Jamestown High School

3751 John Tyler Highway
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Phone:  (757) 259-3600

Capacity: 750

Accessible seating is available by contacting our box office at (757) 892-6366.

Assisted listening devices are available to hearing-impaired patrons at no cost.  Please see the House Manager on duty to request yours.

Jamestown High School

7.16.21 | THOMAS WILKINS NAMED PRINCIPAL GUEST CONDUCTOR OF THE VIRGINIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

THOMAS WILKINS NAMED PRINCIPAL GUEST CONDUCTOR OF THE VIRGINIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

HAMPTON ROADS, VA [July 16, 2021] – Internationally renowned conductor and Norfolk native Thomas Wilkins has been named the Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s first-ever Principal Guest Conductor. Having recently stepped down after 17 years as music director of the Omaha Symphony, Mr. Wilkins is currently principal conductor of the fabled Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, as well as Artistic Advisor for Education and Community Engagement at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His guest conducting credits include leading the orchestras of Cleveland, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, the New York Philharmonic among others, in addition to his posts at the Hollywood Bowl and BSO.

A frequent guest conductor and favorite of VSO audiences, Mr. Wilkins credits a performance by the Virginia Symphony for inspiring him at the age of eight to pursue a career as a professional conductor, when he attended a youth concert as a student at Young Park Elementary in Norfolk (now Park Place Elementary).

“I often say that I didn’t choose music; music chose me,” said Mr. Wilkins. “And to be invited to return as a leader to the place where I made that decision to embrace music as a career and way of life so many years ago is incredibly moving for me. I have enormous love and respect for the musicians of the Virginia Symphony and I’m thrilled and honored to join them in this new role.”

Mr. Wilkins joins the organization at an exciting time as the orchestra begins its second century. 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 appointment of Wilkins as not only the orchestra’s first Principal Guest Conductor but its first Black artistic leader comes just weeks after 38-year-old Eric Jacobsen was selected as the VSO’s new music director, another bold step toward expanding the VSO’s vision to engage wider audiences with creative and relevant programming.

In announcing the appointment, VSO Board Chair Mike McClellan said, “This is a true dream team! Eric and Thomas share the VSO’s commitment to telling our community’s stories and advancing the important conversations that will promote understanding and belonging among all our residents.”

The symphony will host a welcome event for Mr. Wilkins on Monday, July 19th at 4:30pm at the Chrysler Hall Dress Circle Lobby, with a special performance by the Boys Choir of Hampton Roads, led by Julius McCullough. Free and open to the public; please RSVP by registering here.

Devoted to promoting a life-long enthusiasm for music, Mr. Wilkins brings energy and commitment to audiences of all ages. He is hailed as a master at communicating and connecting with audiences. Following his highly successful first season with the Boston Symphony, the Boston Globe named him among the “Best People and Ideas of 2011.” In 2014, Mr. Wilkins received the prestigious “Outstanding Artist” award at the Nebraska Governor’s Arts Awards for his significant contribution to music in the state, while in 2018 Mr. Wilkins received the Leonard Bernstein Lifetime Achievement Award for the Elevation of Music in Society conferred by Boston’s Longy School of Music. And in 2019 the Virginia Symphony bestowed Mr. Wilkins with its annual Dreamer Award.

During his conducting career, Mr. Wilkins has led orchestras throughout the United States, including the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Symphony, and the National Symphony. Additionally, he has guest conducted the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, the Symphonies of Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Baltimore, San Diego and Utah, and the Buffalo and Rochester Philharmonics, as well as at the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago.

Mr. Wilkins is a graduate of the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He and his wife Sheri-Lee are the proud parents of twin daughters, Erica and Nicole. Mr. Wilkins’ first appearance with the orchestra in his new role will be February 18-20, 2022. Tickets will be on sale in mid-August at www.virginiasymphony.org.

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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. Since the ground-breaking appointment of JoAnn Falletta in 1991, innovation and excellence have been 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.

The largest performing arts organization in southeastern Virginia, the VSO and VSO Chorus present more than 150 concerts and events annually to educate, enlighten and entertain 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.

For Immediate Release
July 16, 2021
Contact: Kristen Bennington
Director of Marketing & Communications
Phone: 757.213.1411|
email: kbennington@virginiasymphony.org
Twitter: @VASymphony | Facebook: facebook.com/virginiasymphony​

Twitter: @VASymphony
Facebook: facebook.com/virginiasymphony

VIRGINIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA WELCOMES 2022-2023 NEW BOARD MEMBERS

HAMPTON ROADS, VA [August 1, 2022] – The Virginia Symphony Orchestra has announced nine new members to the Board of Directors as of June 27.

