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Our Generous Donors

The Virginia Symphony Orchestra wishes to thank each contributor to the VSO’s Annual Fund for their outstanding support. The collective vision and generosity of these donors enables the VSO to provide incredible concerts and educational activities year after year. Included are all Annual Fund gifts and pledges received between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.

Stradivarius Society

($25,000 and up)



Connie Jacobson

Mr. and Mrs. Michael R. McClellan

Mrs. Joan Brock

Susan and David Goode

The Estate of Richard Hudgins

Government, Corporate, and Foundation


Arts Alliance

Christian Broadcasting Network

City of Norfolk

City of Virginia Beach

F. Ludwig Diehn Fund of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation

Hampton Roads Community Foundation

Rebuild! VA

Sentara Norfolk General Hospital

The Camp Foundation


United Way of South Hampton Roads

US Small Business Administration

Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission

Virginia Commission for the Arts

Crescendo Society

($15,000 – $24,999)



Diane and Bob Petterson

F. Blair and Jane S. Wimbush

Mr. and Mrs. Charles N. Cooper

Ms. Christina L. Goode and Ms. Martha M. Goode

Government, Corporate, and Foundation

Caren Kaplan And Richard Seidel Charitable Fund


James M. Willcox Memorial Fund

League of American Orchestras

PNC Bank

JoAnn Falletta Society




Bradley Family Fund

Daniel and Ingrid Jones Family Foundation

Garland Tillery and Jim Early

Jane and Win Short

Leslie H. Friedman

Lilly and Bruce Bradley

Mr. James A. Hixon

Mr. Larry J. Kohmescher

Ms. Carole Borjes Boone

Oriana McKinnon

The WatsonWalsh Family Fund

Virginia R. Melin

Government, Corporate, and Foundation

Bank of America Corporation

Newport News Arts Commission

Newport News Shipbuilding

Norfolk Southern Matching Gifts

The Helen G. Gifford Foundation

Wilbanks Smith & Thomas Asset Management, LLC

Williamsburg Area Arts Commission


Symphony Society




Anonymous (5)

Aubrey and Peggy Layne

Avraham Ashkenazi

Betty & Jack Shannon Charitable Fund

Brenda Snow and Oliver Portmann

Charla Smith-Worley

David Helfrich

Dr. and Mrs. Robert T. Davis

Dr. and Mrs. T.W. Hubbard

Dr. Jean Major

Leigh and Danny McDaniel

Martha Goode and Blair Mielnik

Mr. Albert L. Harris

Mr. and Mrs. James D. Penny

Mr. and Mrs. James L. Howe III

Mrs. Franklin H. Macgregor

Mrs. James W. Gray Jr.

Ms. Cheryl A. Dronzek

Ms. Christina L. Goode

Rear Adm. and Mr. Louise C. Wilmot

Richard Parise and Dori Iwanowski

Ronald and Celia Adolphi

Steve and Lynne Winter

Government, Corporate, and Foundation

Baldwin Advisory

BayPort Credit Union

Birdsong Peanuts

Canon Virginia, Inc.

Carl’s Wash

Cook Foundation

Franklin Southampton Charities

Portsmouth Museum and Fine Arts Commission

Riverside Performing Arts Medicine

Rona And Erwin Drucker Charitable Trust Fund

Rouse-Bottom Foundation

Shearwater Foundation, Inc.

Southeast Virginia Community Foundation

The Trust Company of Virginia

Treble Society

($3,000 – $4,999)



Anonymous (2)

Ashlin and Wayne Wilbanks

Bill Martin and Pamela Russell

Bradley and Carolyn Pittman

Caterpillar Foundation

Clay H. Barr

David J. Littley, Jr.

