir James took the stage alone. He played two Irish folk tunes, the latter an absolutely ravishing "Danny Boy." Then a Bach "Badinerie," taken at breath-taking speed, was repeated at an even more miraculous presto tempo.

Wiley provided a supportive orchestral sound for the soloists, and let the RSO shine in three crowd-pleasers for the orchestra alone.

In the second half of the program, Wiley conducted Mendelssohn's beloved tone-poem, known as either the "Hebrides" or "Fingal's Cave" overture. In this piece, the audience heard some of the best orchestral wind playing of the concert, especially from the clarinets.

Finally, as the audience was leaving, Sir James appeared one more time and played an Irish tune on his own. The crowd responded with clapping.

Timothy Gaylard is music professor at Washington and Lee University.

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Date: 7 October, 2011
On the passing of Seth Williamson
By David Stewart Wiley

We in the entire arts community of Southwest Virginia are saddened to hear of the passing of Seth Williamson this morning. Seth was a man of many passions and talents. Among those talents, Seth had a gift to make great music of all kinds accessible and relevant to the listener, delivered with his warm, rich radio voice on WVTF Public Radio.

He obviously loved talking about and writing about music, and we felt that he was talking directly to us without in any way talking down to us. His reviews of our Roanoke Symphony concerts, Opera Roanoke, and other events printed in the Roanoke Times for several decades provided a valuable dialogue about the arts for our region. Seth gave us kudos when we deserved it and criticism when we deserved it as well, and the vital dialogue it created allowed the performing arts to have a wider impact and to remain relevant to our region. He will be missed.

-David Stewart Wiley

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Concert Review: RSO's season debut rooted in Appalachia
Date: 4 October, 2011
By Kevin Kittredge
Special to The Roanoke Times
Read the review at roanoke.com

The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and music director David Stewart Wiley kicked off their 2011-2012 season at the Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre on Monday night with a crowd-pleasing program that featured a distinct American theme. The bill included Leonard Bernstein's overture to "Candide" and the ever-popular "New World Symphony" by Czech composer Antonin Dvorak, written on a visit to America in the 1890s. The audience of more than 1,600 even got into the act, singing along with the RSO's opening rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

The highlight of the evening, however, was surely the world premiere of a concerto for mandolin and orchestra written by Roanoke's own Jeff Midkiff. Midkiff, a local educator and clarinetist, is also a virtuoso mandolin player. His concerto, "From the Blue Ridge," was commissioned by the RSO.

Blending elements of multiple genres and including lyrical solos on the piccolo and bassoon, the 18-minute concerto was a long way from "Rocky Top." Midkiff himself played the mandolin, switching from percussive rhythm work to do dazzling solo runs, in the process expanding this listener's knowledge of what a mandolin could do, and be. There were times when it sounded more like Flamenco guitar than a bluegrass instrument. The last movement, aptly titled "The Crooked Road," was where Midkiff showed his Appalachian roots. In one memorable passage, Midkiff and concertmaster Akemi Takayama played a searing bluegrass duet that would have drawn hoots and cheers in less august surroundings. This audience reserved the hollerin' for the end of the piece, which got a standing ovation.

Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 is one of the world's best-loved orchestral pieces. The composer was a little vague on whether its fetching melodies were based on African-American or Native American roots, and some feel they draw mostly from his native Bohemia. Either way, it's an early statement about the power of America's polyglot culture that still resonates today.

The RSO did the piece justice. The ravishing English horn melody in the slow movement, played here by William Parrish, was enough to bring tears to the eye. Some of the more boisterous parts lacked punch in this difficult room, however, especially in the right loge -- despite the fact the RSO had placed its horn players up on risers. But the strings had a warm, buttery sound up there, lovely to hear. All in all, it was a satisfying night, and a powerful argument for keeping Wiley, now in his 16th season, around forever.

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For Immediate Release
Date: 14 July, 2011
Contact: Rodney Overstreet, Marketing Director
540.343.6221 ext.227 or rodney.overstreet@rso.com


YOUNG MUSICIANS TOUR POLAND

Roanoke, Virginia - The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra in partnership with the Opole, Poland Committee of Roanoke Valley Sister Cities, Inc. will offer a unique experience for Roanoke area youth next month. Five members of the Roanoke Youth Symphony Orcherstra, and chaperones, will travel to Opole to study and perform with students and faculty of the Frederick Chopin School of Music. The students include violinists Hannah Brooke and Elizabeth Parmer, flutist Megan Pasquarell, trumpeter Seth Allen, and trombonist Daniel Valois.

