HAMPTON ROADS, VA [November 17, 2021] – The Virginia Symphony presents four exceptional holiday programs throughout Hampton Roads from December 10th through December18th.

Join the VSO for the must-see holiday tradition of the season – Holiday POPS! There is no better way to lift your spirits than with seasonal songs and traditional carols delivered in full sound and spectacle by the Virginia Symphony. The VSO is thrilled to welcome back the VSO Chorus, led by Chorusmaster Robert Shoup. Holiday POPS will have all the magical elements you’ve come to expect and more – high energy, familiar carols, and lots of holiday warmth. December 10th at the Ferguson Center in Newport News sponsored by Canon, December 11th at the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, and December 12th at the Sandler Center in Virginia Beach.

Looking for a fun, safe, and educational event for kids of all ages? Santa Claus is coming to town and he’s stopping by to be a part of the VSO’s ever-popular Jingle Bell Jam! This 50-minute interactive concert showcases the music of the holidays performed by the best talent in Hampton Roads. Celebrate the magic of the season with an afternoon of pre-concert activities, familiar tunes, and pictures with Santa! December 12th at 3:00pm at the Sandler Center in Virginia Beach. Pre-Concert Activities begin at 2:00pm. Get your tickets early – this family favorite is sure to sell out quickly. Tickets are $12/child and $17/adult. Jingle Bell Jam is sponsored by BayPort Credit Union.

Ring in the holidays with a blast! The VSO brass section takes center stage, filling the concert hall with holiday spirit in Holiday Brass, December 15th at Saint Bede Catholic Church in Williamsburg, December 16th at the Chesapeake Conference Center sponsored by Carl’s Wash, December 17th at the Suffolk Center for the Arts, and December 18th at the Historic Palace Theater in Cape Charles.

This increasingly popular concert presents all your favorite holiday songs performed with vibrance and virtuosity by the best brass players in the Southeast! The bold sounds and variety of styles of the Virginia Symphony brass section are sure to put you in the holiday spirit! Conductor Helen Martell brings her unique warmth and vitality to lead this amazing group.

The VSO presents George Frederic Handel’s revered oratorio, Messiah, featuring the ever-beloved Hallelujah Chorus, on December 16th at Regent University in Virginia Beach, December 17th at First Baptist Church in Newport News, and December 18th at the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk. All Messiah performances are sponsored by Operation Blessing.

Conducting the concerts will be the Virginia Symphony’s founding chorusmaster, Don McCullough. After his departure from Virginia, McCullough led the Kennedy Center’s Master Chorale and is currently director of the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus (FL). He will conduct the VSO Chorus in excerpts from the Messiah, the perennial holiday favorite that continues to bring hope and joy to listeners nearly 300 years after it was written.

Tickets start at just $25 and can be purchased by visiting virigniasymphony.org or by calling (757) 892-6366.

Sentara Healthcare is the VSO’s Regional Presenting Sponsor.


As the region’s most celebrated musical, educational and entrepreneurial arts organization, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra continues to challenge expectations and push the boundaries of what an American orchestra can be. Innovation and excellence are at the heart of the VSO’s narrative.

The VSO has received national attention for its unique mission serving a home area of 1.7 million across the diverse communities of southeastern Virginia. Through appearances at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall and commitment to adventurous programming, the VSO and its musicians have been highlighted in the media including The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Public Radio and BBC Worldwide News.

As the largest performing arts organization in southeastern Virginia, the VSO and VSO Chorus present more than 150 concerts and events annually for more than 100,000 residents and visitors. Recent innovations include health and wellness programs, including interactive therapeutic experiences for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and adopting welcoming concert environments for those who are neurodiverse. Since 2019, the VSO has been recognized nationally for striving to reflect the region’s ethnic and racial diversity in its members, its programming, and its leadership.

The selection of the young and dynamic conductor Eric Jacobsen as music director earlier this year was another bold step forward for the VSO, further expanding its vision to attract wider and larger audiences with engaging concert experiences and creative and relevant programming. Rounding out the artistic leadership team is Norfolk native Thomas Wilkins in the role of Principal Guest Conductor, reflecting the VSO’s commitment to tell its community’s stories and advance the important conversations that will promote understanding and belonging among all residents.


November 17, 2021

Contact: Kristen Bennington, Director of Marketing & Communications
Phone: 757.213.1411
Email: kbennington@virginiasymphony.org

Twitter: @VASymphony
Facebook: facebook.com/virginiasymphony

VSO Guest Artist: Andrew von Oeyen

Hailed worldwide for his elegant and insightful interpretations, balanced artistry and brilliant technique, Andrew von Oeyen has established himself as one of the most captivating pianists of his generation.

Since his debut at age 16 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mr. von Oeyen has extended his interpretive voice to a broad spectrum of repertoire as both a soloist and recitalist. He has collaborated with such ensembles as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Mariinsky Orchestra, Berlin Symphony Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony, Grant Park Orchestra, Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony, Utah Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Marseille, Geneva Chamber Orchestra, Spoleto USA Orchestra, Slovenian Philharmonic and Slovak Philharmonic. As both soloist and conductor he has led concerti and orchestral works by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Ravel and Kurt Weill. On July 4, 2009, he performed at the U.S. Capitol with the National Symphony in “A Capitol Fourth,” reaching millions worldwide in the multi-award winning PBS live telecast.

‍Mr. von Oeyen has appeared in recital at Wigmore Hall and Barbican Hall in London, Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Boston’s Symphony Hall, Zürich’s Tonhalle, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall, St. Petersburg’s Philharmonia, Dublin’s National Concert Hall, Royce Hall in Los Angeles, Herbst Theater in San Francisco, Spivey Hall in Atlanta, Sala São Paulo, Teatro Olimpico in Rome, in Mexico City, Hanoi, Macau, and in every major concert hall of Japan and South Korea. Festival appearances include Aspen, Ravinia, Grant Park, Mainly Mozart, Saratoga, Schubertiade, Spoleto, Brevard, Grand Teton, Chautauqua and the Mariinsky’s “Stars of the White Nights.”

Mr. von Oeyen has recorded for Warner Classics since 2017. His albums under that label, including works for piano and orchestra by Saint-Saëns, Ravel and Gershwin and a disc including Debussy’s Fantaisie pour Piano et Orchestre, have been met with critical acclaim. Mr. von Oeyen has also recorded award-winning recital albums of Liszt, Debussy, and Stravinsky under the Delos label.

Mr. von Oeyen, of German and Dutch origin, was born in the U.S. He began his piano studies at age 5 and made his solo orchestral debut at age 10. An alumnus of Columbia University and graduate of The Juilliard School, where his principal teachers were Herbert Stessin and Jerome Lowenthal, he also worked with Alfred Brendel and Leon Fleisher. He won the prestigious Gilmore Young Artist Award in 1999 and also took First Prize in the Léni Fé Bland Foundation National Piano Competition in 2001. Mr. von Oeyen lives in Paris and Los Angeles.