Dr. and Mrs. John R. Stephens

Drs. Susan Lontkowski and David Feldman

Elaine M. Themo

Erwin B. Nachman

Jim and Helene Haluska

Judge Robert W. Stewart

Leroy and Cora Collins

Louis F. and Prudence H. Ryan

Matthew and Priscilla Scanlon

Mr. & Mrs. James P. Naughton

Mr. and Mrs. Bert Aaron

Mr. and Mrs. Carl L. Master, Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. Donald G. Winchester

Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Sawyer

Mr. and Mrs. James E. Taylor

Mr. and Mrs. William R. Van Buren, lll

Mr. Garrett G. Berger

Mr. Lawrence L. Steingold

Mrs. Eugenia W. Ferrell

Mrs. Fran Pedersen

Mrs. Sandra Armstrong and Mr. Tom Richmond

Ms. Ernestine I. Dole

Ms. Thelma Oser

Page and Virginia Cranford

Parker Councill and Robin Everett

Robert Ake and Joyce Neff

Government, Corporate, and Foundation

Chesapeake Fine Arts Commission

Jo Ann and Buzzy Hofheimer

Suffolk Fine Arts Commission

The Pruden Foundation

York County Arts Commission

Conductor’s Circle




Allan and Susan Donn


Barbara and Pete Vollmer

Carolyn O’Toole

Cindy and Eddie Russell, Jr.

Dianne Epplein and John Patton

Dr. and Mrs. William A. Coulter

Dr. John MacCormack

Drs. Donald R. and Elyse B. Lehman

Drs. Sarah B. Clarkson and John M. Herre

Eleanor and Henry Watts

Elizabeth L. Young

Florence M. Young and Leonard J. Ballback

James M. George

Jane and Sam Webster

Kathleen W. Kane

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Batten, Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. Patrick B. McDermott

Mr. and Mrs. Richard P. Meredith

Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Drury

Mr. and Mrs. William J. Cashman

Mr. Howard Mandeville and Mrs. Sherill Schneider

Mr. Peter Morford

Mr. Robert F. Amory

Mr. William Drury

Mrs. Ann Farley

Sarah and Bruce Bishop

The Honorable Norman and Susan Olitsky

Tom and Patricia Isenhour

Vanessa Sutherland and Elliot Wolf

W. Lewis and Judith Witt

Government, Corporate, and Foundation

D.B. Ames Charitable Foundation

Eugenia Smith Kennedy Fund


The Morningstar Foundation

Tidewater Children’s Foundation

Soloist Circle




Adeline Ungerman

Betty Levin

Cambridge Charitable Gift Fund

Capt. and Mrs. Anthony Brazas

Captain and Mrs. Keith Larson

Carolyn and Paul Gottlieb

Colin and Patt McKinnon

Daniel J. Hunt and Roderick R. Ingram

David and Julia Pezza

Dennis and Paula Lane

Dr. and Mrs. Adolphus Hailstork

Dr. and Mrs. Donald H. Miller

Dr. and Mrs. Edward Lilly

Dr. and Mrs. H. Robert Schappert

Dr. and Mrs. Mayer G. Levy

Dr. and Mrs. Ray C. Otte

Dr. and Mrs. Roger R. Stenlund

Dr. George C. Sakakini

Dr. Nancy Khardori and Dr. Romesh Khardori

Elizabeth Marshall and George DiFerdinando

Father Nick Redmond

Friends of Jewell

Harry and Pat Haynsworth

Jane Nohava and David Paige

John and Nancy Horgan

Julianna G. Stone

Marc and Terri Kirchner

Mark Sorin, DDS and Linda Ferro

Mickey and Stuart Held

Mr. and Mrs. G. Zeb Holt

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Peltz

Mr. and Mrs. James Jiral

Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Guarraia

Mr. and Mrs. Loren M. Evory

Mr. and Mrs. Louis Brenner

Mr. and Mrs. McLemore Birdsong, Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Connelly

Mr. and Mrs. William E. Bradley

Mr. Christian Lange

Mr. Conrad M. Shumadine

Mr. Lehan Crane and Dr. Stephanie Eppinger

Mr. Peter Foster

Mr. Stephen Fisher

Mr. Stuart A. Schwartz and Mrs. Sheila V. Jamison-Schwartz

Mr. William K. Stulb

Mrs. Bess Decker

Mrs. E. Beaumont Hodge, Jr.