The two-week visit will also include stays and tours in several Polish cities and sites including Auschwitz, Czestochowa, Wieliczka, Wroclaw and the king's castle in Krakow. The RYSO musicians along with students from Opole and Potsdam, Germany, will also attend an annual music camp in Glucholazy, Poland. The camp in Glucholazy will offer intensive preparation for solo and small ensemble performances there as well as final performances in Wroclaw and at Opole Symphony Hall on August 13th.

The Roanoke Valley Sister Cities Opole Committee sponsored similar experiences in 2006 and 2010 when Opole students visited and performed in the Roanoke Valley.

The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra celebrates its mission to enrich lives, to educate, and to entertain diverse audiences in western Virginia with the highest quality instrumental and choral music.
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For Immediate Release
Date: 16 May, 2011
Contact: Rodney Overstreet, Marketing Director
540.343.6221 ext.227 or rodney.overstreet@rso.com


RSO POPS SERIES 2011-2012

Roanoke Virginia - The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra with music director David Stewart Wiley announces it's 2011-2012 Picnic at the Pops Series. The series will include four concert/events at the Salem Civic Center between October 2011 and March 2012. The series is known for internationally recognized Pops artists in a casual "picnic" setting with table seating and stadium seating. The series is sponsored by A Friend of the RSO.

The RSO presents Billy Ocean on October 21, 2011 at 8 p.m. Billy Ocean has sold over 30 million records across the world and hit the No. 1 spot worldwide on pop charts in the USA, Australia, Germany, Holland, and the UK. Billy has achieved extraordinary success as both an artist and a songwriter. Hits include the million-selling No. 1 single "Caribbean Queen" (for which Billy won a Grammy for best R&B Vocal), "Suddenly," "When the Going gets Tough (the tough get going)," "There'll be Sad Songs (to make you cry)," and the now classic "Get Outta my Dreams; Get into my Car."

he second Pops Series concert in the 2011-2012 season is a new presentation of the RSO's "Holiday Pops Spectacular." On December 9, 2011, the RSO is joined by soprano Adelaide Muir Trombetta, the Hollins University Choir, the Roanoke College Children's Choir and the Mill Mountain [handbell] Ringers.

KC & The Sunshine Band will take the stage with the RSO on March 30, 2012. Harry Wayne Casey, KC for short, has produced a string of hits. KC & The Sunshine Band have sold over 100 million records, received nine Grammy nominations, three Grammy Awards and an American Music Award. Their first record, Blow Your Whistle, made the top 15 on the R&B chart. Their second album went triple platinum and contained the No. 1 hits "Get Down Tonight," "That's The Way I Like It," "Boogie Shoes" and "Rock You Baby." KC & The Sunshine Band became the first act to score four No. 1 pop singles in one twelve-month period. Three of those singles crossed over to become No. 1 R&B.

The last Pops series concert of the 2011-2012 season features the Canadian band Jeans 'n Classics in the 5th Annual collaboration now known as "RSO Rocks." The RSO and Jeans Ôn Classics, with lead vocalist Michael Shotton, will present "One Vision: The Music of Queen" on June 2, 2012 at 8 p.m.

Subscription tickets for the 2011-2012 Picnic at the Pops Series go on sale June 20, 2011 with lower prices than last season. A three-concert Pops subscription ranges from $72 to $195. A four-concert subscription is also available. Individual concert tickets, including the RSO's new "Symphony Samplers," go on sale August 15, 2011. "Symphony Samplers" will allow ticket buyers to create their own entertainment packages of 3, 4, or 5 concerts from Pops or Masterworks concerts, with a tier of discounts. For more information about tickets, call 540.343.9127 or visit the RSO Box Office located on the 2nd floor of Jefferson Center, 541 Luck Avenue in Roanoke.