Nat & Betty Brown reside in Williamsburg and are active members in the Let Freedom Ring Foundation and First Baptist Church of Williamsburg. Nat & Betty are both members of the VSO’s Music Advisory Council, bringing great insights and support to the organization.

John Garrett is a Vice President and Commercial Lender for TowneBank. As a Norfolk native and resident, John is an active member in the community, involved in numerous civic organizations centered on improving the region’s ability to attract and retain talent, and become an even more desirable place to live, work and raise a family.

Sarah Ortego became involved with the VSO in 2015 when she joined the Board for the Virginia Symphony Society in Williamsburg. She served on that Board for a total of seven years, the last four as president, leading and overseeing many events and initiatives in the Williamsburg area that have raised funds for the VSO. Sarah has also been very involved through her ex-officio role on the VSO Board, already serving on the EDI and Nominating/Governance Committees.

Lisa Pile is a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Newport News. A resident of Williamsburg, Lisa served on the board of the Peninsula Fine Arts Center for several years. Lisa’s goal is to deliver a comprehensive approach to managing wealth that begins with getting to know her clients and what matters most to them. She believes in participating in the communities we serve, which drives her interest in spending time volunteering with organizations, like the VSO, in the Hampton Roads community.

Gordon Robertson is CEO and President of The Christian Broadcasting Network and President of CBN’s humanitarian organization, Operation Blessing International. He now oversees CBN’s extensive television and digital programming, serving as executive producer and co-host of The 700 Club and 700 Club Interactive. Gordon is also executive producer of CBN’s Superbook and CBN Films. Through a long-standing partnership with the VSO, CBN has been a huge support both financially to the organization and through programming, recording, and community engagement. 

Katya Santiago is an Assurance Senior Manager at BDO with nine years of professional experience in auditing of mid-large size private sector companies. She has served clients in a broad range of industries, including not-for-profit, construction, government contracting, specialty finance, and others. Katya plays the piano and has been attending VSO concerts for many years.

Blythe Scott has served as the Commissioner of the Revenue, for the City of Norfolk since April of 2021.  She was the Chief Deputy for the Commissioner of the Revenue’s office for the three years prior to becoming the Commissioner. Previously, Blythe practiced law and managed law offices for 19 years in Norfolk and surrounding cities. She and her family have been active and supportive patrons of the Symphony for many years. Blythe also served on the Music Director Search Committee, which led to Eric Jacobsen’s appointment in June 2021.

Michael Stonecypher is Vice President of Media Operations and Affiliate Relations for The Christian Broadcasting Network. His media career spans over 40 years, bringing extensive knowledge in TV and Radio technologies, content distribution, and overall media strategies. Mike has been integral to the VSO in bringing the symphony to the inaugural annual Christmas Village as well as marketing and media partner for projects like the live-streamed performance of Messiah to the CBN Family App in 2021.

Mike McClellan, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Norfolk Southern, was re-elected to a one-year term as Chair of the Board. Carolyn Pittman, Chief Accounting Officer at Maxar Technologies, will serve as Board Treasurer and Susan Goode will continue her service as Board Secretary.

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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 in 2021 and 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.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 1, 2022

Contact: Monica Meyer, Interim Executive Director
Phone: 757.213.1431
Email: mmeyer@virginiasymphony.org

Twitter: @VASymphony
Facebook: facebook.com/virginiasymphony

CHIEF EXECUTIVE TO LEAVE VIRGINIA SYMPHONY THIS FALL

HAMPTON ROADS, VA [April 26, 2022] Karen M. Philion, who has served as the Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s President and CEO since 2014, has announced she will step down in the fall after more than a decade with the organization.

During her tenure, Philion is credited with leading a historic financial turnaround, retiring all debt, and successfully operating the orchestra in the black every year since assuming the role of CEO.  She also led the recent transition of artistic leadership, recruiting acclaimed young American conductor Eric Jacobsen to the VSO as Music Director and Thomas Wilkins as the VSO’s first-ever Principal Guest Conductor, while at the same time navigating the disruption of the orchestra’s work through the pandemic.

In making the announcement, VSO Board Chair Mike McClellan said, “On behalf of the Board, we are all grateful for Karen’s extensive service to the VSO.  In addition to more than doubling our endowment assets, Karen expanded our vision to create new inclusive programming to diversify our sources of revenue. Karen’s clear, strategic thinking and fearless leadership served us extraordinarily well in overcoming the challenges of the pandemic.  She has elevated the VSO’s stature in the region, guided us through a smooth and successful transition in artistic leaders and set us on a sustainable path.”