Mrs. George Helfrich

Ms. Barbara Fleming

Ms. Carole L. Rekrut

Steven and Joan Marks

Suzanne and Vince Mastracco

Teresa M. Kraus and Walter T. Camp

Government, Corporate, and Foundation

Colonial Downs Wagering Facility

Community Foundation for a Greater Richmond

East Beach Institute

Japan Virginia Society

McGuire Woods

Warden Family Foundation

Concertmaster Circle

($500 – $999)



Allan and Harriet Reynolds

Anonymous (5)

Bill and Carole Vogler

Brenda K. Roth

Capt. and Mrs. Robert Swain, USCG

Captain and Mrs. Carl V. Mallett

Cathy and Leroy Williamson

Chris Syllaba

Christopher and Julie Coffing

Clara and William Darden

Dana and Jeff Rosen

David and Celia Jolley

Denise G. Ross

Dorothy P. Grandstaff

Dr. and Mrs. Bishop P. Read

Dr. and Mrs. Bruce Conway

Dr. and Mrs. Ivan R. Schiff

Dr. and Mrs. Reuben D. Rohn

Dr. and Mrs. Robert Seeherman

Dr. and Mrs. Ronald J. Ruszkowski

Dr. and Mrs. S.W. Berg

Dr. Andrea F. Warren

Dr. John and Debora Mosher

Dr. John Brush and Gay Goldsmith Fund

Dr. Ricardo Moscoso

Dr. Robert E. Howard Jr.

Dr. Thomas C. Phelps

Edward and Eleanor Burchianti

Elise Emanuel and David Scherer

Gordon H. Rheinstrom

Grace & Fred Parkinson

Greg Sanford and Eugenie Anderson

John and Deborah Wyld

John Saunders

Kelly and Tim Faulkner

Kurt R. Reisweber

Lawrence and Charlotte Field

Mac McLoughlin

Martha and John Stewart

Mary S. Delaney

Michelle R. Waterman

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Martin

Mr. and Mrs. Arba Williamson, III

Mr. and Mrs. Craig Grube

Mr. and Mrs. David K. Simmons

Mr. and Mrs. George F. Cole, III

Mr. and Mrs. George Hagans

Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Kantor

Mr. and Mrs. John C. Allen

Mr. and Mrs. John E. Roberts, Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. John Halderman

Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth R. Powders

Mr. and Mrs. Larry Shriver

Mr. and Mrs. Mark Delevie

Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Lynch

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Myers

Mr. and Mrs. S. R. McDaniel

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas M. Lucas

Mr. and Mrs. Vince Olivieri

Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Maybery

Mr. and Mrs. Walter T. Judd

Mr. Arthur Fleming

Mr. Burton Bland

Mr. Christopher Hale

Mr. David B Benson

Mr. Joel Clingenpeel

Mr. Michael B. Broadhurst and Mrs. Edna Broadhurst

Mr. Robert A. Baker

Mr. Steven B. Harris

Mr. William R. Schermerhorn

Mr. William Wells

Mrs. Janet Kosidlak

Ms. Anita Moody

Ms. Ann J. Baldwin

Ms. Carolyn Webb

Ms. Elizabeth A. Miklos

Ms. Janie A. Lightbourn

Ms. Marie E Callaham

Ms. Marisa Porto

Nancy Lee Sease

Raymond F. Spencer

Robert and Rose Hill

Robert Hundley Family

S. Catherine Dodson

Stephen A. Davis

Vern and Nancy Barham

Government, Corporate, and Foundation

Bob Spaeth

Creekside Communications, LLC.

Mr. and Mrs. Warren L. Aleck

Sis Nash Memorial Fund Hampton Roads CommunitFoundation

Tidewater Jewish Foundation

Orchestra Circle




Al and Judi Riutort

Alice A. Clarke

Alice and Kent Herring

Allen and Glenis Shaffer

Ann & Phelps Pennington

Ann Prince

Anonymous (3)

Barbara and Keith Byers

Bart and Peg Crews

Blythe and Simon Scott

Bob and Aleene Rose

Brent and Kathy Kornman

Bryan and Susan Lilley

Capt. and Mrs. James G. Burritt

Captain and Mrs. Channing M. Zucker

Charlotte Elia

Christine and Colby Cooper

Col. Chuck B. Kenison

Col. Ralph E. Barrows and Mrs. Barbara Barrows

Dee and Ron Shaw

Donna and Jeffrey Van Keuren

Dorothy Cole

Dr. and Mrs. Albert Konikoff

Dr. and Mrs. David L. Kreger

Dr. and Mrs. Gregory J. Biernacki

Dr. and Mrs. Herbert Brewer

Dr. and Mrs. Lanny Hinson

Dr. and Mrs. T. Winston Gouldin

Dr. and Mrs. William R. Cooper

Dr. Anna Schwarz-Miller and Mr. Manfred Schwarz

Dr. Charles Curran Jr.