The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra celebrates its mission to enrich lives, to educate, and to entertain diverse audiences in western Virginia with the highest quality instrumental and choral music.
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For Immediate Release
Date: 6 May, 2011
Contact: Rodney Overstreet, Marketing Director
540.343.6221 ext.227 or rodney.overstreet@rso.com


MUSICIANS CONTRACT WITH THE ROANOKE SYMPHONY

Roanoke Virginia - The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra with music director David Stewart Wiley is pleased to announce that William Parrish, Jr., Aaron Hill, and Carmen Eby have been selected as the newest members of the RSO. Auditions took place on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at the Jefferson Center in Roanoke for the positions of Principal Oboe, 2nd Oboe/English Horn, and Principal Clarinet. There were 50 applicants for the three positions, of which 22 candidates were invited to audition. The applicants included musicians from as far away as California.

William (Bill) Parrish, Jr. of Lynchburg, Virginia was selected by the RSO to fulfill the position of Principal Oboe. Parrish earned his Bachelor of Arts from Carnegie Mellon University, and his Master of Music degree from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Previous performance experience includes positions with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, among others. Parrish teaches at Lynchburg College.

Aaron Hill of Charlottesville, Virginia was selected for the 2nd Oboe/English Horn position. Hill earned his Bachelor of Music degree with Highest Honors from the University of Michigan, and Master of Music degree and Artist Diploma from Yale University. Hill's performance experience includes that with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, and Rochester Philharmonic, among others. Hill is a Lecturer of Music [Oboe] at the University of Virginia.

Carmen Eby of Greensboro, North Carolina was selected to fulfill the position of principal Clarinet. Eby earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Luther College, her Master of Music and DMA both from The Ohio State University. Orchestral experience includes the Greensboro Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, and Buffalo Philharmonic, among others. Eby instructs Clarinet at Guilford College and runs a private instruction studio in Greensboro.

"We are thrilled to welcome three new professional orchestra members to our Roanoke Symphony Orchestra," said Music Director David Stewart Wiley. "The audition committee and I heard a remarkably high artistic level, and we were thrilled to offer these important woodwind positions to Bill, Aaron, and Carmen." The musicians will receive contracts for the RSO's 2011-2012 season which begins this Fall.

The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra celebrates its mission to enrich lives, to educate, and to entertain diverse audiences in western Virginia with the highest quality instrumental and choral music.
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For Immediate Release
Date: 25 April, 2011
Contact: Rodney Overstreet,
Marketing Director, Roanoke Symphony Orchestra
540.343.6221 ext.227 or rodney.overstreet@rso.com


RSO ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF 2011 YOUNG ARTIST AWARDS

Roanoke, Va. -- The Young Artist Awards (YAA) is an annual competition hosted by the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra (RSO) for members of the Roanoke Youth Symphony Orchestra (RYSO). This year's competition was held on Saturday, April 23 in Talmadge Recital Hall at Hollins University.

Emily Seibert, flute, of Roanoke, is the first place winner of the 2011 Young Artist Awards (YAA). Miss Seibert will perform as a soloist with the Roanoke Youth Symphony Orchestra (RYSO) during the 2011-2012 academic year. Miss Seibert will graduate from Hidden Valley High School in June and will be attending the University of Virginia. The second place winner is Sage Wright, violin, of Rocky Mount. Miss Wright, best known for performing with her siblings as part of the Wright Kids, is currently in 9th grade. The third place winner is Zach Nicely, French horn, of Clifton Forge. Mr. Nicely is a junior at Alleghany High School. Anna Gustad, violin, of Roanoke, received an Honorable Mention from the jurors of the YAA. Miss Gustad is currently in 9th grade at Patrick Henry High School.

The YAA competition was initiated in 1983 by a gift from Mr. Eldon C. Grover, a former RSO Board member and patron. This generous gift enabled the formation of the Eldon C. Grover Fund, specifically for education scholarships. A portion of the Fund's proceeds finance the YAA. Three financial awards, in the amounts of $300.00, $200.00, and $100.00, are awarded to the first, second, and third place winners respectively. The first place recipient is invited to perform as a soloist with RYSO during the following academic year.

Please direct all inquiries about the Young Artist Awards to the RSO's Education Director at (540) 343-6221, ext. 231 or liz.lochbrunner@rso.com.

The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra celebrates its mission to enrich lives, to educate, and to entertain diverse audiences in western Virginia with the highest quality instrumental and choral music.
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