Philion added, “To have been one of the caretakers of this 100-year-old institution will always be a highlight of my career.  I’m incredibly proud of what our team has done to strengthen the foundation of the organization.  I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to lead the VSO through a time of challenge and change and to have set it on a path to greater achievement and success.  Music Director Eric Jacobsen and our musicians have the opportunity now to seize this moment to become everything a 21st century arts organization can be to its community.”

As part of a longer-term vision, in 2019 Philion began advocating for the symphony to prioritize equity, diversity, and inclusion as central to its mission to serve the region.  Among her notable accomplishments is the establishment of a post-graduate fellowship program for African American string players who are seeking careers as orchestral musicians.  Beginning next season, four full-time Fellows will play in the orchestra while teaching and mentoring in local public schools.

There have been many other firsts during Philion’s tenure:

  • The most successful fundraising campaign in the organization’s history, raising nearly $16 million in outright and planned gifts
  • Retired $4 million in debt, while achieving balanced budgets seven consecutive years
  • Developed a strategic plan that expanded community partnerships and identified new opportunities to serve much more widely across Hampton Roads
  • Reimagined programming to be more creative in content and presentation, including shorter concerts and more flexible ticket-buying options and improved customer service
  • Steered the organization’s successfully through the pandemic with transparency, integrity and flexibility through the pandemic
  • Brought a focus on EDI to areas of the organization and hired the organization’s first full-time Director of Diversity and Engagement to advance EDI goals and deepen community relationships
  • Despite the pandemic, successfully conducted a critically important Music Director search that looks ahead to the Orchestra’s next chapter

“We all owe Karen our sincere thanks for her dedication and strategic vision,” said VSO Chair Emeritus Patrick McDermott. “Karen will be deeply missed by the Board, staff, community supporters and patrons alike.  She is leaving us, however, with an organization that is financially sound, with the discipline to make data driven decisions that support our musicians in developing and sharing their talent at the highest level with our audiences and the entire Hampton Roads community.”

The VSO Board will launch a search for Philion’s successor in the coming weeks.

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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 in 2021 and 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.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 26, 2022

Contact: Collin Norman, Director of Marketing & Communications
Phone: 757.213.1424
Email: cnorman@virginiasymphony.org

Twitter: @VASymphony
Facebook: facebook.com/virginiasymphony

Symphony in the Park | 7/24

Symphony in the Park

Sunday, July 24, 2022 | 8:30 PM | Town Point Park, Norfolk

Morihiko Nakahara, conductor

John Williams Main title from “Star Wars”
Harold Arlen / Sayre Selections from “The Wizard of Oz”
Maurice Ravel The Enchanted Garden from “Mother Goose” Suite
Howard Shore / Brubaker The Two Towers Symphonic suite from “The Lord of the Rings”
Richard Wagner Ride of the Valkyries
John Powell / O’Loughlin How To Train Your Dragon
Various / Ralph Ford Suite from “Video Games Live”
John Williams The Flight to Neverland from “Hook”
Igor Stravinsky Berceuse & Finale from “The Firebird”
John Williams Harry’s Wondrous World from “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”

Symphony by the Sea | 8/18

Thursday, August 18, 2022 | 7:30 pm | Neptune’s Park, 31st Street, Virginia Beach

Neptune Festival’s Symphony by the Sea Concert Series, presented by The Breeden Company, makes its grand return in 2022 for the 11th Season of concerts!

Located in 31st Street Park at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, all concerts are a FREE musical offering to residents and visitors. Guests are encouraged to arrive early, as the concerts are well-attended and will fill the park.

Neptune Festival    

Symphony Under the Stars | 9/1

Symphony under the stars

Thursday, September 1, 2022 | 7:30PM | Lake Matoaka, Williamsburg

College of William & Mary

John Stafford Smith Star-Spangled Banner
John Williams Main Title from Star Wars
Harold Arlen/Sayre Selections from The Wizard of Oz
Maurice Ravel “The Enchanted Garden” from Mother Goose Suite
Howard Shore/Whitney Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Richard Wagner “Ride of the Valkyries” from Die Walküre
John Powell/O’Loughlin How To Train Your Dragon
Edvard Grieg “In the Hall of the Mountain King” from Peer Gynt
John Williams “The Flight to Neverland” from Hook
Igor Stravinsky Berceuse & Finale from The Firebird
John Williams “Harry’s Wondrous World” from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Symphony Under the Stars | 9/3