Dr. Fred Crum and Dr. Martha Guyon

Dr. John Rehder and Shirley Rehder


Dr. Patrick and Mrs. Erin Gerbus

Dr. Richard Bush

Dr. Susan and Mr. Edward Jones

Drs. Robert and Janet Dingman

Ed Goerge and Karen Pearson

Evelyn Knox

Frank and Gloria Gurdziel

George and Ann Lee

Ira and Jean Steingold

James and Emily McDaniel

Jeffry and Margaret Rosner

Jim and Bunny Neff

Joan Ladd and Jim Hurst

John and Jeanne Bowers

John Page Garrett

Judith Marx

Kay Stovall

L. Clay Beall, III

Larry and Donna Kumjian

Linda and Oliver Todd

Louise Wilcoxon

Marilyn and Ray Gindroz

Michael P. Armstrong and Dawn M. Beam

Mr. and Mrs. Charles G. Armfield

Mr. and Mrs. David Wick

Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Lowry

Mr. and Mrs. Gary R. Todd

Mr. and Mrs. James Easton

Mr. and Mrs. John Antoun

Mr. and Mrs. John McAvoy

Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan G. Buck

Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Kearney

Mr. and Mrs. Larry Walter

Mr. and Mrs. Mannie Smith

Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Nickerson

Mr. and Mrs. Norman J. Fashing

Mr. and Mrs. Peter Homa

Mr. and Mrs. Randall Corey

Mr. and Mrs. Richard J. O’Hanlon

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Laibstain

Mr. and Mrs. Rodney N. Bencks

Mr. and Mrs. Stanley G. Barr Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Buxbaum

Mr. and Mrs. Stuart E. Katz

Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Swilley

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Zirpoli

Mr. and Mrs. Van Reading

Mr. and Mrs. William Beckstoffer II

Mr. and Mrs. William P. Hunter

Mr. Edward S. Bosko

Mr. James Muir

Mr. Kerry Prewitt

Mr. LJ Richman

Mr. Mark Goldstein

Mr. Moncure Chatfield-Taylor

Mr. Nicholas Wheeler

Mr. Tom Vojtek

Mr. William H. Turner and Mrs. Jennifer Stern

Mrs. Clara Warren

Mrs. Hilah C. Steenrod and Mr. Charles W. Steenrod

Mrs. John Settle

Mrs. Joyce Auchincloss

Mrs. Lana Butler

Ms. Cherie James

Ms. Ina D. Levy and Mr. Richard Staub

Ms. Linda A. Linzey

Ms. Louise Nagourney

Ms. Louise Pesnicak

Ms. Marie J. Laubach

Ms. Sadie Boyer

Ms. Shirley Battaglini

Ms. V.A. Parodi

Ms. Valerie Smith

Ms. Victoria Curtis

Patricia Arant

Polly A. Lasich

Ray and Jane Hanson

Reed and Karen Nester

Rev. Alan and Pat Mead

Richard and Mary Beauchamp

Richard and Susan Wilmoth

Richard W. Hudgins

Robert and Susan Hynick

Sam and Mary Liz Sadler

Stanley and Linda Samuels

Stephen and Kim Hall

Susanne and Jack Wood

The Alan and Esther Fleder Foundation

The Lavier Family

Upstaging Realty

Walter and Marilyn Schmid

William D. and Joy M. Bankart

William Trimble

Wolf and Mimi Koenig

Wolfgang and Carol Wawersik

Government, Corporate and Foundation


E.J. Dempsey Fund

Norfolk Southern – Good Government Fund

S. L. Nusbaum Insurance Agency Inc.

While great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of this list, mistakes can happen. We sincerely regret any omissions or inaccuracies, and we ask that you please contact the Development Office at 757.213.1417 to report any errors as it is important that our records accurately reflect your giving. Thank you!


Tone Poem

What is a tone poem?

A symphonic poem or tone poem is a piece of orchestral music, usually in a single continuous movement, which illustrates or evokes the content of a poem, short story, novel, painting, landscape, or other source.


What is a symphony?

Symphony has two meanings.

A symphony is a piece of music written for orchestra that typically has four movements.  After each movement, there is a pause.  Do you clap between movements?  The common practice is that the audience refrains from clapping until all four movements are played.  However, if you are moved after a particular movement and you need to express your enthusiasm, go ahead and clap.  When in doubt, wait for the masses to start clapping.

The word symphony is also used for the group performing on stage – it is short for “symphony orchestra”.  Symphony Orchestras employ instrumentalists who play woodwinds, brass, percussion and string instruments.


What is a viola?

A viola is a stringed instrument with four strings that is bigger and lower than a violin.  The strings of a violin are E A D G from high to low.   The strings of the viola are A D G C from high to low.  In the picture, violin is on the left and viola is on the right.


What is a concerto?

A Concerto is an orchestral piece that is written to feature an instrumentalist performing in front of the orchestra as a solo.

How do you pronounce "Concerto"?

“Con – chair – toe” With the “chair” getting the emphasis.

Is the soloist part of the orchestra?

Soloists are typically hired to play for the week.  Since they are amazing at their instruments and have an uncanny ability to memorize many pieces, this is their job.  Soloists perform many concerts per year throughout the country or world (depending on their popularity).  The piece that they play is in their “repertoire” which means that they have performed it many times with many orchestras.

How do you choose the music/soloist?

The Music Director identifies a soloist that they want and with the soloist, they choose the music to be performed.  Or the Music Director may want to perform a particular concerto on a concert.  They would then find a soloist who is known for performing that piece.

Zacherie SmallZacherie Small

After migrating from his native island of Barbados, Zacherie Small began his Double Bass studies the age of 19 with Jonathan Dadurka at Miami-Dade College where he graduated with a Associate of Arts in Music. Afterwards, he went on to study with Luis Gomez-Imbert at Florida International University where he now holds a Bachelor of Music in Double Bass Performance; Cum Laude, and a Masters of Music in Double Bass Performance. Also, recently graduated with his second Masters from Temple University studying with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra such as Nathaniel West, Joseph Conyers, and Robert Kesselman.

Small has performed with various orchestras. He is a member of the Miami Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Eduardo Marturet. He was also the Principal Double Bass of the Miami Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Jorge Vazquez. Small periodically performs with the Colour of Music Festival Orchestra.
Small has attended the Miami Summer Music Festival at Barry University for 3 years. During the festival, he has performed in many concerts with various conductors like Michael Rossi, Yuriy Bekker, Joel Smirnoff, David Efron, Stephanie Rhodes, and Steve Gruman. Also, participated in the Philadelphia International Music Festival to study with Nathaniel West and under the baton of Kensho Watanabe.

As well as being a performer, Small is the secondary music director South-Dade Middle School and does masterclasses at various schools in Miami, FL. He is also a teacher for the Artist of the Miami Music Project where he guides children in troubled neighborhoods to bring about social change, cultivate lessons, and run ensembles.

Small has also studied with various teachers, such as Eugene Levinson, Jeffrey Bradetich, Julius Darvas, Alexander Berti, Brian Powell, James Goode, etc.

Small plays on a 2006 Heinrich Gill; Maggini Model, double bass named Odin and a 1920 Eugen Roth bow named Brunhilde.

Omari Imhotep AbdulOmari Imhotep Abdul-Alim

Omari Imhotep Abdul-Alim is a classically trained violinist from the Seattle area currently offering music lessons and freelance performances around San Diego. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, having finished his masters degree at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in violin performance in spring 2020. As an instructor, Omari uses his experience in classical music to build a fun and enriching curriculum for his students. Aside from his passion for education, Omari is a dedicated performer. He is resident violinist at First Lutheran Church of San Diego and in the last year has appeared as a guest artist with the Martin Luther King Choir, the Old Globe Theater, Synergy, NeoTuesdays and more.

Omari’s love for sharing music shines through all of his practices. Thus, he is deeply honored to be able to deliver moving performances to listeners like you.

Emmanuel Tolu LosaEmmanuel Losa

Born in 1998, Emmanuel Losa grew up in Marietta, Georgia to a Nigerian father and Jamaican mother. Starting his cello studies at the age of 12, he began to have an affinity for the orchestral world and later studying with the esteemed cellists of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, his primary instructor was Joel Dallow; in addition, studying with Dona Vellek (Assistant Principal Cello Emeritus) and Karen Freer (Assistant Principal Cello).