Symphony under the stars

Saturday, September 3, 2022 | 7:30 PM | Yorktown Riverwalk Landing

Adam Turner, conductor

John Stafford Smith Star-Spangled Banner
John Williams Main Title from Star Wars
Harold Arlen/Sayre Selections from The Wizard of Oz
Maurice Ravel “The Enchanted Garden” from Mother Goose Suite
Howard Shore/Whitney Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Richard Wagner “Ride of the Valkyries” from Die Walküre
John Powell/O’Loughlin How To Train Your Dragon
Edvard Grieg “In the Hall of the Mountain King” from Peer Gynt
John Williams “The Flight to Neverland” from Hook
Igor Stravinsky Berceuse & Finale from The Firebird
John Williams “Harry’s Wondrous World” from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Symphony Under the Stars | 9/4

Symphony under the stars

Sunday, September 4, 2022 | 7:30 PM | Chesapeake City Park

Adam Turner, conductor

John Stafford Smith Star-Spangled Banner
John Williams Main Title from Star Wars
Harold Arlen/Sayre Selections from The Wizard of Oz
Maurice Ravel “The Enchanted Garden” from Mother Goose Suite
Howard Shore/Whitney Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Richard Wagner “Ride of the Valkyries” from Die Walküre
John Powell/O’Loughlin How To Train Your Dragon
Edvard Grieg “In the Hall of the Mountain King” from Peer Gynt
John Williams “The Flight to Neverland” from Hook
Igor Stravinsky Berceuse & Finale from The Firebird
John Williams “Harry’s Wondrous World” from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Symphony by the Sea | 9/8

Thursday, September 8, 2022 | 7:30 pm | Neptune’s Park, 31st Street, Virginia Beach

Neptune Festival’s Symphony by the Sea Concert Series, presented by The Breeden Company, makes its grand return in 2022 for the 11th Season of concerts!

Located in 31st Street Park at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, all concerts are a FREE musical offering to residents and visitors. Guests are encouraged to arrive early, as the concerts are well-attended and will fill the park.

Adam Turner, conductor

John Stafford Smith Star-Spangled Banner
John Williams Main Title from Star Wars
Harold Arlen/Sayre Selections from The Wizard of Oz
Maurice Ravel “The Enchanted Garden” from Mother Goose Suite
Howard Shore/Whitney Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Richard Wagner “Ride of the Valkyries” from Die Walküre
John Powell/O’Loughlin How To Train Your Dragon
Edvard Grieg “In the Hall of the Mountain King” from Peer Gynt
John Williams “The Flight to Neverland” from Hook
Igor Stravinsky Berceuse & Finale from The Firebird
John Williams “Harry’s Wondrous World” from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

CommUNITY Play-In & Sing Along | 9.11

September 11th, 2022 | 4:30PM | Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center

Come play and sing with us to unite our commUNITY through music.

Pick up your instrument, bring your voice and join the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in a celebration of peace, inclusion and unity. This inspiring annual event embraces our community’s cultural richness and diversity, uniting people of all ages, faiths and backgrounds through participation in music, dance and spoken word.

Music will be available for any instrument and voice at any level, so come play and sing with us! Or just come as you are and enjoy the musical talents of your neighbors.

Free and Open to the Public!

Dr. Seuss at the Symphony | 9/18

Sun., Sept. 18, 2022 |3:00PM | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts

Books and music, a perfect combination. Your favorite Dr. Seuss stories will be sung in selections from “Seussical, The Musical.” “The Sneetches” is turned into a symphonic poem that addresses diversity, friendship and discrimination in Dr. Seuss’ unique style. Find out what great music is inspired by John Lithgow’s book “Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo.”

Pre-concert activities start at 2:00PM

Helen Martell, conductor

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.

Concerto

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 StampleySTAR OF BROADWAY MUSICALS THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS, THE COLOR PURPLE, THE LION KING, and RAGTIME

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.

@nathanielstampley

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 HansenSTAR OF BROADWAY MUSICALS SHOW BOAT, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, and THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE

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.

@teridhalinks

Sean MacLaughlinSTAR OF BROADWAY MUSICALS THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, EVITA, THE WOMAN IN WHITE and BOMBAY DREAMS

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.

@theatremutt

Nathaniel StampleySTAR OF BROADWAY MUSICALS THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS, THE COLOR PURPLE, THE LION KING, and RAGTIME

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.

@nathanielstampley

Nathaniel StampleySTAR OF BROADWAY MUSICALS THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS, THE COLOR PURPLE, THE LION KING, and RAGTIME

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.

@nathanielstampley

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.