Emmanuel heavily enjoys studying various pieces of solo, chamber, and orchestral music, spending his summers at various festivals such as Bowdoin International Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and Aspen Music Festival to name a few.

A student of Alan Stepansky at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Emmanuel is pursuing an undergraduate cello performance degree in orchestral performance. He continues his studies with a focus on winning a position with a major orchestra.

Avery RobinsonAvery Robinson

Avery Robinson grew up in Western Massachusetts where he was influenced by his parents’ love for jazz music. At the age of 10 he started playing piano and began learning bass when he was 12 years old. As a young musician, Avery’s passion for jazz persisted however, as he became exposed to the wonderful sounds of the symphony, his musical passion grew to include a second genre: classical music. After joining his high school orchestra, his career path was set.

Avery has studied at many top music schools such as the Eastman School of Music, The Hartt School of Music, and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and has graduated with honors. His teachers include Rachel Calin, Albert Laszlo, and Robert Black. Avery has been a member of the Kentucky Symphony, and most recently, the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra. He has also worked as a substitute for the Amarillo Symphony and the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas. In addition to his orchestral career, Avery is also an accomplished recitalist, having performed many solo and chamber recitals at various venues such as the Chautauqua Institution and at the “Classical Revolution” Series in Cincinnati. His love for performing with others shows in his expressive and sometimes fervent style of playing.

Avery has other passions in addition to music. Firstly, he is a huge art and history buff and loves to frequent museums and galleries whenever he can. He is also a lover of sports and an avid golfer.

Simone Paulwell

Soprano, Simone Paulwell has garnered international attention for her innate ability to capture audiences with her strikingly powerful and agile voice. A Washington D.C. native, she made her national debut as a soloist with The President's Own: United States Marine Band in 2007. Ms Paulwell has performed for audiences of all ages and cultures and has graced such prestigious stages as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington, D.C., Carnegie Hall, in New York City, the Reichold Center for the Arts in the U.S. Virgin Islands, The Washington National Opera Company and The San Francisco Opera Company. Ms. Paulwell recently completed her first summer at The Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, New York. Ms. Paulwell received critical acclaim under the baton of Yuri Temirkanov and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, in St. Petersburg, Russia performing Gershwin's Porgy and Bess in 2004. She also debuted as a soloist with Paul Freeman and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in Prague, Czech Republic in 2006. In 2015 Ms. Paulwell made her European debut as Serena in Porgy and Bess at the Rai Centre in Amsterdam and at Theatre Odyssud in Blagnac, France.

As a lifelong student of music, Ms. Paulwell has studied voice with Betty Ridgeway at Morgan State University, in Baltimore, MD, and Jeremy Winston at Wilberforce University, in Wilberforce, OH, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree. Her educational ambitions have afforded her success in several vocal competitions including 1st place in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition, and 1st place winner of the Leontyne Price Vocal Arts Regional Competition sponsored by the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Womens' Club.

In addition to her musical accomplishments and affiliations, Ms. Paulwell is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Eric Jacobsen

Hailed by the New York Times as “an interpretive dynamo,” conductor and cellist Eric Jacobsen has built a reputation for engaging audiences with innovative and collaborative programming. He is the newly-named Music Director of the Virginia Symphony, becoming the 12th music director in the orchestra’s 100-year history, and will assume that post on July 1.

Jacobsen is Artistic Director and conductor of The Knights, and serves as the Music Director for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. Jacobsen founded the adventurous orchestra The Knights with his brother, violinist Colin Jacobsen, to foster the intimacy and camaraderie of chamber music on the orchestral stage. As conductor, Jacobsen has led the “consistently inventive, infectiously engaged indie ensemble” (New York Times) at Central Park’s Naumburg Orchestral Concerts, Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, (Le) Poisson Rouge, the 92nd Street Y, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center; at major summer festivals such as Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Ojai; and on tour nationally and internationally, including at the Cologne Philharmonie, Düsseldorf Tonhalle, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, Salzburg Großes Festspielhaus, Vienna Musikverein, National Gallery of Dublin, and the Dresden Musikfestspiele. Recent collaborators include violinists Itzhak Perlman and Gil Shaham, singers Dawn Upshaw, Susan Graham, and Nicholas Phan, and pianists Emanuel Ax and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Also in demand as a guest conductor, Jacobsen has led the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Detroit, the New World, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Deutsche Philharmonie Merck and the Tonkunstler Orchestra, with whom Jacobsen appeared at Vienna’s legendary Musikverein.

In the coming season, Eric Jacobsen returns to the Detroit Symphony for the world premiere of James Lee III’s “Amer’ican,” a contemporary response to Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony which also features on the program. He also makes his La Jolla Summerfest debut, conducting three concerts featuring Summerfest Artistic Director Inon Barnaton and other artists. He appears twice with the Virginia Symphony, with guest artist Branford Marsalis and also performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and travels to Bilkent, Turkey, to appear with the orchestra there. With The Knights, he returns to the Tanglewood and Caramoor Festivals and to Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell, and appears at Wolf Trap in a new piece by Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Aoife O’Donovan. In the spring, Jacobsen and The Knights close their season with a multi-city US tour featuring pianist Aaron Diehl.

The 21-22 Orlando Philharmonic season sees the return of the “Resonate” festival, a unique blend of old and new orchestral and chamber works, performed in standard and more intimate concert formats. This season’s edition features Artist-in-Residence Stewart Goodyear performing the complete piano sonatas of Beethoven as well as orchestral repertoire. The Orlando season will close with a semi-staged production of Orff’s “Carmina burana,” with staging by Alison Moritz and choreography by John Heginbotham.

In recent seasons, Eric Jacobsen and The Knights performed a fully-staged centennial production of Bernstein’s Candide directed by Alison Moritz at the Ravinia Festival, and toured Florida with Gil Shaham. With mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital, Jacobsen and The Knights undertook a 15-concert European tour, including performances at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and Vienna’s Musikverein. In New York, Jacobsen and The Knights performed at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall; with groundbreaking countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo at National Sawdust in music of Handel and Philip Glass; and at the Park Avenue Armory, where they helped create the music for William Kentridge’s The Head and the Load. With the Bridgeport Symphony, Jacobsen performed with his brother Colin, with whom he recorded a video of Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending that was featured on London’s Classic FM and The Violin Channel.

At the close of a successful sixth season with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Jacobsen has continued to pioneer the orchestra’s programming and community engagement in new and exciting directions. During the 20-21 season, the Orlando Philharmonic was one of the few orchestras internationally that was able to perform live concerts, including with renowned pianist Yuja Wang, and they closed their season with “America, Come,” an Orlando Philharmonic commission from Aoife O’Donovan honoring the centennial of the 19th Amendment. Previous seasons included Inside the Score, in which Jacobsen led the audience on a guided exploration of Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique; appearances by multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón as composer-in-residence; and guest appearances by Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens and internationally acclaimed cello virtuoso Jan Vogler.

Under Jacobsen’s baton, The Knights have developed an extensive recording collection, which includes the critically acclaimed albums Azul, with longtime collaborator Yo-Yo Ma, as well as the Prokofiev Concerto in the Grammy-nominated Gil Shaham album 1930s Violin Concertos. Their most recent release, featuring Gil Shaham in performances of the Beethoven and Brahms Violin Concertos, was met with critical acclaim upon its release in Spring 2020. The Knights issued three albums for Sony Classical including Jan Vogler and The Knights Experience: Live from New York; New Worlds, and an all-Beethoven album, as well as the “smartly programmed” (National Public Radio) A Second in Silence on the Ancalagon label. Jacobsen’s first release on Warner Classics was the ground beneath our feet. We Are The Knights, a documentary film produced by Thirteen/WNET, premiered in September 2011.

In December 2012, Jacobsen and his brother Colin were selected from among the nation’s top visual, performing, media, and literary artists to receive a prestigious United States Artists Fellowship. Eric splits his time between New York and Orlando with his wife, singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan, and their daughter.


Nathaniel Stampley starred as ‘Porgy’ in the Broadway National Tour of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. He has also starred on Broadway in CATS, The Color Purple, and The Lion King. West End (London): The Lion King. Broadway National Tours include Ragtime and Orpheus Returns. Other credits include Big Love, Fiorello! and Lost in the Stars, New York City Center's Encores!; Abyssinia, Pacific Overtures, Strike Up the Band, One Touch of Venus, Violet, Once on This Island, Big River, The Color Purple, Dreamgirls, Show Boat, Harriet: The Woman Called Moses, El Capitan, Girl Crazy, and The King and I. He has performed in The Weill Music Institute concert series, Musical Explorers and Link Up with the Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall, and at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Other concerts include 92Y, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra (Naxos recording). El Paso Symphony Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, West Michigan Symphony and Bernstein's Mass with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.


Ali EwoldtAli Ewoldt has appeared as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, Cosette in Les Miserables (Broadway, National Tour), The King and I (Broadway, Lyric Opera of Chicago), and Maria in West Side Story (National Tour, International Tour). Ali’s concert work includes: Alice Tully Hall, NY Pops at Carnegie Hall, Houston Symphony, Kaohsiung Symphony and The Boston Pops. Ali has a BA in psychology from Yale University and is a proud Filipina-American. @aliewoldt


Teri Hansen has received International recognition for her crossover abilities as a singing actress from Opera to Broadway and concert stages around the world. Miss Hansen made her Broadway debut in The Boys From Syracuse and starred in London’s West End as ‘Magnolia’ in Hal Prince’s Tony award winning production of Show Boat. Most recently she starred in the National Tours of The Sound Of Music (Elsa) and the Tony Award winning An American In Paris. Miss Hansen starred in tours of The Music Man as ‘Marian Paroo’, ‘Guenevere’ in Camelot and as ‘Magnolia’ in Show Boat. Internationally recognized as an interpreter of Weill, Miss Hansen starred as “Rose” in the film version of Kurt Weill’s Street Scene. Miss Hansen also toured for years with Marvin Hamlisch, appeared at the Lincoln Center singing Rodgers and Hammerstein, as well as regular appearances there as a part of the prestigious “Meet the Artist” series. Her solo CD “Into Your Arms…Love Songs of Richard Rodger’s” is available worldwide.



Sean MacLaughlin recently garnered critical acclaim across the country performing the role of Juan Peron in the Broadway National Tour of Evita. He has sung with countless symphony orchestras throughout the United States and Canada singing the music of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Richard Rodgers. Broadway credits include Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera, Elton John’s Lestat, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman In White and Bombay Dreams. Other credits include Transport Groups Productions of The Audience, Requiem for William, and Baby: in Concert; South Pacific: In Concert at Carnegie Hall; Grand Hotel, Follies and More at Signature Theatre in DC; The Sondheim Celebration: Merrily We Roll Along and Chess at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Frank Wildhorn’s Excalibur and Webber’s Sunset Boulevard. Film includes HBO’s Something the Lord Made and Walking Shadows.



Nathaniel Stampley starred as ‘Porgy’ in the Broadway National Tour of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. He has also starred on Broadway in CATS, The Color Purple, and The Lion King. West End (London): The Lion King. Broadway National Tours include Ragtime and Orpheus Returns. Other credits include Big Love, Fiorello! and Lost in the Stars, New York City Center's Encores!; Abyssinia, Pacific Overtures, Strike Up the Band, One Touch of Venus, Violet, Once on This Island, Big River, The Color Purple, Dreamgirls, Show Boat, Harriet: The Woman Called Moses, El Capitan, Girl Crazy, and The King and I. He has performed in The Weill Music Institute concert series, Musical Explorers and Link Up with the Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall, and at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Other concerts include 92Y, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra (Naxos recording). El Paso Symphony Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, West Michigan Symphony and Bernstein's Mass with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.



Nathaniel Stampley starred as ‘Porgy’ in the Broadway National Tour of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. He has also starred on Broadway in CATS, The Color Purple, and The Lion King. West End (London): The Lion King. Broadway National Tours include Ragtime and Orpheus Returns. Other credits include Big Love, Fiorello! and Lost in the Stars, New York City Center's Encores!; Abyssinia, Pacific Overtures, Strike Up the Band, One Touch of Venus, Violet, Once on This Island, Big River, The Color Purple, Dreamgirls, Show Boat, Harriet: The Woman Called Moses, El Capitan, Girl Crazy, and The King and I. He has performed in The Weill Music Institute concert series, Musical Explorers and Link Up with the Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall, and at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Other concerts include 92Y, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra (Naxos recording). El Paso Symphony Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, West Michigan Symphony and Bernstein's Mass with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.


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.